Conquering the Comeback Jitters: Tips for Thriving as a Returning Student


Embarking on the journey of returning to college after taking a break, can be both exhilarating and nerve wracking. Whether you took a break to explore other opportunities, focus on personal development, or address life’s unexpected twists, returning to college often comes with its own set of challenges. If you find yourself experiencing the comeback jitters, fear not – you’re not alone. In this blog post, we’ll explore practical tips and strategies to help you thrive as a returning student.

Embrace the Change

Returning to college means stepping into a different phase of life. Embrace the changes and view them as opportunities for growth. Recognize that you bring a wealth of life experience that can enhance your academic journey. This mindset shift can help alleviate the initial anxiety associated with re-entering the academic environment.

Develop a Time Management Strategy

One of the key challenges for returning students is managing their time effectively. Balancing academic responsibilities with other commitments requires a well-thought-out time management strategy. Create a realistic schedule that includes dedicated study time, work commitments, and personal activities. Utilize tools like planners and productivity apps to stay organized and on track.

Leverage Support Systems

Don’t hesitate to lean on your support systems – be it family, friends, or academic advisors. Returning to college is a significant endeavor, and having a strong support network can make a world of difference. Communicate your goals and concerns with those around you, seeking guidance when needed.

Set Realistic Goals

As you embark on your academic journey, set realistic and achievable goals. Break down larger objectives into smaller, manageable tasks. Celebrate your successes along the way, no matter how small, to maintain a positive mindset. Setting realistic goals fosters a sense of accomplishment and motivates you to stay focused on your educational objectives.

Prioritize Self-Care

Returning to college can be demanding, but it’s crucial to prioritize self-care. Establish a routine that includes regular exercise, sufficient sleep, and moments of relaxation. Taking care of your physical and mental well-being is essential for maintaining balance and resilience during your academic pursuits. Check out the Ellsworth Community College Dale Howard Family Activity Center or the Marshalltown Community College Student Activity Center.

Make the Most of Resources

ECC and MCC offer a wide range of resources to support students academically and personally. Take advantage of tutoring services, writing centers, and career development programs. Being proactive in utilizing available resources can contribute significantly to your success as a returning student.

Returning to college is a commendable decision that opens doors to new possibilities and personal growth. By embracing change, implementing effective time management, seeking support, setting realistic goals, prioritizing self-care, and making the most of available resources, you can navigate the challenges and thrive as a returning student. Remember, the journey may have its ups and downs, but with determination and a positive mindset, you’re well-equipped to make the most of your second shot at college.