Adult Back To School Fears (And How To Overcome Them)

Adult Back To School Fears (And How To Overcome Them)

Going back to school, whether it’s for an advanced degree course or training for a career change, can be a nerve-wracking experience for many adults. Especially when their previous experience of schooling was unpleasant – tough teachers, academic struggles, bullying peers – the very idea of returning to academia is enough to cause sleepless nights.

However, as we discussed in this article, going back to school can be beneficial. Not only will it elevate the chances of career advancement, but it can also improve a person’s social life, offer good role-modeling to younger members of the family, and improve creativity and wellbeing.

So, what about you? Are you thinking about going back to school? Or are there any fears holding you back? In this article, we will discuss some of the common fears held by many adults and will offer some useful tips in overcoming them.

Adult Back To School Fears (And How To Overcome Them)

Fear #1: Going back to the classroom

Not all of us have happy memories of the classroom, but the landscape has now changed. Instead of the rigid setting of times gone by, many classrooms now leverage cutting-edge technology to enhance the educational experience. Boring textbooks and chalkboards are now a thing of the past! And the time spent in the classroom has also been reduced. Many courses, such as this online MBA can be completed at home, so in some instances, there is no need to enter the classroom environment at all.

Fear #2: The financial repercussions

While some courses can be expensive, it is important to remember the outcome. Education is a long-term investment, as the opportunities for promotion and better salaries will ensure higher financial returns over time. Still, there are ways to mitigate the costs of going back to the classroom. Some employers are happy to pay some or all of the costs if the course in question will benefit the workplace. Most courses can be paid for over time, with little need to spend a small fortune upfront. And there are tuition assistance options available to adult learners, so the costs don’t have to be inhibiting.

Fear #3: The time factor

Especially when managing a family and a career at the same time, there is the fear that there won’t be enough time in the day to study. Admittedly, this can be tough for busy people, although some employers can allow time off if the courses are beneficial to the workplace, and because many courses can be taken part or full-time online, there is often more flexibility than traditional classroom-based courses. Still, there will be a juggling act when faced with other responsibilities, but it’s not an impossible task. There are further tips here that should prove useful if this fear is relevant to you.

Fear #4: Failure!

Especially for those who struggled academically during their childhood years, this is a very real fear. However, think of the alternative. While there is a risk of failure, there is also the possibility of success, and this can bring great benefits, such as a career promotion and a better salary. And besides, there is help available, with extra tuition and student support groups, so it’s important to know that you won’t be left to struggle alone if you do face difficulties.


Should you be fearful of going back to school, think about your goals, be they personal, professional, or academic. If returning to education is advantageous you, let the positives outweigh any negatives. Use our suggestions too, and should you have any other fears, speak to your local college for advice, or to anybody you know who has been through the adult learning experience.

Thanks for reading!

*The preceding is a collaborative post.

About Dawn McAlexander

Dawn is a full time travel and lifestyle blogger. Besides Cheap Is The New Classy, she also owns and writes for, an entertainment site. Her interests include traveling, home decor, DIY projects, organizing her home and enjoying a nice cup of coffee {or two}. She currently resides in North Carolina with her dog, Daisy.