Adults Fear going Back to School

Fear of being ridiculed by younger workers or students is the first milestone older adult learners must face. They must know keeping up with what is current is important. Yet, the downside to it is it adds another duty to already busy schedules. Hopefully, mature individuals will take this in their stride and will make time for study.

Classroom fears

Adult learners bring to the classroom fears and learned behaviors that early childhood has not yet encountered. These are heightened when the adult has been out of the workplace for several years while rearing their children. Their chosen professions have moved on and they find they are lacking in the latest skills.

Catching up will be easier than the worry and tension of anticipation. After all, it is something you once did well and you do have a firm foundation of knowledge with which to build.

The change of technology

One particular area that is especially frightening to adults going back in for another chance to pick up where they left off is the formidable computer. It seems the longer one waits to join the computerized generation the harder it gets.

If we listen carefully to those we know who say I know nothing about computers, we can sense their longing and their fear.

Children are growing up with no such fears since it is a part of their education from the very beginning.

Using a computer

Learning how to use a computer is now a job requirement in most areas and adults will simply have to find ways of overcoming their fears and sign up for classes.

The first step onward, in any endeavor, is the hardest; the second is slightly easier and after several the whole process is less intimidating.

Just think how much we had to learn when we were mere infants. We had to learn how to sit up, how to crawl, how to stand, how to write and now how to learn the computer. Seen in this light, adult learning is less frightening.


Reasons to put off education in later life are as numerous and anxiety ridden.

Money with which to finance education may be a stumbling block and it is not the process of learning but the wherewithal to pay for it that brings on near panic.

What to do in this particular situation?

If we simply want to know something we can go to the library, or if we have a computer and have overcome the frightening process of learning how to use it, we can research it on the internet.

The old adage, when there’s a will there’s a way comes into play here.


Other stumbling blocks are fear of crowds and fear of having to get up in front of classrooms and make fools out of ourselves. This is something that is part of one’s personality that one was born with and must be confronted on a daily basis.

It is called shyness and while it may be controlled, it is almost never conquered completely.

Books have been written on how it can be overcome and most of us who are shy by nature have read many of those.

Remember, after the first time of standing in front of a group of people, whether fellow students or a complete bunch of strangers and talking, it gets easier.

It is easier and more comfortable when we know our subject. It is then that we simply talk to people.

Being in a classroom after many years can be as easy

If you have done your homework and you believe in what you are saying, the rest should come easy. Just pretend that these are friends of you and you are simply talking to them.

When you are asked questions and you must give answers, see them as former neighbors confronting you when your children carelessly trampled their flower bed or had some other complaint. We are sure you had no problem telling them you would see that your children stayed away from their yard in a nice but determined way. You knew that without a doubt that your children were more valuable than her flower bed but you also knew it was futile to argue.

Final Word

Going back to school on whatever level can be coped with easily if you rid yourself of fears and tackle the initiation head on.

Have faith in yourself and in your ability to change old habits for new ones. At the same time keep those that are tried and true. Good values never change; they only adapt themselves to the times. As you, who are going back in to learn what you missed years ago, will do.

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