So you have been out of school for a few years (or, in some cases, for much more than just a few years) and now you are giving serious thought about going back and earning an education. Whether you are a high school graduate, dropout, or simply someone who earned his or her degree long ago, the prospect of returning to the classrooms can be a scary one. But do not let your fear of returning to school prevent you from actually going back – earning your education after a long break is not as impossible as it may initially seem.
If you are older than 21 years old, you cannot go back to a traditional high school to earn a diploma. This means that if you never completed high school and would like to pursue a college education, you will first need to earn a GED. A GED is a certificate that ensures that the person holding it has met the high school standards of education. It is a series of tests that evaluates your ability to solve mathematical and science problems and also determines your reading comprehension skills. This test cannot be taken online, so do not trust any source that claims that you can earn your GED online.
Preparing for the GED will give you good insight into what it will be like to throw yourself back into the rigors of academics. It can be difficult to sit down in front of a book again, but it is a feeling you will have to get used to. In addition, you may find that you have forgotten a lot of subject material, so do not be afraid to ask for help, enroll in a tutoring program, or read over some old notes and books to help catch yourself back up to speed.
After you have either your high school diploma or GED, you may need to take the SAT or ACT examination before you can apply for a college program. However, some colleges may not require these test scores, so check with the schools in which you are interested before signing up to take those tests. Something that many back-to-schoolers fear is being the only "old" students in the class. However, many big schools have plenty of older students who made the same decision to go back to school later in life, so do not be afraid of feeling alone. Online programs are also available if you would rather not be in the classroom with people who may be decades younger than you. In the end, the decision to go back to school should be a happy one. You are going back to earn a quality education which will leave you feeling more personally fulfilled and open many new career doors. Do not let your fear take that opportunity away from you.