While college was once primarily the domain of the young, it remains the only way for most adults to further their career or find a new line of work. Yet facing the challenge of attending classes and studying in your spare time can seem downright impossible when you’re already busy with work, family responsibilities, and more. Polishing up your ability to stay focused before you start classes can result in higher grades, less stress, and better recall of the information you’re learning.

Build a Semester Calendar

Being handed a syllabus with every test date and paper requirement can make you feel like you’re ready to tackle everything at once. But it’s all too easy to forget just one of those dates and end up failing as essential test that sinks your grade point average. Gather together all the syllabi and other paperwork your professors give you at the start of classes and enter essential dates into an old-fashioned date book or an automated scheduling apps. Software solutions can be set to remind you ahead of time while there’s still time to study, but you can also manually write in warnings a week or two before scheduled events.

Join Groups

Whether you find a study group for a specific class or go online to join a virtual group of other learners perusing the same degree, working with your fellow students is one of the best ways to boost your focus. It’s easier to find study partners or get help with a question your professor doesn’t have time for when you’re a part of multiple study groups that offer different meetings and benefits.

Create a Distinct Space

It might be a guest room in your home, a kitchen nook, or a study room at the library. Regardless of where it is, make sure you have a designated study space that is quiet, free from distractions, and conducive to your studies. This is especially important for adult students who likely have a spouse, roommate, or kids at home. If you don’t have a place to focus, consider even renting out space at a local co-working office in order to give yourself the space for really understanding what you’re studying.

Try Supplements

Many adults report difficulty focusing as they age, so the challenges of studying are often more difficult for adult students regardless of how hard they try. Boosting your mental acuity with the right supplements from Metagenics is as simple as visiting Dr. Kelly Austin and discussing your needs with her. She’ll pair you up with the best brain-boosting options, such as Attencia with the power of green coffee beans. A vitamin deficiency could also be sapping your energy and focus, so investing in a blood test panel before taking on a challenge like going back to school can help you be prepared. Prime Wellness offers many different blood tests to determine what might be holding you back when struggling with focus and attention, go here to schedule an appointment today.

Don’t Give Up

Failing a test or a class can make you feel like your dream of getting a degree is impossible. But all students face failures, no matter their age or how hard they study. Adult students must have more drive than their younger counterparts to overcome the challenges they face, so you can’t let a failure hold you back. Take some time to focus on what went wrong after a failure instead of rushing back into the same class. You may need extra tutoring or may decide you want to pursue a different degree.

Take Breaks

Not all adult students can handle semester after semester of non-stop classes on top of their other responsibilities. There’s nothing wrong with taking a little longer to earn a degree if it means you complete the work with less stress and better grades. You’re not just trying to get a degree, you’re trying to learn a whole new set of skills and knowledge. If you’re going so fast you can’t remember what you learned last semester, working in your new career could feel downright impossible. Taking a lighter course load and taking semesters off is often the best way for an adult student to dedicate more focus on really learning, not just memorizing and forgetting facts.

Work with Your Professors

Any good professor worth learning from will be happy to answer questions, refer you to other resources, and generally assist you in your quest for learning. Many adults are afraid to approach their professors because they feel like they shouldn’t need the help of another adult, but the person in charge of a class is the best resource for finding out how to pass. Get in touch with other professors in the same department, even if you don’t plan to take any of their specific classes, to start building connections that can help you find a job with your new degree.