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Did you enter the workforce immediately after high school, putting off college temporarily, only to have travel, family, or your military career bend your path away from college? Are you ready to finish your undergraduate studies or perhaps a master's degree and considering studying online?

If you've taken a gap year or more and are now seeking to go back to school, you are not alone. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (2017), nearly four million students who are enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities are 35 or older. These adult learners make up 20% of the nation's college students.

If you're one of these students, here are some tips to help you adjust and succeed at an online school:

1. Confirm Technical Necessities
Online classes can help adults who are returning to school manage their busy schedules. But first, get organized and find out what materials you'll need. You will need to know and understand the technical requirements of your upcoming courses. Make sure your computer is in good condition, and all of your programs are updated - especially Microsoft Office.

2. Be Engaged
Your online instructors will be able to guide you - they expect and look forward to students who ask questions. These are the students who are engaged and tend to perform better. However, if you aren't asking questions, you can run into problems. By staying engaged, you're contributing to your own success.

3. Create Balance
Finally, create time for work as well as time for play. Do not overload yourself with work from your day job, papers, and tests. Instead, leave time in your day for exercise, sleep, or relaxation. By giving yourself time to recharge, you'll be refreshed and ready to take on the challenges of being a student again.

A balanced life will not only boost your mood, but it will also boost your productivity.

Trident's faculty and staff - many of whom have earned a degree online – are committed to your success, and helping you return to school with ease.