Any tips would help

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I haven't been in school for 10 years now and I'm getting ready to start my pre-reqs for nursing. I'm only taking 2 classes this semester. English and AP. I was just wondering if you could all give me some suggestions to help me in classes and getting the work done. I have 4 kids and a husband so I'm very nervous if I will be able to do all of this and learn that stuff I need to know. Are your classes usually just lectures? Any tips on taking notes? What will I need for the first day of class? Do you usually have homework the first days of class? Thanks for all the help.


415 Posts

With four kids, it sounds like you already have a full load! I am an older student (43) with two grown kids and a four year old. What I find that works for me and my family is:

I do not study in the evenings; that is my family time. But I go to bed soon after my son does, and then I get up very early in the morning (around 3 am) to do my studying before leaving for school around 6 (I have a long commute). It works better for me to do it like that because my mind is fresher after a night's sleep and I have no distractions or interuptions. On the weekends I study intermitently while my hubby and I take turns watching our son.

As far as taking notes in class, take a lot! But it sometimes helps to record the lectures instead to review later. Mainly study the lecture objectives. I would suggest a bringing a notepad and extra pencils to class. The homework will depend on the instructor. They're all different. You'll get to know what each instructor expects of the students.

Good luck! You can do it!


612 Posts

Very good suggestions from Peggy Sue. I'm 44 and have two teenagers. Even though they're not as demanding as a little one,

there's still lots of cooking and laundry, etc. as you know. I also find that morning is my best time to study rather than nighttime when I'm tired. If I have an exam, I get up an hour or two earlier and study that morning. I have also done reports that way too - I get up earlier on a weekend morning when everyone is still sleeping and get SO much done. You'll find out quickly what works best for you. First day of school is usually review of the syllabus and course outline, the teacher will tell you what you need. Just bring a notebook and a pen. As Peggy said, you might want to record your lectures if that works well for you and is easier than writing for 2-3 hours! Personally I have never taped, I am the kind of learner who needs to write it down to process the info. You'll do fine, have faith in yourself! I was 40 when I returned to school, and there are lots of others on this board who have done the same. Best of luck!!


91 Posts

I have taken 15 classes, and only my math class required regular (daily) homework. With English, you will probably be required to write essay papers, but it should not start the first day. I know all schools/teachers are different, but I wouldn't worry about homework when it is time you'll be ready for it! STUDY study STUDY



203 Posts

Specializes in OB, House Sup, ER, Med Surg.

I am SOOOOOOOOO jealous of you who are able to get up and study in the morning. I am such a dud in the morning. It is all I can do to drag myself out of bed in time to get the kids and me off to school on time. My New Year's resolution was to get up by 6am every far I have failed miserably.

So, what I end up doing is just keeping my books with me and grabbing study time whenever I can-half-time at ball games, waiting for the kids, whenever. We don't have TV, so I do get a lot of studying done in the evenings, but it really isn't fair to the kids for Mom to always have her nose in a bool.

One thing that I usually do is type up my notes after class-sometimes I just run over to the puter lab at school. I seem to retain better after writing and typing them. When I type them, I put them in outline form so it is easier to study them later.

Chaya, ASN, RN

932 Posts

Specializes in Rehab, Med Surg, Home Care.

This probably sounds too basic to even need mentioning but I found I had to learn to make myself focus on prioritizing what was the crucial information in each section. When confronted with a forty page chapter I asked myself "what is the essential info I need here?". I found it helped me to take 5-10 minutes to skim over chapter headings and sub-headings and paragraph headings both before and after reading the chapter. The "meat" of the chapter could usually be summarized in a few sentences. Also I would highlight the most key words or phrases (don't let yourself get sucked into highlighting whole paragraphs- it only works when the important stuff actually stands out! Good luck!

Specializes in ICU, CM, Geriatrics, Management.

Tumble -- No matter what... don't allow yourself to fall behind in A / P.

This course has done in a lot of students.


177 Posts

Originally posted by LarryG

Tumble -- No matter what... don't allow yourself to fall behind in A / P.

This course has done in a lot of students.

Big Big DITTO !!!!!!


71 Posts

Start reading your AP book now! Start going over the slide pics in your text because you will be seeing them sooner than you like on a lab exam. Use the various awesome websites listed t/o this site to orient yourself with AP. Buy lots of coffee and always study with eager, non-lazy students. For myself, studying with someone smarter always improves my final grades!


1,907 Posts

Specializes in OB, lactation.

I have three little ones and I do much of what has already been written. I have a 110 mile commute so I record classes and listen to the lectures on my drive in addition to writing notes. Both relistening to lecture and writing the notes help me to retain the info. I also rewrite notes into flashcards or in a two column fold-over abbreviated notes quiz style page (I read the question then open the fold to reveal the answer - I use a text box in Word for the "answer" column on the right hand side). Having the flashcards or quiz sheet is great for those little pockets of time at soccer practice or in a waiting room, a few minutes between classes or whatever. This semester I'm going to make a greater effort to get my schoolwork done at school and not have to bring it home with me so that home time is just family time (my huband isn't in favor of me even being in school so I think it will be better to not bring it home when possible, although last semester I studied at home all the time whenever the kids were sleeping or husband would watch kidlets for me). Good luck & have fun!

career seeker

62 Posts

I just started school after eight years. I have a two year old and two part-time jobs. The key not to fall behind, especially in A&P.

FOr me, college is a lot different than high school. Rarely have I had homework assignments. Mostly it was up to me whether I would study.

Some things that worked for me:

*Read chapter before class. Even if it doesn't make sense at the time it, you will have a general idea of what they will be talking about

*Take great notes!

*I rewrite my notes as soon as possible. Notes in class can get ugly with all of my added comments and such. I type them up in outline form. While I am typing them I can refer to the book for clarification and elaborate on things.

*get a great study partner (in my experience, more then one will only be a greater distraction). My study partner and I would teach each other the things that we went over that week. I a a firm believer that the greatest way to really learn something is to try to teach it to another person.

*schedule time to study. If it is not on my weekly schedule it is not getting done.

Good luck! You will be great!


558 Posts

All great advise you have recieved. I went to college when my kids were 9 and 12. Nine yr old handicapped and homeschooled 12 yr old. He really benefited from my college books. Anyway my hubby was very supportive so that was a huge blessing. I used one of those small tape players and taped lectures then I would go home and type up my notes in easy to study format. That way I could read notes when possible and listen to lectures while doing dishes and stuff like that. Also had great study bud who challenged me constantly. The main thing is if you want it you will do it.

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