As I sat and agreed to become a course taster for the website, I couldn’t help feeling a little apprehensive about what was to come. It struck me that although the ‘first day at school’ worries might be ridiculous, I cannot be the only one to feel like this when signing up to a course. No matter how excited I was about the lesson, walking in alone is always a bit daunting. Yet the more courses I do, the more I realise there really is nothing to worry about. From massaging a stranger on a Wednesday morning to filming my yoga practice, on paper these things might seem awkward, but in the real world, it’s just part of the course. Therefore to help you silence those worries, take a look at eight things to expect on an evening course.
1. You might feel nervous
As previously mentioned, nerves are normal. Gone are the days of childhood enthusiasm when trying something new was exciting, as adults most of us will feel nervous re-entering the classroom. Remember that you are all in the same boat; if it’s a practical course you will all be expected to do the same thing, so this is something to laugh about rather than run from.
2. Some providers might work from their own home...or even yours!
When arriving for her cookery course, fellow course taster Jade shared her surprise at finding it to be in the teacher’s house. Remember that this is their job, so they will be used to having someone in their home.
3. Some people in the class will be more advanced than others
Life isn’t a race; the chances are if you are a complete beginner, unless the course states it, there will be learners who are more advanced. Take my sculpting course, sitting next to a woman adding the final touches to her lifelike bust of her granddaughter, I was definitely the newbie. But unlike primary school, this does not make you the laughing stock and actually nine times out of ten, fellow learners will be more than happy to give you a helping hand.
4. It doesn’t matter if you go alone
Turning up alone does not make you the one with no friends. In fact, one of the best parts of the course tasting is meeting people from all different walks of life and just having a chat. Remember that you all have a common interest in what you are doing, so this is often a good place to start. What’s more, when it comes to courses like massage and make up, there is often the chance to bring a friend along to practise on which can often make things less awkward!
5. Ask if you’re not sure what to wear
I have learnt the hard way that it pays to ask what to wear. Turning up to yoga in a jumper was a big no, as was not bringing an apron to an Indian cookery master class. If you aren’t sure, it’s always best to email or phone the course provider just to double check.
6. You will find time for the homework
My GCSE art tutor once said if you enjoy it, it won’t feel like hard work and this certainly is the case. The chances are, if you are doing an evening course it won’t require lots of extra work, but if there is homework, don’t panic. Squeezing in language practice might seem impossible, but like going to the gym or fitting in a facial, we always find time if we want to. Think outside the box and use your commute to work, or lunch break to fit in some learning.
7. You won’t be treated like a child
A point I can’t reiterate enough, adult learning really is not like going back to school. Most of us are put off down to nightmares of childhood exams, embarrassment or boredom. In reality, if you are signing up to a course, you are likely to have an interest in the subject, and if you are keen to learn, your tutor will be more than happy to help broaden your horizons.
8. You might find something that will change your career
Although I haven’t quit my job and become a masseuse or a florist, an evening course is a great way to have your eyes opened to a second career. Whether it drives you to gain a professional qualification and work part time, or gives you a goal to aim for when the day job gets too much, it could be the kick start you need.
So what are you waiting for? With everything from fitness to first aid listed on our site, there has never been a better time to take the plunge and enter the classroom. Trust me, it’s never as bad as it seems!
Jane McGuire received her BA (English) from the University of Loughborough. A yoga enthusiast with a sweet tooth, in her spare time you will probably find Jane in the gym or online shopping.