There are many reasons that you might be entering college at the age of 25 or older. You may be returning for another degree, or you may be a veteran. You may be a parent who has put aside the time to further your education or you may have needed a few years before you were ready to commit to college. No matter what the reason, higher education may be something that you face with nervousness or even fear. Most college tracks are laid out for young adults who are just leaving home. A non-traditional student faces many challenges, but there are also many solutions available as well.
If you have been out of school for a number of years, you may be feeling a little nervous on whether you can keep up. The standards may have changed since you were last in school, and you may have no idea what to expect. If you notice that you are falling behind on your studies, or even if you fear that you are, consider consulting with your academic adviser for resources that can help you. Extra tutoring sessions can help you get on your feet, as can university or college resources for anxiety counseling. These resources are there to be used.
Many non-traditional college students are busy balancing a life that includes work and possibly children as well as schooling. Because of this, it is easy for you to feel like you are falling behind or letting everything slip. Enlist the help of your friends and family when you feel this way, or look into what your school has to offer. For example, some schools offer day care for their non-traditional students, something that can greatly ease your mind.
Technology is moving faster with every year, and more and more technological knowledge is required as a baseline for the college experience. When you need to deal with clickers for attendance, online classroom discussions and other tasks that have been digitized, it can be a bit overwhelming The key to making sure that you stay on top of your studies and on top of the technology curve as well is to make sure that you are using the computer labs. There are still computer labs where you can learn to use the technology, and if you are getting stuck, there are computer lab monitors who can help you. Do not be embarrassed to ask for help; it is what they are there for.
It is not easy being surrounded by people who are not only younger than you are, but who are also in an entirely different phase of their lives. It can be hard to make your classmates understand that you are not available for a group meeting because you need to be on time to your job, and it might be rough on your family because you are often out of the house. You can feel more and more like a fish out of water, and this is where a support group can come in handy. Most colleges offer groups that are facilitated by other non-traditional students, and it can be a good place to go to vent, to learn about other coping strategies and just to enjoy being around people who are in your situation.
If you are in a situation where you need to think about balancing life, school and work, there are resources that are available to you. You may feel as through you are alone, but there are people who can help you achieve your goals.
Kat Niedermeyer has helped numerous students, regardless of their age, succeed in college with her educational blogging tips. She has seen many prospective students get discouraged by their credit scores and how it will affect their means of paying for college; therefroe, she recommends enlisting the services of a credit repair company to anyone facing this problem.