Hurdles Of The Non-Traditional Student

January 18th, 2012 by admin

ts-200288438-001Written by featured guest author .

As an older student, the thought of going back to school, especially to a school where you have to physically attend classes, can be very scary. As the saying goes, “the longer you are out of school, the harder it is to go back.” I have found this to be true for several reasons.

Apprehension related to what other people are going to think of you, the entire process of enrolling and signing up for financial aid and having the energy to work a full day and then attend classes in the evening. Not to mention, this means time away from my family, which understand and encourage this venture, but that doesn’t mean I am not going to miss them any less.

The first thing I had to do was decide where I wanted to get my degree. There aren’t many colleges around my home, so choosing a school wasn’t difficult. Then, I had to take some time off work in order to go to the college, fill out an application and pay the application fee. After acceptance, I called the financial aid office in order to fill out my financial aid forms. After that was done, I had to wait.

While I was waiting for the financial aid forms to go through the system, I took it upon myself to call the school and get assigned to an academic counselor. I met with this counselor and got some information about easing back into school. He suggested I only take one course the first semester, just to get used to studying, and so I can slowly take more time away from the family.

As an adult, I already knew what I wanted to do, so taking a pre-admission career track test wouldn’t have been accurate. These generalized tests are designed to be helpful to students who are undecided on a major, but offer no help to those who are already decided. If you know what you want to do, don’t waste your time with this test as it is going to tell you what you already know.

As a non-traditional student, I found it was easier to go to a technical college. I could only go as high as an Associate’s Degree in Nursing, but at least I could immediately work in the field. Besides, after you have earned that first degree, taking courses through online schools is acceptable, and it’s what I did to get my Bachelor Degree. I am doing it for my Master’s Degree as well.

Knowing what you want to do and where you want to go to school are the first steps in going back to college. Non-traditional students may have more obstacles to overcome, but with a little determination and help from an academic counselor, easing back into the structure of school can be accomplished with ease. The most important thing to remember is this: you are doing this to better yourself and your family.

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