Non-Traditional College Students


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Going into a university as a non-traditional college student can be scary. Especially if you’re going to a bigger school, you may feel as if you were surrounded by a lot of younger people who have a lot in common.

They probably all had lived in the dorms together and started school at the same time right after high school. And overwhelming, however, it takes a lot of courage and is actually really awesome. Most employers are definitely going to be interested in someone because I know that I can push through in a very determined.

Where is that you never give up and that you’re always seeking an opportunity to do better and learn more. So, if you were thinking about going back to school but you are simply just scared of being a student, I hope that this encourages you to get your education no matter what.

I personally did not take the path of your nontraditional student, so I’m going to be smart and give you answers off of other people that I know that have been, and also others that I met through college.

I had several classes that have nontraditional students in them. It led me to befriend a mother who was 43 with three kids who had just started her college journey.

I learned so much from her and I was honestly so encouraged by this woman. I figured that if I was half the woman that she was one day then I would be OK.

She ended up graduating from the university with a Bachelor of Science of business administration specializing in finance as a mother of three. If that isn’t something to be proud of then I really don’t know what is. 

Non-Traditional College Student Life: Experiences

A non-traditional student is a term that North Americans came up with when talking about colleges in universities. So basically a traditional college there is someone who goes to college street from high school. This means that they spend their senior you’re applying for colleges and scholarships.

Eight additional college student is usually around the ages from 18 to 23. Obviously, this can differ depending on how old students are when I actually graduate high school.

If you get held back while you’re in school you could start college at the age of 19 or 20, however, if you are younger for your grade you could start college at the age of 17 or 18.

A non-traditional college student is someone that took a longer break after high school before applying to college.

This could be anybody from around the age of 24th starting college to honestly even around 70 years old. Basically, any type of student who didn’t directly go to college right after high school is considered non-traditional.

Most nontraditional students could be working full-time jobs while trying to obtain their degrees. They could also have families including children at home.

Now, that’s not saying that traditional student couldn’t have a child while in college, it’s just more common for the ages of the nontraditional students to have children while trying to obtain their degree. 

Usually, you are not considered a non-traditional student if you are going back to school.

Basically, what this means is that if you already have any sort of degree even if it’s an associate degree, if you’re going back to school, you’re not really considered it nontraditional student.

The reason for this is because you already have a degree and the title of nontraditional means that you have never received a degree before.

If you are simply just going back to get your MBA or your masters or any sort of professional or graduate school, then you’re not a nontraditional student.

You are simple usually you are not considered a non-traditional student if you are going back to school.

Basically, what this means is that if you already have any sort of degree even if it’s an associate degree, if you’re going back to school, you’re not really considered it nontraditional student.

The reason for this is because you already have a degree and the title of nontraditional means that you have never received a degree before.

If you were simply just going back to get your MBA or your masters or any sort of professional or graduate school, then you’re not a nontraditional student.

You are simply just someone who has already received a degree and is interested in getting more education, no matter how much of a break you have between your undergraduate degree and you’re now professional or graduate school. 

Non-Traditional College Students: Education is Valuable 

College is supposed to be for everyone. College is supposed to be about education, learning, and finding who you are.

There is no age stamp on this. It doesn’t matter if he just graduated high school, if you just got divorced, or if he just retired. In the end, all it is really about is bettering yourself, educating yourself, and finding your path.

It really doesn’t matter what anybody says about what age you are when you’re going to college because either way, you’re getting a degree. College is supposed to be for everyone. College is supposed to be about education, learning, and finding who you are.

There is no age stamp on us. It doesn’t matter if he just graduated high school, if he just got divorced, or if he just retired. Any and all that is really about is bettering yourself, educating yourself, and finding your path.

It really doesn’t matter what anybody says about what age you are when you’re going to college because either way you were getting a degree.

The only difference that will really happen is that it might take you a little bit of extra time studying and getting back into the swing of school.

That is really the only difference between going to school right after high school and taking a break. And this is simply because your brain is just not used to be a demand of school like it might have been in high school.

Either way, college is completely different than high school and requires a lot more time, effort, and commitment anyways. 

Basically, college doesn’t just have to be about getting a degree just so that you can say that you did it. It doesn’t really have to be about getting the career that makes the most money or being able to do what everybody else seems to be doing.

It really is a place to just learn. Sometimes we take advantage of the simple fact of having an education. There are so many different people and countries in the world I don’t even have that simple luxury of having an education.

I think that honestly being a nontraditional student probably makes you appreciate education even more than it would if you went right after high school. I find myself sometimes getting irritated by doing the work and having something to constantly be doing. But then I think to myself that I am lucky that I even get to be here.

I am a first-generation college student, and even though that doesn’t compare to being a non-traditional student I find myself sometimes reminding myself that I should just be happy and thankful to be able to receive an education.

I hope that when you’re having a hard time being a nontraditional student you take a minute to realize how lucky you are to even be going to school in the first place. Education really is valuable and can really change your life. 

Non-Traditional College Students: Resources 

Not having to live in a dorm is really not a big deal at all. Believe me, I live in a dorm for one year and I didn’t really get much out of it other than new friends. They’re basically just a small room that you have to live in for a year.

However, even people that transferred to schools normally don’t end up getting to live in the dorms and less they transferred as underclassmen. But the great thing about being a college student no matter what kind of student you are is that you get all of the resources and opportunities.

This means that you’ll still have access to all of the recreational centers, libraries, career fairs, career counseling, etc. These are the types of things that college really helps you with.

How many opportunities to have someone help you build your resume for free is an amazing thing?  

Even being able to go to a gym for four years that is probably a lot bigger than any of the community Jim’s around you can really be beneficial. I definitely advise you to use a vantage of your resources as much as you can.

Even if you only have these recent resources for 2 to 4 years you should be glad that you have them. Really, you were actually paying for them. So you want to make sure that you’re getting your money’s worth as well.

In the end, you’re just as much of a student at this university as anyone else there. So don’t be afraid to take it vantage of being a student and use all the resources and gain all the opportunities that you can.

Go to the career fair is, help your resume get built, and do whatever else you need to do. I guarantee you that when you’re talking to the employers the career fair is there going to be a lot of personalities and you and you’re going to set yourself apart from the other thousands of people there. 

Non-Traditional College Students: Conclusion

Overall, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a nontraditional student. I think that it shows a lot about your character and personality in general as a person. I think that it will make you stand out to employers and show how much of a hard worker you are.

It is an amazing thing to have an opportunity to get an education at no matter what age you are. If you have the means to pay for college or to take out loans, I encourage you to go to school matter what age you are. It’s doesn’t define what kind of student you are or what kind of education you can receive. 

For more reading on Balancing School and a Social Life in College, click here.

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