College campuses, except community colleges, are typically populated with 18-22 year old students. If you are an older student in this environment, you may feel out of place. What you may not realize is how you are perceived by others.
- Faculty love having older students in class because they are more mature than other students and can often reinforce what the teacher is saying based upon their experience.
- Regular students often value the guidance of older students as teammates on projects.
As an older student, you do face challenges that younger students don’t have, including:
- Family obligations
- Financial requirements
- Job requirements
- Recovering lost knowledge
- Fitting in/forming a study group
There are some things you can do to ease the challenges you face.
- Meet with your professors and let them know of your challenges. Faculty will generally be very accommodating.
- Find a mentor who can advise you on your schedule, especially the requirements for your courses. You may need to modify your schedule to make it more acceptable with your personal situation.
- See if you meet your financial needs by getting a job on campus. Faculty like to have a more mature student working for them.
- Search out other students who are in your same situation. Often there is more than one older student pursuing a degree similar to yours. These students can become a great support for you.
- Connect with traditional age students. In every class, there will be mature serious students who you will find it very easy to work with.
In most cases, older students quickly make the transition to college and find themselves becoming comfortable in this new environment..