Students of all ages may face obstacles when going to college. Yet, for the returning adult student, going back to school may seem like a daunting challenge.
Adult students may have other responsibilities and commitments which young freshman do not face.
Many adult students already have a spouse and children. Returning to school while raising a family is one of the biggest challenges a student may face. This challenge can be the most rewarding experience in the end. Going back to school while raising a family has the potential to be one of the most rewarding times of your life. You are on the journey of learning and fulfilling your life’s passion. Meanwhile, the self-improvement you encounter while in school, will reflect back into your family. As you develop in your education, your self-worth and knowledge will empower you to try new life experiences. Your family will benefit from your new sense of self. The best gift you can give your family is to take care of yourself first. Going to school and fulfilling a dream of earning a degree is a great way to show them that you value yourself and your family.
Online classes offered by universities like Dickinson State University give adult learners the opportunity to have the flexibility to go to school when it fits their schedule. Online learning is the best option for balancing family commitments while pursuing your degree.
Working and Studying
If you are going back to school, there is a chance you are still working. Most students who are in school full-time, also have a part-time or full-time job. This can be a challenge for many students, but new technology has helped ease student’s schedules. Dickinson State University offers courses using Tegrity software. Tegrity gives the professor the ability to record their classes and save for future sessions. Students who are unable to attend a lecture on-campus then have the ability to review the lecture later online. DSU is committed to providing their students with the latest technology to help them balance their work, home and college lives.
Fear of Being the ‘Older Student’
If a 95 year old woman can graduate from college without worrying about her age – so can you. Nola Ochs, who began taking college classes more than 30 years ago, has become a celebrity on the campus of Fort Hays State University in Kansas, where she will graduate with a degree in history. “Several years ago, I quit counting my age,” Ochs said. “We celebrated my birthday, but I didn’t want to be told how old I am.”
One of the most common fears a person may have when returning to school is being the ‘old’ person in a class. While the traditional age of students is more common within entry-level classes, older than average students have the definite advantage of life experience. You understand exactly who you are and what you want to do in life – traditional college students will find you as a valuable resource. Use your time in college as a way to make new connections, and leave your age at the birthday cake. Going back to college is your time to expand and grow as an individual, and will aid you in furthering your career. If you limit your life based on your age, the opportunities will always be limited.
Do What Feels Right
Going back to school is a big decision – but if you feel it is the right time, and have found the right degree to pursue – follow your heart. Doing what feels right is what’s important. Living your dreams with passion will guide you to overcome any challenge laid before you. “Keep your eye on the prize” and enjoy the learning experience.