After many years of being out of school… raising kids,
( who are now off to school themselves ) I am going back to school ! I start today . I am so nervous! My stomach is in knots. I think I may develop diarrhea due to nerves!!lol
I am 30 something, have been out of school for 18 years.
Please, someone, give me some advice, words of wisdom - anything to get me through the day!
Oh boy can I relate. I did the kids then school thing a few years ago. You are going to love it. I’ll tell you why.
You’re older–this is GOOD. You know yourself and what works for you. You also are a little more serious about responsibility than maybe you were.
You’re older–this is GOOD. You do not have to worry about impressing all the hot, young studs (unless you want to) like the younger girls do. You’re possibly closer in age to the profs so you can relate to them better. That is very good.
You’re older–this is GOOD. You might be paying for your education this time around, so you want to get the most for YOUR money. Make the profs work. Make them earn it.
You’re older–this is GOOD. You’ll find that reading, studying, etc. is almost…dare I say it?..fun. Yep. You’ll enjoy going to bed at night knowing more than you woke up with. It feels neat. It feels great to know you can still do it.
If you’re like me–maybe school the first time around was not for you. But after having kids–learning to juggle multiple tasks at one time, organize other people’s lives, concentrate on problem-solving, budget your time constructively–the very things you’re worried about seem to take care of themselves.
Have FUN. Enjoy using your brain.
Now, let me say that the above is in NO WAY to be construed by anyone to mean that traditional students aren’t focused, dedicated, serious, or able to do fabulously at school. Issues for returning/nontraditional students can be a little different. Self-confidence is taxed and hearing a fellow nontraditional student give support can help. I have the utmost respect for traditional students–because when I was that age I couldn’t do it. I envy your maturity.
Stormi, congrats on taking that giant step and going back to school!
Don’t be intimidated by the numbers of young people in your classes. I’ll bet you’ll find other students closer to your generation. (I just went back myself and my fellow students go from the fresh out of high school crowd to the “I don’t know what to do with myself since I retired” group)
Aso, don’t forget, you are doing this for you, not for your underage teenybopper classmates.
Make sure to tell the other students that you have kids as old as them. That really impresses em
But seriously, Congrats and have fun. Some of my best friends from school were the “Non-Traditional students”. I found them to be more fun than the frat rats and self absorbed sorority chicks. But maybe that is because I have been called “A 26 year old bitter old man”.
Don’t sweat it. Usually, after the first week, I’ve got my routine down. Then I start missing classes. Then, I start sleeping with my professors. . .
Anyway, just be proud of yourself for returning to school. And don’t let those young punks intimidate you.
And Coldfire is full of shit. Duran Duran isn’t popular anymore. But be sure to inject “where’s the beef” into every conversation you have with the younger crowd. They’ll appreciate that you’re hip to their lingo.
As a TA for graduate and undergraduate students, I can say that I really enjoy having non-traditional and older students in my classes.
To overgeneralize, I have found that older students are more likely to do the reading and the homework then are the “regular” students. They come to office hours when they don’t understand things. They are more likely to interact with me before and after class. I can tell when they understand the material, because they let me know when they don’t. All of these things are good, and make my teaching experience more enjoyable.
The best advice I can give is to get into study groups. Many courses will encourage you to work or study in groups (although you turn in your own homework). Do it! You will get social contact, and no assignment is as scary when you can discuss it with others. Good luck.
Be yourself, have fun, get involved with a few extra curricular things if you have the time and inclination (I volunteered for the School of Community and Public Affairs Alumni Office and met a huge number of people, got to attend some nice parties, and eventually landed a job through one of the contacts). You’ll find, like I did when I went back, that the younger students tend to fall into two camps: the ones who respect your opinion and appreciate it when you can bring your experience to bear; and, those who think that you’re an old fogey regardless of your age. I got along well with most everyone, laughed (to myself) at the foibles of the young ones (was I ever that self-involved?), and just absorbed as much as I possibly could. The ones who thought I was an old fart at 30 didn’t stay in school long enough to worry with.
Stormi–I can relate. I went back to school AFTER having multiple careers and doing a stint in the military and being married and divorced. At the ripe age of 30 I started for the BSEE (BS in electronic engineering). I was soooo old. But I was willing to put it all into school. I was already trained in how to deal with men (remember above mentioned military training) which was good since I am in a male dominated field.
Since you will probably read this after your first day, let me try and see if I can guess what you really did in your classes. You met your instructors, who looked more nervous than you. You got the class requirements for assignments and were told when the exams were and how much weight each of them had. You probably didn’t hear one lecture. You also were probably released early from each class.
The next class will be the start of real learning. You will do just great. You have allowed yourself to grow up and now you understand the value of education. Have fun and may you not have any of those disgustingly early or late classes.
Stormi please do not let this be misunderstood, but remember that by and large, nobody cares.
As a former professor I can’t tell you how many “untraditional” (I hate that term) students I had. On their first day I could practically hear them crawling out of their skin, but you need to remember that even though YOU may feel out of place and old, the “kids” in the class are so wrapped up in their world that they don’t even notice you. In fact, I think the only reason I ever even noticed was because of how horrified they looked.
Stay relaxed, stay calm, if you need help go to office hours (we like that). But above all…
DO YOUR HOMEWORK DAMMIT!!
I hope all goes well.
I would say “Good Luck” but my older students rarely needed it.
Thanks ChrisCTP - and good luck to you too!!
yes, I think I too will do better now than I did when I was younger - more mature, more determined, and the desire to do my best.
Yes, let’s kick ass!
Audrey - No psych stuff - english !
Thanks for your kind words!