Older College Student? Take A Deep Breath, It’s Going to be Okay

Older College Student? Take A Deep Breath, It’s Going to be Okay

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This is it, you have decided to take that big leap and go off to college. However, there’s a catch – you’re not as young as your peers. You’ve already been through most of what they have done. In your head you refer to these young, vibrant adults as “kids”. This may seem as a barrier between and your new peers, but do not fret, you may just fit in after all.

Choosing your College

This will be one of the hardest choices you will have to make. You will need to start making lists, weighing up options and running through certain scenarios. If you are married or living with a partner, you will need to take you into consideration uprooting their lives as well. This means discussing things with your partner and encourage them to make a list as well. Your list will differentiate just a little bit, as you need to know what major and minor you want to take. Their lists will have to consist of pros and cons of moving or not moving and what it could mean to them or your family as a whole.
If you are not living with a partner, nor have a family – don’t skip the lists. This will narrow down applying to the right College.

Set boundaries

If this is your first College experience, set boundaries for yourself. The choices you make will affect how you will perform overall with your fellow peers and it is a healthy habit to maintain. Know when to act your age or bring in guidance, that some younger people do need. If you have responsibilities, don’t drop them because you’re trying to fit in with the college kids. This would show them that you’re a pushover and they will take advantage of you. Keeping to your boundaries will show them that you know who you are.

A big no-no is getting too familiar with your lecturers. They may be your age group, but they are there for one ultimate thing – to teach and guide you. They are not there to be your friend, this may affect your work ethics. However, there are certain cases that this is okay.

Be the leader of the pack

Take responsibility of what you do. If you make a mistake, own it, you will learn from it and so will those around you. If you choose to be the leader of the pack, others will lead by your example. Adults younger than yourself still need guidance in their lives. Parents may be far away and they may only see them around the holiday periods. They just sometimes need a shoulder to cry on or just need some clarification of what they are doing. We all need someone to talk to and you may just be the sounding board they need.

Have fun

Your eyes are set on the end goal, which is great. You’ve chosen your College, well done. You have been responsible, but there’s something missing; fun. You can be fun while still being responsible. If you get invited to a dinner party, go. You are getting to know other, younger people. They may or may not share the same ideas as you. You may learn new things and it will make going to College so much better. Being far too serious will not benefit you, you might even regret going to College. So have fun, join a college beginner dance group or join a club you will feel comfortable with. College is also the experiences you have. Involve your partner as they get to benefit through you.

Going to College as an older adult may feel scary. That is okay, but remember you are doing it for you and you family. It is a noble thing to do and you will come off better than where you have started. You have the chance to fit in, no one is there to judge you. Now, if you know of anyone that feels that they won’t fit in or just need a nudge to take that final step – share this on your Twitter of Facebook account, they will thank you.

References:

http://psychcentral.com/lib/keeping-good-boundaries-getting-your-needs-met/
http://undergraduatedegree.org/2012/25-things-every-student-needs-to-know-before-starting-college/
http://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/slideshows/10-steps-to-picking-the-right-school/5

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