Steps to Success for nontraditional students
You've researched your options, applied to colleges, applied for financial aid, and gained acceptance. Classes begin soon. Congratulations!
Before you start your new academic venture, take time to think how you can be a successful student even as you continue your "normal" life. Nontraditional students bring rich life experiences and more maturity to their studies. But you face challenges traditional students don't.
Here are some "Steps to Success"
You face many demands on your time — from family, work, civic responsibilities, and personal interests. Balancing these demands with the time needed for classes and studying won’t be easy. But if education is important to you, you’ll find a balance that works for you and your family. You’ll be glad you did.
This will help you in finding the balance among competing demands on your time. Avoid wasting time; make every minute of your day count. Think ahead, so you’re not working on two research papers, reading three books, and organizing a local bottle drive all at the same time. Good planning gives you more time for everything that needs to be done.
Start off strong! Sometimes adults find initial success difficult to achieve. But with preparation and hard work, you can excel at anything. You may have to:
• refresh or redevelop your study skills
• learn word-processing and basic computer skills
• relearn test-taking strategies
• learn how to use electronic library resources
• increase your comfort in participating in group discussions
Life for everyone in your family will change when you go to college. Just as you may be concerned about the change, expect others in your family to be concerned, too. Each member of your family will have to take on more responsibility and learn tasks you used to do. But this can be positive: Assuming new responsibilities can help them grow as individuals. To help meet your study needs, you may want to:
• identify a place in the house that is your space for studying
• identify blocks of time when everyone knows you will be studying
• ask that you not be disturbed when you’re studying so you can concentrate on your work
Talk with your instructors, your advisor, and the staff at the college or training program you’re attending. Get to know, early on, the resources available to you, and don’t wait to ask for help. Instructors and staff are there for you.