After waiting ten years before setting foot into a college, aside from that high school tour I took my senior year, my nerves were as wired as a young school girl. I had all the fears and anxious feelings as I did my first day in high school. For me the age difference was not noticed by the professors. Many did not even mention that there was an age difference. It is true that it was hard to relate with the young students; however when it came down to learning and producing material, we were all capable of doing what needed to be done. A person’s age may seem to be a factor in deciding to go back to school, however the real factor is commitment. Any student that is committed enough will prevail in the college environment.
I spoke with a traditional age student one day about the differences. He revealed to me that many of the traditional age students are actually very intimidated by the older students. They know that an older student is very serious about getting the best grade possible. They also know that many teachers grade on a curve; therefore non-traditional aged students can blow a curve. He made me feel better about my own performance from that point on. After all, I felt like we should all be doing our best. His main point was that a non-traditional student has to pay for his/her own way; whereas a traditional student probably has good ole mom and dad paying the way.
The college environment is dependent upon which college you choose to attend. Many older students are able to communicate better with the professor. The material does not change just because one student may be older than another. Age is really a perception, we are all as old or young as we choose to be. Our minds can be used for many years at its optimum speed. With the use of computers in the classrooms and at home, we are equalizing on our own. Many times we are just an email turning in homework. Many times we are just a reference number on a system receiving a grade.
College is all about learning and making the best grade you can. You do as much or as little as you feel needs to be done. Some teachers even give you a guide that explains what is expected to reach certain grades. The younger student is notorious for doing the least amount as possible, with some exceptions. Older students thrive to reach an A for every project. But again, that is a plus for the difference of age. I really don’t see a negative side of being older in school.
So, age does not matter in today’s world of college. You can fit right in and study hard an make the grade. It is never to late to start. The degree is worth every penny and ounce of time you put into it. So get out there and achieve.