by Raven Smith
Academic Skills Advancement, East Chicago
Being a non-traditional student is not easy. At times, students may feel as though they do not belong in college because they lack resources and emotional support. Growing up with parents in which college wasn’t a priority; college was a personal choice. With that being said, there were times when my 18 year old, first generational college self was fighting to be understood within my inner circle.
Even my associates who were also in college did not understand MY personal struggle. They took 15 credit hours a semester, did not HAVE to work while having a full course load, and also omitted remedial courses. Their parents attended college, which didn’t make them BETTER parents, but at least they had the understanding of what midterms and finals were.
This blog isn’t about me! It is about the person reading it now. Being a non-traditional college student sucks. There is no glamorizing it. Daycare. Double night shifts. Perhaps, a marriage or a custody battle that can be detrimental to your academic career. There isn’t much to say that will allow you to feel better at the moment. But I can tell you a few things.
I CAN tell you to hold on. I CAN assure you that as you are walking across the stage; people WILL NOT remind you that you are OVER 22. No one is going to care if you returned to college AFTER raising your own son or daughter.
What they will see is your smiling face and slightly wrinkled gown that you just popped out of the bag. Regardless if they know you, might I add; the audience WILL CLAP when your name is called. MORAL OF THE STORY: Keep Your Eye on the Prize. You belong.