Advantages of being a nontraditional student

>> Sunday, May 3, 2009

I said in yesterday's post, Being a nontraditional student sucks? that I would post some of what I see as advantages of being a nontraditional student. So - here is a list:

  1. As a nontraditional student, we tend to have a lot more life experience on which to draw. We have usually read more, had more experience dealing with businesses and with people, and have work experience that can go a long way to helping us to be able to apply what we are learning to what we already know. Assimulation is always easier than accomodation - and so we nontraditional students get to learn the easier way a lot more.
  2. Nontraditional students are generally more disciplined (we have to be!) and professors like us because of it.
  3. Nontraditional students are also usually closer in age to the professors, which can make for better relationships with them - especially important when it comes to reference letters and recommendations for scholarships.
  4. Being able to better understand how our professors think makes it far easier to pick up on important clues about what they are looking for in essays and exams.
  5. Nontraditional students understand the importance of the investment we are making in our education, and are more likely to take it seriously - again, a tendency that in my experience is often highly valued in an academic environment.
  6. Nontraditional students are better at juggling than other students are - so we are typically less inclined to go into total meltdown at the midterm and end of every semester... not that we don't - but we usually manage to get through those stressful periods better than some.
  7. Nontraditional students have connections that can help to support us while we are in school and also help us to get jobs when we are done.

Like my tag line says ....Nontraditional, mature, returning students ....no matter what you call us, we are a determined and resourceful bunch.

7 comments:

  • Patricia Rockwell
     

    I think you've listed all of the important factors that I remember liking about nontraditional students when I was teaching. I also found, strangely enough, that nontraditional students were often popular in the classroom because the regular students could often count on them because they had all these qualities you mention.

  • Andrea
     

    One thing I've noticed about non-traditional students is that they are much more confident than traditional students. They ask and answer questions without caring what others think. I'm sure that this confidence comes from having more life experience. And as the first commenter mentioned, they are often the most popular students in the class.

  • Phyl
     

    I was older than most other students when I was in university too, and all of that holds true. Another thing I found was that you could figure out when things were life-and-death important, and what you could relax about.

  • Kath Lockett
     

    You are sooooo right. As a young uni student, I used to look at the grades and respect that the 'mature-age students' (which meant anyone over 21, in our eyes) used to get and wonder how they did it.

    ....perhaps being 'over' the all-night-chatting, pub crawls and beer skulling would have been part of their success. :)

  • A Gust of Wind
     

    well, i guess i belong to those 'traditional' student, so i oppose ur saying

  • 30ats
     

    i would like to be a non-traditional student myself, actually.hehe

  • Phyl
     

    I would kill to go back to university. 9 1/2 years wasn't enough for me! :-)

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