How to survive college life as an adult learner.
For adult students, returning to college can be intimidating.
Aside from the worries of an intense workload and balancing studies with family life, many adults find it difficult to imagine fitting in with younger students.
Colleges and universities understand the unique dynamic of being an adult student.
This can include keeping up in the classroom, working on partner assignments, and even living with them in shared residence halls.
Luckily, however, many schools have specific accommodations that allow adult students to choose the living situation that best suits their needs.
Many colleges allow adult students to live in dormitories or residence halls with “traditional” students but typically students over the age of 25 usually decline this option. Adult students who are used to an independent lifestyle and certain adult responsibilities tend to not respond well to living in traditional dormitories with roommates, strict rules, and residential advisors.
Additionally, many colleges simply do not allow adult students to live with younger students because of concerns about differing lifestyles. Since policies vary so widely, consult your prospective college’s residential life department to find out more about living in dorms.
Adult Student Housing
Colleges and universities understand the unique dynamic of being an adult student. Many colleges are specifically designed to educate adult students while others understand the growing adult student demographic and cater to the needs of these students accordingly. Housing is no exception.
Typically, colleges have specific housing for adult students. For example, the University of Wisconsin, Madison houses graduate students, adult students, and some faculty members together. Others, like the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, offer family housing for married and graduate students. Finally, some colleges have accommodations specifically tailored toward adult students, like Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale.
College housing departments are in the business of helping students find suitable housing. Remember this as you search for your preferred living situation. Remember to ask questions before committing to a specific type of housing arrangement.
If student housing isn’t for you, off-campus housing may better serve your needs. Simply put, off-campus housing is housing that is not governed by your college or university. However, this doesn’t mean your college can’t help you in finding that perfect off-campus apartment.
Many colleges have off-campus housing departments that can help you find an apartment, house, and even a roommate, or other housing request you may require. Don’t hesitate to use all of the resources at your disposal.
Adult Student Services
Student services are available to all students – adult, traditional or otherwise, but many schools have unique student services that cater to the adult student population.
For example, students with young children can often take advantage of daycare services. Clubs, organizations, and study groups are also available for adult students. Some colleges even have adult student counsels that help make the school more convenient for its adult population.
Even if you only join a study group, these organizations can help adult students feel more involved in college matters, and lessen the intimidation that can be felt during the first few days on campus.