Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Day 32 - Today's Top 10: Why Non-Traditional Students Go Back to School

Top 10 Reasons
Why Non-Traditional
Students Attend College
  1. The economy (layoffs, lack of advancement opportunity)
  2. To improve career prospects or increase earnings potential
  3. Military benefits make college affordable now
  4. Loss of a spouse or divorce (major life change)
  5. Children leaving the nest (free up the career mom)
  6. Mid-Life Crises (sudden desire to find one's true calling)
  7. Aging out of the traditional job market
  8. Spouse/partner or other close family member encourages them
  9. Timing is finally right after years of yearning and planning
  10. Career change necessitates an additional degree
This list could be much longer; I've yet to hear anyone describe the exact same reason as I draw conclusions from my decidedly unscientific poll. I wanted to post a list simply to raise awareness of the unique (and often stressful) circumstances in the diverse non-traditional base. Just as the reasons for our being students in our current life stages vary, so do time constraints, finances, and the level of commitment to education. I actually know one or two grad students essentially just killing time here while they try to figure out a path. It is the rare student not truly interested in learning, yet there are a few in the mix. Overall, the non-traditional students I have the pleasure to know are consistent in their genuine excitement and sincere appreciation of the opportunity to advance knowledge.

Tomorrow: "Unique benefits for non-traditional students."

E.T. News to Note (Me - not the Extra-Terrestrial)

It's been another productive week thus far, and here’s a project update. First, I picked up my copy of the script for The Way Home; it's an awesome read. I look forward to rehearsals.

Today, I fearfully approached a challenge I put off far too long. I (finally) attempted to contact a retired professor I was referred to for source material for the Star Trek project. (Why was I afraid to call this person? I honestly can't explain.) The result was more amazing. Not only is Dr. Lorrah available and willing to be interviewed, she has published three successful Star Trek novels of her own. I never dreamed I would find an original source for my offbeat subject right here in Murray. Things continue to fall into place.

By now, you know I strive to make these posts upbeat and inspirational as often as possible. I can't deny that my life as a struggling (unemployed) older college student does have its drawbacks, but for the most part, I have to day again that as long as I (we) remain focused and positive, there is more to be thankful for than not. These are good places to be - Kentucky, Murray, MSU, my own skin.

May you count the blessings today, too.

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