It is not uncommon for people to assume that the average college student is an eighteen-year-old, recent high school graduate. In fact, most movies and shows tend to fill their college scenes with only young college students; they fail to show the age diversity that exists in all college campuses in the real world. It is important to take into consideration all the struggles and concerns that college students go through because of their age. Although some of the obstacles and worries are similar in students of all ages, there are many that apply mostly to certain age groups of students. Students in their late teen years might be worried about taking this big step into adulthood; whereas, older returning students are concerned with taking a step back into a chapter that society is telling them they should have completed years before. Older students tend to feel like they are taking a step back, while the young adults are feeling like they are stumbling as they walk into a world full of responsibilities. Along with the concerns of how they will fit in with their peers, there are also responsibilities that can impede a student from participating in many college activities that can have a positive impact on their success in college and future careers.
It's important to keep in mind that regardless of your age, it is essential that you understand that your role as a student matters, and that you have a lot to offer to your campus community. As a returning student, you bring in your life experiences that can serve you to accomplish your college tasks, and you can also share these experiences with your peers. I am a returning student who came back to college after almost ten years after I graduated high school, and during those ten years, I gained knowledge and skills in my various jobs that I find myself using as a college student. Even if you are a younger student, who might not have as much experience in “the real world,” you bring in a special skillset. It hasn’t been long since you finished high school, so you are up to date in most of the technology that is used in an academic environment. You also have many innovative ideas that
you can share with your teachers and peers. Regardless of your experiences and age, always remember that you are an important member in your college community. Remember that you matter.