FRIENDS AND FAMILY - ARE THEY A SUPPORT?
Families and friends of nontraditional students can be two things. They can be a help and a support, or they can just be a drag. They can give you positive messages, or they can give you negative messages. If you are a nontraditional student, you can choose what sort of messages you want to hear.
NONTRADS NEED POSITIVE MESSAGES
Nontraditional students need and deserve positive messages, but some do not get them. Families or friends sometimes say, "You are going to do WHAT?" and the nontraditional student has to explain and defend their dream of going back to school. Be practical! the nay-sayers advise. Don't go back to school!
Well - what is more practical than working towards a better future? Nothing! So what should you do when you hear a negative message like that? I say, don't listen to it! Just say "no" to letting it affect you, too.
COME BACK TO THE "WHY" OF BEING A NONTRAD
Always remember, nontraditional students, that you are not going back to school for no reason. Often, you have been wanting to do that for years, but have not been able to, for one reason or another. Sure, going back to school can be tough - it's expensive, it takes time, and a lot of hard work.
But you have good reasons for going back to school. Write these reasons down again if you want to and remember these reasons if you have forgotten. One reasons might be to improve your job situation. Another might be to improve yourself. Put all your reasons down. Once you have done that, read them again, then pat yourself on the back for taking action!
WHAT TO DO NEXT
Next, surround yourself with POSITIVE input, in order to bolster your effort. Do your friends help and support you? How about your family? You must hang around with positive people, not those that bring you down or make you doubt yourself or your dreams.
WHAT NONTRADS NEED
Nontraditional students need support, not bashing. They need understanding and caring people to help them on their educational journey. It's a long, tough trip towards that diploma or certificate. Nontraditional students must juggle family, work responsibilities, AND sometimes misunderstandings from family or friends.
A NOTE TO FAMILY AND FRIENDS
Are you a friend or a family member of a nontraditional student? Then know that they need you to be supportive, caring, and understanding. Be that shoulder to lean on. Be that caring listener when a nontraditional students just needs to vent sometimes.
A NOTE TO NONTRADS
Nontrads: know that you can do it. Even if you have to do it alone, you can do it. You are a trailblazer for others that will come after you. And if you want to meet other people who can help you in your journey, seek out a school with a nontraditional student organization or a supportive administration that understands your needs. Better yet: find a school that offers both.
If you can't find such a group, you can join the free Yahoo nontrads group online. This group's members are also nontrads or on their way to becoming nontrad students. They will be happy to support you. Remember: you are worth supporting, and you are worth admiring.
And, more important, never forget... that:
YOU CAN DO IT!
The Nontraditional Student Website
The Nontraditional Student Yahoo Group
Help and support for all nontrads!