Don't drop out of school, older nontraditional student!

Okay. You have already enrolled in school. Perhaps you are in your first year back or even our first semester. Somehow it is harder than you thought it would be. Just getting okay grades is an intense effort. And you are looking at more semesters, just as hard as this.

Don’t give up!

Here is some anti-dropout advice.

It is true that higher education, whether it is going back to high school, college, trade school, or graduate school, can be very difficult, especially if you have taken time out to have a family, pursue a trade, or just work to get by for many years.

You may just now, in your middle or senior years, have the time or gumption or help from a significant other to pursue a dream.

Is the dream really difficult? Is it really something you just can not do, or is it just uncomfortable and difficult? Do you fear student loan payments later on? Or did you maybe fail a class?

There are solutions to some of these problems, and other problems just take a leap of faith, OR some research. For example: do you think that there will be a job market for what you are taking? Maybe you should have a backup plan: a job you are sure you can get plus training for your dream job – both at the same time.

Failing a class is not the end of the world, either. You can always retake the class. Many schools will allow this.

The student loan fear can be real, but you do NOT have to make payments on these loans until you are out of school. If you qualify for a grant or scholarship, this can help. Also, check out the link below from a CNN article for information on how to apply for different programs to help you pay student loans if you have income problems later on.

To wrap it up, staying in school is a personal decision only YOU can make. But know that there is support for you out there, from your family and friends, to a support group they may have at school, to online support groups and sites that can help you stay motivated or help you work smarter to get more done in less time.

Learn more:

Stay or Leave? A student talks about grades at the Student Doctor Network:

Education – the key to success in the workforce

Three nontraditional student stories from Grand Valley State University:

How to get relief from student loans (different programs and information)

Support for students going back to school:

Common Concerns of returning students (from the Sallie Mae site)

Some other support groups:

Returning to school:

Return to college:

The Nontrad Yahoo group:

Nontrads on MySpace:

Nontrads on Facebook:

Get motivated!

Motivate yourself to go back to school:

Get Motivated – and the Power Of Rewards video (from my Nontrads site):

The Improving your world site says: get back in school!

Please put YOUR tips for helping older students stay in school by commenting below.

Thank you!

Some of my links:

The Nontrad site and blog
The Betsyanne page and blog
My Squidoo Pages and referral