What makes for a GREAT school experience?
I think it's more than just making the grade, and getting a diploma or certificate. It is the people you meet that can make such a difference in having an OK experience and a great one. And sometimes you can make real friends while you are going back to school.
I know I made some great friends when I went back to school. Some I got to know in study groups, and others I just talked to across the aisle or online. Even my online classes sometimes had everyone fill out a profile about themselves, which made getting to know each other even easier.
Of course, it helps if there is already a group at your school that is full of other nontraditional students, who (like you) are going back to school after a break. Maybe you both have kids, or both have other responsibilities, jobs, or other things in common. That can make it easier to connect or have something to talk about.
But it is also possible to make friends with people a LOT younger than yourself. Try listening more than you talk. This can be very difficult in some classes. It is hard not to want to share some experiences that other students haven't been alive enough time to have had. But you do get to know the younger students in your face-to-face classes better when you "sit on your hands" and don't always be the only one raising your hand to discuss things.
So... start or join an on-campus group, email your fellow students if you are in an online-only class, offer to meet if that is possible, start a study group or just talk before class sometimes. You will be very glad you did, and can make some wonderful, lasting friendships that way.
Find out more:
Make a study group:
How to make friends in college
Study groups for nontraditional students
Forming a non-traditional student group
How to make friends as an older student (a Squidoo page)
All for now,
Some of my links!
The Nontrad site and blog
The Betsyanne page and blog
My Squidoo Pages and referral