College now and then - ten differences I noticed as a nontraditional student

Did you notice changes in your college classes and your school the second time around? 
Xavier college students by Editor B on Flickr

















Some nontraditional students are going back to school and noticing some major changes. That is, besides the obvious age differences.

Here are some things I noticed. Did you too?

1. Classes were at times more informal. People are sometimes encouraged to speak out, sometimes not though. There is sometimes group work too.

2. A big obvious change for me was the addition of online classes. I talk about this in another posting, Online vs. Face-to-Face classes: which is better? 
I took both kinds of classes when I went back to school. One of the online classes had a "meet the class" session a couple of times where people actually met face to face. But the rest of the class was online.

3. There are now online recommendation sites for checking out classes BEFORE you take them. You can find out what other students have said about your professors. One I used was PickaProf (now bought by MyEdu) and another was Rate My Professors.com. (One or more of these have changed ownership and have different names now too...)

4. Some books had CD's with them and online help sites. Now some books are totally digital and you can bring them with you, which helps your backpack not be as heavy.

5. People were using backpacks a lot. Which I liked. I could carry more. Some people had rolling backpacks, mostly fellow nontrads.

6. Although study groups have been around a long time, I made some with the younger students, and they were a big success. So that was way different from when I first went to school and tried to do everything alone, even study for the hardest classes. You can find out more about making a study group here at Study Groups for Nontraditional Students.

7. Eating at school was much more varied. When I was first there, we had lots of choices, but they were mainly the cafeteria-style buffet type. I did like them. WKU had great cooks. But now, there are more Bistro-type choices, pizza, salad bars, and more healthy foods too. I did miss the buffet (which had veggies too) but the new food choices were also good. I got used to them pretty quick.

8. It was still a challenge to get from class to class sometimes. WKU has classes all the way UP the hill, and has others all the way DOWN the hill. But also on the good side, they now have student buses that you can take. And that helps sometimes.

9. It used to be that many dorm residents went home on the weekends. It seemed to me that not as many did, judging by the number of cars that were still there on the weekends.

10. I noticed more when other students didn't seem to care or do their work - - or (more often) didn't even log in for online classes. I wondered what their story was. I was definitely more motivated this time around for sure, and didn't count myself among the ones who did not attend class or turned in late assignments. I figured I needed every Brownie Point I could get.

What changes have you noticed, nontraditional students? Have you been able to rent a textbook, for instance?

-Betsyanne
Former Nontraditional Student
in Education, WKU

And here are some more Nontrad links:
The Nontrad site and blog

Join Nontrads on Facebook

Nontrads on Yahoo, and

Nontrads on Twitter