What We Do

Non-Traditional Student Challenges


Not all students are "traditional." You might be non-traditional because of your age (usually outside of the traditional college age range of 18-22) but also because of life circumstances different from the typical college student. You might be an individual who is a single parent, veteran, employed full-time, returning to school after working, and/or completing a second degree.

Non-traditional students can experience distress just like typical students. In fact, your stress may sometimes be more intense given your greater responsibilities and adjustments. Even if other people in your life are supportive, they may not totally "get" what you are experiencing. You may be one of the few or only people you know well who is in college right now. In addition, being in classes with mostly typical college students could feel isolating.

Here are some indicators that you may be struggling with the transition to your new role as a student:

  • Difficulty finding time to study
  • Trouble balancing all of your responsibilities
  • Feeling like the oldest person on campus
  • Not finding the services you need
  • Getting thoroughly frustrated with little things (like finding a parking space)
  • Experiencing the feeling that you will never complete your degree
  • Feeling like "throwing in the towel"

While non-traditional students are often highly resilient, you may experience low self-esteem, depression and/or anxiety. Feeling this way is a natural reaction to stress. There are ways you can engage in self-help to reduce your stress, including:

  • Listening to music
  • Speaking with friends and family
  • Taking a relaxing walk
  • Reminding yourself that you have succeeded despite hard previous situations; otherwise, you would not have made it (back) to college!

A more exhaustive list can be found at Feel Better Now.

If you identify with these or any other concerns, we encourage you to contact us to make an appointment.