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The Pros And Cons Of Being A Student In Your Thirties

One age does NOT fit all.

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Your laptop was cutting edge when everyone else was still in high school, and you can't run half the software without getting a new machine.

With a life full of people and obligations you are MORE distracted and find it tricky to balance it all.

You've learned a lot about people and know how to deal with many different types.

You’re the only one in your class who has to worry about child care.

You've never even heard of the social network all your classmates are addicted to.

You have a broader sense of history and the present day’s place in it.

Things get awkward when you can clearly recall historic moments that your classmates were not even alive for.

By this time you may have saved some money and don't have to struggle financially.

You have more contacts to help you and you already have a friend/family support system established.

Younger students may feel uncomfortable including you, especially in social situations. May be harder for you to develop new contacts. The time you are spending in school may isolate you from other people your own age who are not in school.

There are less loans and grants available to you especially as you pursue graduate studies.

Money is more tight since you have to pay for others’ needs too.

You may struggle with feelings of being “behind” others who finished the same level of schooling in their twenties.

You are faced with harrowing decisions like, “Do I stay home with my sick child, or do I get to this important test.”

People assume you are much younger than you are and treat you that way.

People assume you are much younger than you are and treat you that way.

You have a more fully formed idea of what you want and how to get it.

You may be comfortable with a status quo you’ve established. It can be hard to upend a life that is working relatively well.

Your definition of success is more nuanced and you quickly recognize obstacles to achieving it.

Some of your opinions have crystallized and keep you from innovating.

You have a tougher skin that allows you to hear and accept worthwhile criticism.

It can be tough taking feedback from other students (and sometimes professors) who may be way younger than you.

You have housing and transportation resources that younger students do not.

You may have more at stake, especially if you are supporting others.

Other students and professors may respect you more because of your experience.

Younger students may defer to you too much and not share feedback they normally would.

Others assume that since you’re an older student that you are slow or hampered in some way.

You’ve learned to not sweat the small stuff. Whatever course has brought you to where you are you understand the value of living in the moment and making the most of the road ahead instead of measuring the path behind you.

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