The journey to receiving an education is littered with wonderful experiences and the accomplishment one feels at the end makes it a top contender for one of the most rewarding things in life. However, getting an education isn’t without its difficulties, especially for the non-traditional student who struggle to cope with challenges of maintaining a balance and academic insecurities. A non-traditional student, as defined by Cross, is ‘an adult who returns to school full- or part-time while maintaining responsibilities such as employment, family and other responsibilities of adult life.
Embedded in this definition is one of the major challenges of being an adult student which is the task of balancing education, job, family and social life. Adult students face a predicament where many different activities including school work, children, spouses, job, chores and extracurricular activities compete for their time. In many instances, one of these is forgone to attend to the other. For example, the student may miss class because he needs to tend to a sick child or he may forfeit a club meeting to complete an assignment.
This demand on the student’s time may result in an inability to fulfill daily tasks and extreme exhaustion. Another challenge faced by adult students is insecurities about their performance or abilities. These adults may have been away from the classroom for quite some time and may return feeling apprehensive about their ability to get back into the scheme of things, especially with the many changes and new trends in education such as technology.
Additionally, they may lack good study skills and may find it difficult to recall information they learned in earlier school days. These challenges and many others working in concert can put a strain on students whose desire it is to further their education. Overcoming those challenges is therefore of utmost importance and will ensure a feeling of attainment at the end.