Going back to school as a mature student
Same assignments, same deadlines, more responsibilities
The end of the semester is often filled with a ton of stress for students, with final projects, assignments and dreaded final exams, but what if on top of all of that you had the pressure of work, bills, even kids?
That is the case for many students on campus who are not the “typical” 18-year-old student living off student loans or the prestigious Bank of Mom and Dad.
The Mount Royal University calendar defines mature students as anyone over the age of 25 or not straight out of high school.
Jill Legere, 28, is a first-year student in the criminal justice program who currently is taking two courses a semester as she balances working full-time, a dog, paying rent and somewhat of a social life.
“The fact that I do have other obligations other than school, such as a full-time job and having my own place definitely makes going to school more difficult,” Legere said.
Legere already has an accounting diploma, but when looking to go back to school for business or finance, she decided that if she was going to spend the next five or six years on something, she wanted to make sure she was truly passionate about it.
Legere said that she knows there is a generation gap between her and the other students in her program, but it was only recently that it was highlighted in class with a discussion about the events of 9/11.
“The prof asked how old we all were when 9/11 happened and what we remember. Most of my class was only in grade one or two and I was in my final year of high school.”
Legere said another way her student experience differs from a younger student is the support of living at home and having the use of a parent’s car — things that she doesn’t have the luxury of, as all her family resides in the Maritimes.
“My parents are very supportive of me going back to school, which I think is really important,” she said. “I definitely think that anyone at any age should be able to go back to school if they want to take that jump.”
For those who are lacking support at home, Mount Royal does have a workshop aimed specifically at mature students to help them cope with the added stress and issues they may experience.
The workshop is called Returning to Learning and is designed to give mature students the opportunity to meet other mature students, talk about their specific challenges and to discuss some techniques that might work to overcome their challenges.
The workshop is offered through Wellness Services and registration is required. To register check out their website or call Wellness Services at 403-440-6362 or drop by Wellness Services in U216.