How to get over that feeling...

Posted by: patlienemann

How to get over that feeling... - 09/06/2011 12:54 PM

Hello everyone.

I am a 25 year old soldier currently serving in Iraq.
when I was 22 I was academically expelled from a university after two years there (made some bad choices, didnt go to classes, failed a lot).
So after 3 years in the Army my last year is coming up when I get home from Iraq. I want to go back to this college but I can't seem to get over this feeling that I'm going to stick out like a sore thumb. I'm a vet, I feel old, I have to start over from the beginning, etc... . This school (Eastern Michigan University) has a small Student Vet's Club, but it is litterally very small. Those are the only people I can some what imagine accepting me into a community...
I know 25 isn't old... but I still cant shake this feeling.
Posted by: Debra

Re: How to get over that feeling... - 09/06/2011 23:18 PM

First of all let me say that I truly appreciate you and the service that you're giving to our country. God bless you!

I work for a program that helps adults return (or enroll for the first time) to college. Almost all of them feel the way that you do. Maybe it will help you to know that in the United States, the average age of most college students is 32. In my opinion, the trick is to select a school that acknowledges and provides programming and services to nontraditional students. If you attend a university that spends their time and dollars actively recruiting prospective students from the area high schools, you may very well find yourself one of the oldest students on campus. But still--don't focus on your age--focus on your goal. And remember this--your motivation to go to school is probably different from that 18 year old student and will be obvious. Many of those youngsters will look up to you in classes. They will want to be in your study group and work with you. Professors tend to love nontraditional students who bring a wealth of life's knowledge into the classroom.

A piece of advice: check with EMU to learn if you will be allowed to re enroll after having been expelled. Policies differ from school to school. If they won't take you back, consider starting out at a community or jr college. I guarantee that you will be in the company of adults just like yourself. By the time you're ready to transfer to a 4-yr school, those feelings of standing out should be all gone. Good luck!
Posted by: patlienemann

Re: How to get over that feeling... - 09/09/2011 05:13 AM

Well thank you Debra for replying, and thank you for the thanks :D
I have checked with EMU, I am trying to keep in touch with them on a regular basis and they do allow re-admission for my type of situation, it just requires loads of paperwork.
Focusing on my goal is what I need to do, I agree. It's just... when I was 17 and was accepted to college I had this image of what life would be life, and it typically was like that during those two years at EMU previously. Now, I can't get that image out of my head and it is part of where my fear comes from because I am afraid I will be looked at differently by people. Thank you again though for helping re-assure me.
Posted by: tcnixon

Re: How to get over that feeling... - 09/11/2011 01:33 AM

I think going back now you will realize that there are more students there who will share things in common with you. When I returned to college after having been in the Navy for four years, I was surprised at how many "older" students there were. There weren't any more; I was just noticing them more.

Tom Nixon
Posted by: LinfieldADP

Re: How to get over that feeling... - 03/26/2012 16:29 PM

That's very impressive of both your service and desire to attend school once you return. For one, you aren't alone when it comes to being scared and uncertain because you will be returning to school at a later age than most. However, especially in this day in age, more and more adults (>25 years old) are deciding to do this. I can almost guarantee you won't be the youngest one there. The easiest way to figure out the demographics is to just call the school, ask for information, and any advice/information the school can provide for those entering in similar situations such as yours.