In our fast-paced society, it’s so easy to believe that we are too old to go back to school—that we have to achieve certain things by a specific age—or that we are not allowed to make a drastic change once we are established in a career. As a non-traditional student myself, let me tell you: This could not be farther from the truth.

You Are Not Alone.

Whether this is your first year of college or you’re in the middle of a career change, you are not alone.  Every year Front Range Community College (FRCC) welcomes many non-traditional students who are ready for a change.

I’ve faced my own share of the challenges that come with going back to school later in life. I was almost ashamed to admit that my career wasn’t going how I expected and that I felt stuck. I needed a reset. So far, I think it is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I am here to tell you why being a non-traditional student rocks, and why you should take the leap if you have been thinking about it for a long time.

We Are All a Work in Progress.

Regardless of whether you’re new to college, coming back to school, or making a career change, remember that attaining education is just the beginning of your latest chapter. One of the most important things I have realized through this process is that we are all just a work in progress.

As cheesy as it might sound, every experience in our lives makes us who we are and brings us closer to our purpose. Deciding to go back to school is just a small part of your life story. Even in your career, you will continue to learn new things and gain new skills as you move forward. The greatest part about this is that as a non-traditional student, it is likely that you already have a lot of life experience and are more in-tune with what you want out of your education.

The Past is Valuable.

Remember that any past education and experience is always valuable. Education allows us to discover more about the world, shapes us into critical thinkers, and gives us a foundation for our professional lives. Experience makes us into who we are and helps us to navigate the world.

Regardless of how many times you change your direction or your mind, no one can take the knowledge and experience away from you. Before I decided to take the leap and enroll at FRCC, I believed that my other degrees would never be useful. To my surprise, they have only highlighted my strengths, added to my pursuits and passions, and given me a lot more options for when I enter the job market.

Get Closer to Your Purpose.

I’ve realized that my decision to go back to school was more about adapting to what would make me happy. Focusing on technology will give me the skills and tools I need to accomplish what I want. As a non-traditional student, I think it’s easy to get lost in society’s expectations about what a career should look like. Careers and people are ever-changing. Sometimes taking the steps that are necessary to obtain more knowledge brings us closer to our purpose, and helps us to become who we are meant to be.

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