A mature student that attends a school where most of the students are in their late teens or early twenties is bound to feel “different”. How do you relate kids who are about half your age? How do you comport yourself in the school so that your age will not become an issue? All these thoughts are bound to cross your mind.
But then, you really don’t have to worry so much. Universities have no age limit. Therefore, a mature student is not some kind of freak.
You can relate to the younger students in your school by applying some of the basic dos and don’ts outlined below.
1. Don’t be a parent:
Okay, you are old enough to be the father or mother of some of the younger students in your school. So what! They have their own parents and they are not your biological children. So don’t try to be a parent. Just be a fellow student.
2. Don’t be touchy:
A school is a very informal place. Some of the younger students may be clowns or practical jokers. They may try to play expensive jokes at your expense sometimes. As long as it is done in good humor, don’t take offense and don’t get touchy. Just flow and blend with the kids. After all, your own kids may do even worse to you sometimes.
3. Don’t compare:
Don’t compare your own children to your younger classmates. As students, you are all classmates. Telling your fellow students: “I have children of your age” is not cool. It may even sound like an insult to them so don’t do it.
Find a way to participate in some of the extra-curricular activities. If you can’t play soccer or basket ball, you can at least play chess or scrabble with your classmates. You can be one of the “kids” without losing your self respect.
Young people are very touchy about being treated like kids. Know this and avoid talking down to your younger classmates. Treat them with respect and don’t ever try to put them down. This will make them respect you as well.
The basic reason you are in school is to learn. So, don’t be shy about asking your younger classmates for assistance. If you have problems with a particular course and the youngest person in the class happens to be a whiz kid, by all means ask him or her to assist you.
4. Have a sense of humor:
As a student, you cannot afford to be a grouch. Have a sense of humor and learn to see the witty side of every situation. This will make you cope better with school life as an adult and probably reduce your blood pressure as well.
Finally, understand clearly that other students in your school have their own lives to live. Therefore, live your own life as well and don’t feel self conscious.