6 Strategies Nontraditional Students Use to Succeed in Academics


Nontraditional students are those who decide to pursue higher education years later after completing high school. Often such learners are 25 years and above and decide to take a break from school for professional or personal reasons.

There is a growing number of adult students, with statistics showing that they make up more than one-third of college and university learners. However, nontraditional students face a myriad of concerns when they return to school, such as worrying that they may not fit in or their study skills may not be at par with younger students. While those are genuine concerns, you can succeed in your education by using these strategies.

Get Involved In Campus

Active participation is a key part of a student’s academic success. When you participate in various school activities, you get to know more people and widen your social circle. This comes in handy in building your network.

Getting involved can be hard for a nontraditional student taking classes online. However, you can stay connected by joining an online club whose goals align with your niche of interest. If you attend a face-to-face program joining a sports team is a great way to connect and blow off steam. Go to campus events to interact with like-minded peers or join a research assistantship to boost your resume and cultivate your academic and professional network.

Manage Your Expectations

Professors grade students on results and rarely on effort. Thus you should utilize all available resources to achieve good grades and high academic performance. For example, outside the classroom setting, learners can use an essay writing service to get well-written that helps to understand the course better and act as a writing guide.

Additionally, take advantage of library resources and form a study group with other classmates. Finally, don’t forget to ask for help from the library staff and meet teachers after class hours to get further explanations on topics not fully understood.

Plan Adequate Time to Study

Nontraditional students juggle classes, work, family, and social life. Naturally, having too much on your plate leaves less free time. However, your topmost priority while in school is studying and getting the knowledge you will use to pass exams and get good scores on assignments.

To achieve this, you must create a schedule that helps you study the material over time. Set time after class to review the notes as the concepts are still fresh in your mind. This helps to transfer the information into long-term memory. Don’t focus on one course the whole day; instead, switch it up after an hour to ensure you study all the subjects in every class.

Learn the Course Your Way

While in college, as an adult, you might assume there is only a specific way of learning a subject. However, technology has made it easier to get educated from anywhere. As a result, apart from the brick-and-mortar classes, you can decide to study online to reduce commuter time or avoid moving away from your family. You can further use a specific study method or combine two or more to understand the class material better. So don’t hesitate to customize your studies to fit your life and meet various preferences.

Assign Plenty of Time for Each Assignment

While most professors will assign homework on the first day of class and expect it to be submitted at the end of the semester, some will set the deadline a few days or weeks ahead. If you pile the tasks and wait until the last minute to work on them, you will be forced to rush the writing process and hand in substandard work. Avoid the last-minute rush by starting assignments way before the deadline. This ensures you have enough time to focus on each task and give it all.

Come Up With Ways to Remain Motivated

Challenges can leave you discouraged while pursuing higher education as a nontraditional/adult student. That is why you should come up with effective strategies to boost morale quickly at the beginning of a semester. For starters, remind yourself why you are getting a degree. Maybe you want to increase your salary or to become an industry expert.

The benefits you stand to gain by getting a degree are immense. In fact, there is a wide earning gap between those with a college degree and those without. With a degree, your career opportunities will also increase and personal satisfaction. Rewarding yourself after a study session, having a positive attitude towards learning, meditation, and visualization are some techniques you can use to become motivated quickly.