Can You Walk a Mile in a Nontraditional College Student’s Shoes?

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Can You Walk a Mile in a Nontraditional College Student’s Shoes?

Imagine a student whose life is swamped with so many college classes and work duties that he or she must schedule some time to spend with family and friends. That is the situation that nontraditional college students go through every day of a school semester and still try to maintain a healthy family relationship. According to Jennifer Kohler Giancola and her colleagues, in an article titled “Dealing With the Stress of College: A Model for Adult Students,” Adult Education Quarterly, May 2009, “With an increase in nontraditional students attending college, there is a need to understand how work/school/life stress affects adult students” (246). Giancola and her colleagues’ statement are valid because nontraditional college students that work know how chaotic life is when multiple duties extend their entire schedule.

The article starts with information on the purpose of the study given to nontraditional college students who have outside stressors that conflict with college. Giancola and her colleagues talk about the importance of the study, and that colleges need to understand that stress affects nontraditional college students different from traditional-age college students. In this study, Giancola and her colleagues discuss three components of stress to understand how stress affects the nontraditional student. These three components include personal, work, and school. The article also talks about the comparisons between traditional and nontraditional students. Giancola and her colleagues also talk about coping skills that nontraditional students practice dealing with and how each student has his or her own way of coping with stress. The article ends explaining that ...

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...the work, personal, and social life context, can promote or impede their learning” (247). This statement is true because if these activities continue to impede the learning of a student then he or she will get stressed out, which could result in the student dropping all his or her college classes. If the student could just sit back and analyze the situation, life would be easier. For example, the student could reduce the number of classes he or she takes every semester. Reducing the amount of classes could result in more time spending with family rather than doing homework. When thinking of a person whose life is filled with frustrating duties and activities remember a nontraditional college students’ schedule of completing activities of school, working long hours, completing personal activities, and trying to spend free time with family and friends all in one day.

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