Friday, December 5, 2008

Lessons Learned from Being a Nontrad

I was journaling earlier today about my experiences as a nontrad. I thought that I would share some of the lessons I had learned from being a nontrad. We all know that life itself is a learning experience. I tell my children that life is an adventure and a learning experience. We are never too old to stop learning. Here are the lessons I've learned (so far) from being a nontrad:

Lessons Learned from Being a Nontrad:

1. Go for it! Nothing ventured, nothing gained: life is an adventure - live it!
2. Get to know your profs - they are a valuable resource (and come in handy for letters of recommendation).
3. People are impressed by your story.
4. Ask questions and bug the heck out of whomever you need to until you get a satisfactory answer.
5. It’s easier to study in the library that it is to study at home.
6. Starbucks is addicting- especially if there's one in the library on campus.
7. Ask for help – whether it’s tutoring, the prof’s opinion on your paper’s rough draft, etc.
8. Take advantage of the resources available to you.
9. Study groups are a good thing, even if they are with people who are half your age.
10. Develop at least one friendship in each class. It’s good to be able to have someone from whom you can borrow notes from if you have to miss a class or two.
11. Join at least one professional organization relative to your major. Take advantage of what it has to offer. Attend at least one of its conferences. (Think: professional development and networking!)
12. Take your favorite prof to lunch.
13. Don’t be a slacker. It pays to work hard and even harder still.
14. Don’t forget to spend time with your family - they're making the sacrifice, too.
15. Take your spouse out to dinner at the end of the semester as a way of saying, “Thanks for your support”.
16. Keep copies of your grades, transcripts, and what classes you have taken to date. You never know when you may need a hard copy of your records.
17. Join any honorary societies relative to your major - looks good on your resume.
18. Get to know a librarian - she knows her way around the library better than you do and is invaluable when it comes to research.
19. See your advisor at least twice a semester just to make sure you are when you should be with regard to your required classes. You don’t want any last minute surprises!
20. Get to know the profs in your academic major department - again, a good resource, networking and letters of recommendation.

Good luck!

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