College has helped me to grow socially...
I started this year feeling probably the same way that most Non-trads do; I felt old and was afraid that I would stand out~ afterall, most typical college students were 6 plus years younger than me. This year came with a lot of wake up calls and surprises. For the most part I have fit in great and not in an 'I'm going to relive my youth!' sort of way. I came to realize that there was a lot to learn from the traditional students and I quickly grasped the concept that they are my peers. They are my peers now as they are the ones I am going to class with and can relate most with the stage of life I am in. They will forever be my peers in the fact that we will continue at the same stages of career as me too. I no longer look at them to b younger than me...we are just kind of one. I have heard many other non-trads, even ones in their 40's, say the same thing. I feel that Saint Martin's does do a good job of "bridging the gap" which I hope to help with as next year's Senator of Non-traditional Students. Many people outside of the college community are surprised when I say that some of my best friends are 19-22 years old and in that same age group are people who have taught me the most this year.
Additionally, I have become more open socially. I will admit that I grew up as a snob and have spent my life being quite judgmental, but through college I have gained a wide circle of friends that I probably would have not met otherwise. One example is that prior to Saint Martin's I as afraid to go downtown because I didn't want to encounter any "greeners" and truthfully, I was prejudice of anyone who might fit into that stereo-type. I have learned though that even though someone may not dress the way I do or act the way I do, that doesn't mean that they are any less of a person. I have made friends with some truly awesome people who I sadly probably would have not 'given the time of day' to before and those people have given me great insight on many topics. I may not always agree with their differing opinions but I have learned to respect them the same and to understand opposing views to my beliefs.
Thanks to all who have helped me to grow this year! Yes, this school has its individual conflicts at times, as any school does, but overall it has some truly great students- I love you guys; it's going to feel so weird watching some of you graduate and move away and missing others of you as you go home for the summer!