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The Adult Student

The Adult Student

Megan Gilbert | Scrubs Magazine

The hardest job I have ever encountered in my life is my job as a mother. Next to being a mother, the most difficult task I have right now is being a mother and a student. My life has never been so demanding as it is at this very moment.

I long to be the 18 and 19 year old in my class who can donate every minute to studying. I wish I could have the 4.0 grade point average that so many of my fellow classmates maintain. The truth is, I am not sure how many adult college students with families and jobs can achieve such high standards. There is immense pressure in nursing school to get good grades in very difficult classes.

In the nursing program that I am enrolled in, a 78% is a C and anything below this is failing. The standards are set very high and nothing less is acceptable. I totally agree with the standards. Nursing is a field that requires much medical knowledge and skill. However, sometimes I feel as if these programs are not very accommodating to the adult student. For example, there are little to almost no classes in our program that are offered in the evening. This makes it difficult for us parents who have little ones at home, or 9-5 jobs during the day.

In addition, I cannot tell you how many professors have told me that you should not be working and school should be your only priority. True, but how is this realistic? The truth is, it is not realistic. Many people rely on their jobs alone to pay for classes and to put food on the table.

In tough economic times, the enrollment rate at our university is at an all time high. This semester, registration was closed to new students because the school had reached full capacity. More and more people are looking to college because education is almost essential in surviving in today’s world. Most married couples have to work just to make ends meet these days.

The amount of adult students in our nursing program is not surprising. At least 30-40% of the students in my class are married and have children. When speaking with other adult students about their experiences, they too feel the strain as well. It is difficult to balance family, work, and school. Difficult it is, but not impossible.

I just sometimes feel that there should be more accommodations made for students, but that takes resources. Resources require money and universities and programs are very specific as to what money goes where. I guess we will just have get through it together!

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