The following letters were written by current students for new students entering the university. They include tips and words of encouragement from our students to you!
Welcome to school. When you first come to the school you will probably be very intimidated, especially if you are on older individual and maybe school was not your strong point when you were younger. This was what I was feeling when I first came to campus and it does subside slowly once you realize that college is completely different than the traditional k-12 grades. The other thing that you will need is to find either a teacher or advisor that you feel comfortable with to discuss different issues and concerns that you may have.
Welcome to UW-Whitewater! I hope that your learning experience here is a positive one. Our university currently has a student enrollment of just over 10,700. Don't let that number scare you as there are many ways to get involved on campus. I encourage you to get involved. You will find your college experience more meaningful by meeting other students, and having fun doing the many activities available.
You might be a little uptight or even unsure about embarking on this new journey in life. I know I was. But with a little perseverance, dedication and hard work you too will make it past those uncertainties. Before you know it, you are going to be on campus attending amazing courses soaking up knowledge.
I want to commend you on going back to school. I am not sure why you decided to go back to school and I know you have your reasons, but I want you to remember on why you are going back to school. In the near future there are going to be times when you are going to get overwhelmed. I didn't realize how much time is needed to get good grades in school. The reason on why I want you to remember is during a Wednesday night and you have to write a paper and study for a test and its like 930 at night and you have to work in the morning, these are the times you have to remember why you are doing it.
I would like to share my experience with getting started at the University of Wisconsin. As a returning student, things have changed since last in class. No more paper assignments to hand in. Everything is online, which is so convenient. The D2L format is easy to learn and there is a help number if you get stuck.
Enrollment is also online. You have to click to sign the disclosures to "promise to pay" before the class will be added to your account. This is mandatory. Easier to pay online also as the cashier is only open until 4pm.
In all honesty the first semester of my first year as the student of a four year college was no easy feat. The difficulties of staggering home life, work life, and a full time school work load was not the easiest, to say the least. With the right networks to navigate through and the ambition to find a way to accomplish your college goal the load can be lessened by simple conviction of the mind to the task at hand.
Returning to school later in life can be a very nerve-wracking experience, but its well worth it. One of the biggest worries I had about returning was the age difference of me and a majority of the other students. Within the first couple of weeks of school I found out that I was more focused on my age than anyone else was. If anything, age was an advantage. I found that students tended to be more respectful and listened to my ideas more. I don't think my ideas were any better than other peoples, but because I was older I was suddenly wiser. Now I wish I could just get them to stop calling me “ma'am”.
I'd like to start off by giving you a little background on myself and telling you how I felt about coming to UW Whitewater this past summer. As the fact that I am writing this letter to you undoubtedly would make obvious, I am older than most of the other students. I am in fact a happily married mom of four beautiful girls, from ages 3 to 12, and I work part time in addition to going to school full time. I had previously been earning my BA through the University of Maryland's online college, UMUC and transferred here this semester.
While attending college at any age can be a daunting idea, going back when you are above the average age can cause some anxiety. It certainly did for me.
After high school, I had my first attempt at college before I moved here from Colorado and I failed miserably. With everything as different as it was at that time, and all thrown on my plate at one time, I went crazy! I hardly ever went to class; not sure what I was thinking when I rationalized not going. I even skipped out on taking one of my finals. Slept right through it. After just that one semester, I decided to work full-time until I was mentally and emotionally mature enough to handle the load.
This was my first year enrolled at UW Whitewater as a transfer, non-traditional, veteran, psych major student. I took four classes during the first semester, three classes during the second semester, and was also involved in the Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program all year. I work full-time at night and commute one hour. Just like many of you, I need something more in my life...