Non-traditional students sought for podcast

Photo by Scott Ritchie, Flickr (Creative Commons)

By Stanley Fredericksen, Guest Writer

Dear DMACC Student,

Did you know that non-traditional students (over the age of 25) are slowly becoming the new majority of college students as opposed to those fresh out of high school? Are you a late bloomer? A returning student? Do you want to share your experience?

Twelve years ago, I dropped out of high school, When I did attend school, I received mostly Ds and Fs. I failed remedial math four times.

Now, at 29, this is my third year at DMACC. This spring semester I am receiving my diploma for the Applied Engineering Technology program, starting the Pre-Engineering discipline, and beginning the Honors Program, all while working full-time.

There are a lot of things I wish I would have known before jumping back into school. I always thought of myself as having a strong mind and will. Last semester I went to school full-time and worked mandatory overtime six days a week in the middle of a semester that a coworker committed suicide.

Shortly after, a mentor of mine died of a heart attack. Out of nowhere, I developed severe anxiety. I was having panic attacks. It felt like every assignment, lab project, and test was going to kill me. I thought having anxiety made me weak. If something affects you physically, it is widely accepted to discuss it. But anything that affects your psyche becomes taboo. This was the hardest challenge of my time here at DMACC.

I am making a podcast for non-traditional students, like myself.

The aim of this podcast is not to single you out in some type of interview interrogation process. But merely to record a conversation over topics like stress, age, obstacles, victories, failures, and the overall experience as a returning student.

There are 9,000 students experiencing DMACC, both as individuals and collectively as members of the student body. Speaking publicly about issues as a non-traditional student could provide hope for someone who thinks they are facing problems all alone. How many people know about the counseling services at DMACC? How many people will have the courage to seek help?

Let us talk about your experience at DMACC and how you feel about it.

__Why did you come back to school, are you following a passion or a calling?

__Perhaps you can tell us how you cracked the code for becoming the perfect student.

__How do you juggle working full-time with a family and taking classes?

__What are challenges you’ve had to overcome to reach this point?

__What are some of your opinions of how DMACC could improve?

The questions listed are just examples. Your voice and your story are what is really important. Tell us who you are.

If you are interested, please email me at swfredericksen@dmacc.edu

Sincerely,

Stanley Fredericksen

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