Sunday, August 28, 2005

EP--Advising-- New Students' Fears--Can I Do This?

EP-- Advising--New Students's Fears--Can I Do This?

Can I Do This?
Over the years, our numbers suggest that most of our students in LIS programs are between 37 and 42. While averages don't show the range of ages, they do indicate that most of our students have been out of formal education for quite a long time. So some of you who fall into this category may be asking, "Can I succeed in grad school?" My answer is, "Yes you can and probably more successfully than you would ever imagine." Why is this? Let me suggest some of the advantages that older students have. Some advantages come from career clarity, life experience, and maturity. Those students who are currently in the workplace and especially those in libraries, publishers, or the information industry have even more reason to feel prepared. What about younger or less experienced students? Aren't those students more accustomed to school demands and more up on technology? I'd say "yes" and "no". Let me list the pluses that matter.
  • Life experience matters because it gives us perspective and teaches patience.
  • Life experience brings most people a fairly realistic view of themselves and their abilities.
  • For many people, years of raising children, working, maintaining a house, managing money, and other adult life skills build a sense of confidence and also resilience in times of stress. I've told some students that changing thousands of diapers makes one able to face something as otherwise threatening statistics or html.
  • To someone with a three year old or a demanding, but boring job, sitting and reading may seem like a vacation.
  • If you want to do it, you can.
  • Think of pursuing your degree as a new adventure and an investment in yourself far beyond what it may mean to your career.
  • When it's hard and frustrating, be proud of yourself for facing the challenge.
  • When it's fun, exciting, or you do really well, celebrate!