A different kind of non-traditional student

John Benedict

A diverse student body is strived for and welcomed by most universities. Look around and you will notice Georgia Southern University doing a great job at bringing different people from different backgrounds together. However, one overlooked aspect of campus diversity is age.

So where do we stand with non-traditional students on campus?

Believe it or not, there are a decent amount of non-traditional students at GSU. About 20 percent of the student body is non-traditional, according to College Factual. That is a much lower percentage than the nation-wide average, which is 40 percent.

Most non-traditional students all agree that after they graduated high school they weren’t ready for college. Most reasons stem from not having a set plan or goals and lacking in maturity. Stephen Escobar, 25, is a junior at GSU and came back to school to finish where he left off. Now older and wiser, Escobar feels he is in a better position to succeed in school.

“When I went to school previously, I felt as if I wasn’t mature enough to handle it and hence why I dropped out,” Escobar said. “Working a full time job for almost four years of my life, I’ve gained plenty of experience and knowledge that I can use both in college and the real world.”

Joshua Manning, 19, embraces the fact that some classmates may be from another generation than his own. He prefers a class with variety when it comes to age. Having a diverse student body helps open your mind and helps you obtain a new perspective.

“I like to get out and find people not my age and see what their thoughts on life are,” Manning said. “You get to meet new and different types of people and thoughts out there and find different viewpoints on different subjects.”