Dear Non-traditional Student

In my last post, I presented my research about how non-traditional student can be successful. Like many other studies I find out that non-traditional student’s success depends a lot on how they approached their college journey. Being self-confident plays an important role into success in college. One participant said, “I don’t feel like I really have any barriers besides myself, I’m the only person who can stop me from continuing.” I believe that the first step for non-traditional student to succeed in college is to know that they have what it takes to succeed and believe in their abilities. In other words, non-traditional student first secret is self-confidence. The prove is 86 percent of the surveyors believed their success is due to their self-confidence.

Now let’s figure out what “self-confidence” means and how a non-traditional student can attain that state of mind. define self-confidence as “realistic confidence in one’s own judgment, ability, power, etc.” I pondered for a moment after I read the definition. The word REALISTIC had me thinking. I was 31 with two kids, the youngest was only five months old, and a full-time job. How on Earth could I have been “realistically”confident it was the right time to go to college? I think it is almost impossible for a non-traditional student be “Realistically” confident.


How can someone who left school 10, 15 and even 20 years ago can be “realistically” confident that she/he has what it takes to be successful?  How can someone that has kids and a fulltime job can be “realistically” confident of her/his college success? How can someone that is struggling financially can be “realistically” confident she/he will be able to pay for college? just tell me HOW?

From my own experience there is no “realistic confidence” when it comes to non-traditional student success in college.

Non-traditional student has to be confident against all odds.  Non-traditional student cannot ignore the reality, but they should work regarless of the reality. For a non-tradition student being self-confidence is knowing your strength and your weakness, meaning, you should know who you are, and be willing to do the work into becoming who you want to be. One night in March 2015, I was struggling with the idea of starting college then I called one of my cousins. She said something that have and still help me “Nephtalie with all your responsibilities college will be difficult, but not impossible”

  • Being self-confident is looking at yourself and say even though it seems impossible, because of all my responsibilities, I believe I will find a way to be successful since I will ask for help when the need comes.

Making this statement is preparing your mind to success, it’s like you are telling yourself “you got this”

There are a lot to do in order to boost your self-confidence. For example, do yourself a huge favor try to avoid negative people. Those people are going to remind you every time they have the opportunity that “you need to be realistic” “you are too old to go to back to college” “you have too many responsibilities” “you cannot afford to pay for college.” I call those comments “noises” because if you start to listen to them you will not be able to listen to your own voice who is hungry for your success.

  • You need to Surrender yourself with people who are going to help uplift your self-confidence, People that are going to remind you of your dreams, goals, plan and purpose when the time comes. People who are going to encourage, support and guide you in your journey.

Many people have played and still playing this important role in my journey, and I thank them. Without their advice and support I am not sure of where I would have been today. In less than a year I will be graduating from Farmingdale State College with my bachelor’s in professional communications because of all the support that I received from my love ones. Most importantly because one morning I took action. Even though the reality was telling me it was not a good time. I got up and start the fight into becoming the best Nephtalie. Please try not to think about your responsibilities however, think about the person you want to become. You will find a way to make it works. I have.

  • Hey all you need is to be confident even when the reality is telling you otherwise. Don’t be “realistic” you can do it if you put the work.

You got this!


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