Illinois State University
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Advice for Adult Learner/Nontraditional Students

Here are some tips from current and former adult learner/nontraditional students that you may find helpful in your transition to Illinois State University.

  • “Submit your financial aid information as soon as you receive it!"
  • “Don’t isolate yourself. Meet other students, staff, and professors. You have a great advantage when you need help to already know people who can lead you in the right direction – and it makes you feel more connected to the University.”
  • “Get to know your fellow students. Don’t let the age difference stop you. We’re all in this together.”
  • “Ask the librarians at Milner Library for help. They are great!”
  • “Eat at campus dining centers on campus. Most of the campus dining centers, like Watterson Towers and Linkins, have microwaves for you to use, in case you bring your lunch.”
  • “Meet with instructors during their office hours. The time spent in individualized learning settings is well worth it.”
  • “Traditional students are very nice! They automatically think that we are super-focused and very smart. They know how difficult getting up the guts to go to college is. They understand what it takes to attend classes daily, and they empathize more than you expect they would.”
  • “Put money on your Redbird ID card. You can use that money to eat at campus dining, pay for copies at the library, and pay for parking at the pay lots, so you don’t have to dig for change when you need it.”
  • “The library is not the only place to study on campus. The Bone Student Center has lots of quiet places such as the Atrium, East and West Lounges, and the 3 rd floor. You can eat there too, unlike the library!”
  • “Be patient with yourself. Every semester becomes easier as you learn more about campus. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.”
  • "Make sure you have a support group. Whether it is family, friends, or Women’s Mentoring Network, trying to get through the semester is a lot easier when you have people surrounding you who encourage you.”
  • "That it is okay to say 'No' when approached to take on one more thing."

Illinois State University

University College
Normal, Il 61790-4060
Phone: (309) 438-3217

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