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I am a college freshman at the age of 44, how do I fit in?
I am much older than the majority of students in my classes. I feel that the professors teach to their point of view and level of life experience. How can I feel like I am an equal contributor and how can I get what I need from the classes?
I went back to school at 45 and finished at 50 so I know how you feel. My best advice is join in on club activities, its a great way to make connectionsl And, don't worry about your age difference, when you talk to your classmates most will just accept you and develop friendships with you. I think it may be because older students walk in the door with a great deal of life wisdom and the younger students often see us as an asset to the classroom.
From my experience having a wide range of ages in the classroom was really beneficial. Some of my favorite conversations were with a grandmother who I sat next to every day! Open up to those around you and trust me when I say they'll be more willing to listen than you might think.
There's a funny saying that goes something like when we're in our 20s we think everyone is thinking about us, when we're in our 30s we don't care who is thinking about us and in our 40s we realize no one was thinking about us.
You're probably the only one thinking you don't fit in. If anything you probably have an advantage having seen a bit more of life.
Be open and interested in joining in the discussion and soon you will even forget there ever was a difference.