On being a mature student

On being a mature student

by Erin Shacklette

When I first attended Mohawk College in 1999, I was scared and insecure. All I recall was being surrounded by thousands of other 18- and 19-year-olds. I didn’t join any clubs at first. I did join the soccer team in second year but didn’t make any lasting friendships. Although I did make a few friends in class, I spent most of those two years simply adjusting to life on my own. The school itself wasn’t that accessible for people with learning or physical disabilities. The cultural diversity was minimal but growing. I didn’t feel like I had truly experienced college life.

Fast forward to 2015. At age 35 I was back at Mohawk College, and this time was different. Not only had the campus changed but the diversity of the students was amazing. The school now supports students of all learning abilities and is more physically accessible than it used to be. There was something else that was different: me.

Being a mature student felt odd, but in a good way. I had life and work experience. I wasn’t as shy as I used to be. Heck, I would joke with some of the kids who had just graduated high school though I was old enough to be their mom (well, almost). I wanted to make the most of this experience.

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