When I started taking classes at IU (back in 2009), I wasn’t sure how isolated I would feel being an older student (and I certainly qualify as “older” since I’m old enough to be a grandparent to most students) I wasn’t sure if young students would ignore me or make fun of me. There were a couple of tearful moments; one at orientation when a young male student treated me badly and the second just after a discussion class when I feared I might not have what it takes to keep up with all the reading required for that particular class. When that happened, I confided in a young student, burst into tears, and this young student wrapped her arms around me and reassured me that ALL freshmen, young and old, go through freak-out moments like that!
I’m happy to say that those are the only two “painful” memories that stand out in my five years at IU. When I think of my years at IU, I tend to think of how wonderful it’s been to be on such a beautiful campus, how much I’ve enjoyed virtually every single class and every single professor, and of how great it’s been bonding with some of the younger students! I have been beyond thrilled when they, the younger students, have asked me if they could by my Facebook friend! I’ve been so tickled when one of them would eagerly come up to me away from class to talk to me or, in one case, a young student walked with me almost every day to the class I went to after the class she and I had been in. I’ve found that some of the younger students actually find it comforting to have an older student like me as a friend. In an older student like me, there’s no threat, no competition, none of the dynamics that there might be in establishing a friendship with a younger student. So, in a nutshell, that’s been my experience at IU. My years at IU have definitely been some of the best years of my life!
Name: Kathy Wolf
Degree and Major: Criminal Justice Major, Art History Minor
Year of Graduation: December 2014