By Teresa McMurrin (Whetstone staff writer)

Not everyone in college is young and just out of high school.

More than a fifth of Wesley’s undergraduate students are over 25.

“These students have a different experience of college life,” said Dr. Patricia Dwyer, vice president of academic affairs. “They know themselves in a way that younger students do not.”

The non-traditional students come with more maturity, more knowledge of their own learning styles, Dwyer said.

“They know how to pace, how to use their time well,” she said, “and they have more of a sense of direction, and know what they want and where they want to go.”

They also want to get through college quickly.

“We know that we’ve got to get through,” said Veronica Conte, a non-traditional student on the Student Activities Board. “We have real bills, family responsibilities, so we’re wanting to get into the workforce as soon as possible.”

Older students don’t always do better academically because of additional responsibilities.

“I have two kids and a husband that travels,” Conte said. “I have to put in a little more work to plan things.”

Time management is something with which everyone struggles.

“Older students often have outside responsibilities, which certainly can put a strain on time,” Dwyer said.

The college urges non-traditional students to get involved in student activities.

For Conte, the problem is time.

“Many students don’t even live in Dover,” she said. “Some drive up to an hour to get here. A lot of the activities are at night, making it almost impossible for them to get involved.”

Conte believes having an open mind can help older students fit in.

“There have been some things I might not have preferred, but once I got started I liked it,” she said. “Be willing an open to new experiences; that’s what college is all about anyway.”