When Amy Glenzer, the office manager for the Alliance of Non- Traditional Students, was 17, her parents convinced her to go to the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, but she was not sure what direction to take in life.
She said even though being a non-traditional student comes with its fair share of challenges, she has learned more about herself over the years.
“One advantage of being a non- traditional student is you know more about yourself and what goals you want to accomplish,” Glenzer said.
Glenzer worked at Sentry Insurance for eight years and was also a homemaker.
“A college education is always helpful,” Glenzer said. “You’re going to hit the glass ceiling at some point in time in the working world.”
Glezner had gone back to UWSP when she was 24 and said she felt the age difference between her and traditional students. However, coming back in her late 30s, she does not notice it as much.
“I was more self-conscious about the age difference when I returned a second time,” Glenzer said. “People have asked me, ‘Do you feel weirded- out being older?’ and, surprisingly, I said no.”
While worrying about classes, Glenzer has a family of three children to tend to. When Glenzer talks with other non-traditional students, she puts aspects like being a homeowner or raising children into terms of credits.
“Dealing with bills or taking care of children could equate to three credits,” Glenzer said. “That would be added to 15 to 17 credits and I try to show people all the time those things take.”
Non-traditional students face their own set of challenges and Glenzer’s biggest challenge was the feeling of being alone in her educational voyage.
“I belong to two different communities,” Glenzer said. “One is where I teach Sunday school, go to music concerts and attend PTA meetings. The other is my college peer group where we are worried about the paper that is coming up.”
Glenzer said she isolates the two lifestyles. Also, Glenzer said she is glad to belong to the Alliance of Non-traditional Students because it provides them with a place to gather and socialize.
“Oftentimes, many of us have families outside of school and it is good that we can get to know each other and have a support system,” Glenzer said.