By Yvonne Condes
Arizona Daily Wildcat
All UA students need peer support no matter what their age, said Ann Wolnick, assistant director of Student Programs.
"When everyone looks 20, and you're 35, you need to know you're not alone," said Wolnick.
That is why New Traditional Students, a division of the Department of Student programs, was created five years ago. They are students over 25 and can be undergraduate and graduate students, she said.
New Traditional Students have a place of their own to go to study in the NTS Center in Student Union Room 349, Wolnick said. There is also a computer accessible and coffee available.
"It's one of the best kept secrets on campus," Wolnick said.
Aaron Farnsley, a 26-year-old Environmental Science sophomore, just discovered the center and likes it because it is quiet, he said. He came back to school two years ago with a different attitude.
"I'm older, and I see things differently than younger students. I can see some of the mistakes I made growing up and see others making them now," he said.
Social life for NTS is different, said Jack Perry, UA family studies junior.
"People over 25 tend to like different activities than people 18 to 24, like a Jazz night out instead of (listening to) alternative music or have a coffee outing instead of night at the bar," he said.
To cater to that difference, Perry, a transfer student from Kent State, became president of 25-plus Cats, a club for new-traditional students, he said.
"I know how it feels to think I can't be a part of (something) because it's just for younger kids," he said.
The club plans picnics and nights on the town for the students. The club, of about 12, meets every Thursday.
Carl Brines,40, an art history junior, retired from the military last summer and decided to go to school full time. He gets a lot of support from his family, mainly because they are students also.
His son Carl III is a media arts freshman, and his wife Anette is getting her master's degree in education.
Brines and Carl III come to school together every morning. In the afternoon, when Anette is finished teaching at Tucson High School, they switch off with the car and she goes to classes in the evening.
"I relate to them in a new manner," said Carl III. "I see them more as people than stodgy parent figures. It's really interesting to hear my dad combating about midterms."
Read Next Article