The Top Five Excuses Adult Learners Use Not to Go to College … And advice about why these excuses don’t fly

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You wake up every day to return to the same job you have been dragging yourself to for the past 10 years. However, you don’t see a way out. More sitting at a computer crunching numbers you don’t care about; or performing mind-numbing data entry; or performing work that, let’s face it, was fine 10 years ago, but is starting to wear on you physically now.

You’ve always been interested in helping people, or working with computers, becoming a nurse, or [insert your interest here], but you’re not sure if you can hack going to college at this point. You don’t have time. You’re afraid of math. Your cat wants you home at night. The excuses are endless.

In today’s world, there really is no excuse for not being able to attend college.

“In today’s world, there really is no excuse for not being able to attend college. With more convenient course offerings and flexible structure, students can achieve their academic dreams if they take the first steps,” said Bobby Cubriel, Director of Advising & Counseling Services at Victoria College. “Students who dream of going to college can achieve this goal if they are truly willing to be a success.”

Here are some top excuses. We’ll work on debunking each one.

Excuse #1: “I didn’t do well when I was in high school. Therefore, I won’t do well in college.”

Who you were in high school has little relevance to who you are today. Your values, interests, and yes, your skills, have evolved.

You might be sorely out of practice at playing football today, though you might have been great at it 20 years ago. Likewise, you might be a great student today though you weren’t when you were younger.

“We have students in our programs that historically face obstacles such as economic hardship and challenges with balancing the obligations of work, school, and family,” said Renee Deaver, Victoria College’s KEY Center Director. “But when they discovered all that Victoria College has to offer and utilized those resources, they realized their educational goals were in reach.”

Excuse #2: “I don’t have the time.”

We’re all doing a million things. However, think of the time that is wasted in your life when you’re unhappy with your career path. We tend to compensate for our unhappiness with other huge time and money wasters.

Most community colleges cater to busy adults. At Victoria College, day and evening courses are offered at the main campus as well as centers located throughout the region. Also, many parents like taking online courses, which allow them to complete their studies without having to arrange childcare. Through online learning, students are able to take their classes when their children go to bed, on their lunch breaks, or whenever it’s convenient for them.

You will probably find that when you begin learning material that resonates with you, you will have a lot more energy and time than you thought to get the work done.

“When adult learners come to college, many also have children and jobs, which makes balancing their time very difficult,” said Magali Silva, Victoria College KEY Center Counselor. “At Victoria College, we offer students free workshops on time management. We also offer tutoring on Saturdays and evenings.”

Excuse #3:  “I can’t afford it.”

You may think that college is out of your reach because of cost. However, college may be more affordable than you think.

“Financial assistance is available to those who qualify,” said Kim Obsta, Director of Financial Aid.  “Assistance can be received in the form of grants, loans, and scholarships. Even part-time students can use financial aid.”

Obsta encourages all students considering college to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, the first step in the financial aid process, by going to

Excuse #4:  “I can’t do math.”

So you haven’t done calculus since your junior year of high school. So what? You won’t be thrown into calculus your first semester (and maybe not at all if your degree or certificate doesn’t require it). When you enter as a new student, you will be placed in courses that match your comprehension level, and you will start there.

For those who see math as an insurmountable challenge, like walking the entire length of the Mohave Desert with no shoes, Cubriel encourages some perspective.

“Many students walk on campus already believing they can’t do it,” he said. “It is this initial perception that I believe holds students back from achieving their dreams. Case in point: One student, who was hesitant to start her path towards nursing, due to the math requirements, made the dive and is now close to graduation from the nursing program and looking forward to her career in the field she loves. This was made possible by the concepts that were taught in her Academic Foundations math courses, which prepared her for success in her chemistry and nursing courses.”

Excuse #5: “I don’t know what I want to study.”

You know that you want to earn a degree in something; you just aren’t sure what that something is yet. Do you keep putting off college until the bolt of inspiration comes?

“Victoria College offers general education courses, such as English, history, math, and government, that meet many students’ interests,” Cubriel said. “VC also offers introductory courses into many disciplines, such as business, accounting, or criminal justice, so students can explore professions before beginning a career path.”

“Our Advising & Counseling Services Office provides tools and resources to help students explore professions they would be best suited for, as well as workshops to help them through the hiring process,” said Lisa Elsik, Career Services Advisor.

Cubriel said Victoria College is changing the misconception that college is only for those recently graduating high school seniors.

“Adult learners are, in many cases, better students because of their experiences in the real world, and they now understand the value of their education,” he said. “We cherish our adult learners because of the insight they bring to the classroom and their desire to learn.” CF

Need help determining an area of study?

Access Victoria College’s Career Coach for help finding a good career. The online career tool provides the most current local data on wages, employment, job postings, and associated education and training.

Need help creating a career plan?

Once you are enrolled at Victoria College, you will be able to get a free account to VC’s MyPlan website. MyPlan allows you to create a personal portfolio that can help you learn how your personality, interests, skills, and values can lead to exciting occupations.

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