Non-Traditional Students

 Nontraditional students are diverse in background, and are frequently characterized by being outside of the usual college age range of 18-22. They are not just categorized by age, however, but also by having experiences that are different from the typical traditional undergraduate student. Here are some examples of nontraditional students:

     -18-22 year-old individuals who are raising children with or without a partner

     -Older people who are returning to college to further their career or begin another career

     -Individuals who have never previously attended an undergraduate program

     -Any age person who is taking care of family members who are elderly, significantly ill, and/or have a disability  

     -Students who are working full-time and attending UNH full-time

Nontraditional students can experience distress just like typical students. In fact, their stress may sometimes be more intense given their greater responsibilities and adjustments. For returning students, course requirements and technology usage may be very different than when they were originally in college.  Students who are taking care of other family members and/or working may be finding it too difficult to fulfill their academic responsibilities. Even if other people in your life are supportive, they may not totally “get” what you are going through. In fact, you may be one of the few or only people you know well who are in college right now. Also, being in classes with mostly typical college students could feel isolating.

While nontraditional students often have much resilience, they can experience low self-esteem and anxiety when faced with these obstacles. Feeling this way is a natural reaction to stress.

There are ways that you can engage in self-help to reduce your stress. For example, you can listen to music, speak with friends and family, and/or take a relaxing walk. You can also remind yourself that you have succeeded despite hard situations before – otherwise you would not have made it (back) to college! You may also want to try some relaxation strategies such focusing on nothing but your breathing and/or a calming person, place or object. For information on mindfulness strategies, visit the rest of our website and the Office of Health Education and Promotion.


Here are some campus services that may be beneficial if you are experiencing academic or career difficulties:


-University Advising Center:

89 Main Street, Hood House


-Center for Academic Resources:

Smith Hall, 2nd Floor

3 Garrison Avenue (corner of Main Street and Garrison Avenue)


-Student Accessibility Services:

Smith Hall, 2nd Floor

3 Garrison Avenue (corner of Main Street and Garrison Avenue)


If you are feeling like stress has been negatively affecting your mood, sleeping, eating and/or you have been feeling quite nervous on most days for the past two weeks or more, we encourage you to speak to a counselor at UNHCC. We are located at Smith Hall, Room 306 and can be reached at 603-862-2090/TTY: 7-1-1 or 800-735-2964 (Relay NH). If you are experiencing stressors that are interfering with your personal happiness and academic success, contact UNHCC to make an appointment to speak with a counselor. If you are feeling that you are a danger to yourself and/or others, visit UNHCC immediately or call 603-862-2090/TTY: 7-1-1 or 800-735-2964 (Relay NH) if the center is physically closed. If you are not comfortable doing so, contact 1-800-273-TALK, a free crisis hotline, or go to your local emergency room. UNHCC offers short-term individual and group counseling. For more information about UNCC services, please visit the rest of our website.

Sometimes stress can produce physical health changes. If you experience physical health problems, please contact UNH Health & Wellnes to make an online appointment or by calling 862-9355/TTY; 7-1-1 or 800-735-2964 (Relay NH) to speak with a triage nurse.


We wish you the best for a successful academic year!