Returning Adult Students at Bergen

by Andreas Chenvainu 

Bergen Community College’s student body members over the age of  25 are returning for higher education. 

According to the 2020-2021 Bergen Community College Factbook, in 2020, 17.1% of enrolled Bergen Students were between the ages of 25 and 34, and 9.9% were 35 or older, an indication that about quarter or more of the Bergen student population consists of returning adults .

Motives for returning adults differ depending on the student and for one student, Rose Becker who is majoring in Journalism, the reasons are personal. Becker aims to prove to herself that she has the smarts to finish higher education, and “to accomplish something I should have at eighteen.”

Her experience hasn’t been easy, and reacclimating to school has been an uphill climb. Not only do returnees face the pressure of academics, there are also unique challenges to rejoining college life in adulthood. “I had to relearn how to study, how to organize myself, how to do research,” said Becker, who also works full time alongside college. “After you work an eight-hour day, you get tired, especially at my age. The day wears on you. It’s not like you’re 18 or 19. You get tired more easily.”

It is a challenge Becker is willing to undertake to pursue her goals. After graduation, she hopes to go into the news business, to write for a small news station. Despite the effort of returning, Becker remains optimistic. 

Even with more modest ambitions, this hasn’t stopped her from imagining greater goals. “I’m hopeful that when I get out of here, I’ll make a decent living doing something. My ideal would be to work for CNN in Atlanta.”

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