I used to think that the disconnect I felt with some fellow students when I was just taking one class at a time while working 60+ hours a week at my day job was because of just that. Type A person at a modestly ranked local college getting some general education credits out of the way. Not quite fitting in with other student, coming from work to class in a suit nicer than the professor had in their closet. Et al. Popular with the professors at least. One asked me what my thoughts were on the Caddy.
The frustrating thing is that I started out perhaps lower than most of those kids at this big university. There was/is no age gap. It was just that I had done a lot and moved myself up a lot. So I thought at a big top 75 university (which offered the best scholarship, unlike the very best schools who withhold most scholarships from transfer students OUCH!!) I would have more affinity with the students drawn from households with higher academic and career expectations. Hmm, what I found instead was students going to class in their pajamas at 10am and various other factors (big drunken parties) that led to me not really clicking with them.
I found this to make me a bit emotional in private, as I thought I would finally, finally find someone who had similar aspirations and motivations. Oh I think they do, they’re just at a different point in that arc. So I started reaching out to faculty, offering to do extra things for their side projects outside the university. Hey, that worked. I got introduced via social events to business people in the area, so now I’m rocking.
It just turned out that like the rest of my life, I’m always with people 20+ years older than me. Actually it’s not a total flop with the other students, I did meet someone from the mid-Atlantic and they were much more on the same page, but they’re at a different university in the area. More reaching out and I’ll find like-minded students yet!