Adult Learner's Advice to Fellow Mature Students: "Stay with it and Don't Give Up!" | UNB

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College of Extended Learning

Adult Learner's Advice to Fellow Mature Students

Adult Learner's Advice to Fellow Mature Students: "Stay with it and Don't Give Up!"

Going back to school is a big decision. You’re aware of the benefits of earning a degree, but you’re hesitant about the road to graduation. How will you squeeze in classes, assignments and studying into your already busy life?

The inspiration for Lynne Kaine to go back to university started because she was working with the City of Saint John for 20 years in a variety of roles and believed it was time to advance her career, but needed more education.

In the fall of 2014, she enrolled in the Bachelor of Integrated Studies (BIS) program at the University of New Brunswick (UNB). She learned about the BIS through her HR manager, who thought it would be a perfect fit for her.

“I knew this was the best way to advance my career and was determined not to let doubt or fear stand in the way.”

For Lynne, it took a tremendous amount of courage to overcome the challenges associated with returning to school as an adult learner, but what was more laudable was the strength she found in her family and support at her organization.

One major challenge Lynne encountered during her first year was the thought of going back to school after 30 years and having to sacrifice family time for her academic studies.

“I talked to my family, I said there was going to be a serious imbalance when I go back to school, and that’s just the way it has to be because the way that I study is all or nothing. If a class were in the daytime, my boss would allow me to go and take the course and then come back to work and then make up the time at the end of the day.”

Regardless of the challenges faced with pursuing an education while working full-time and being a single parent, Lynne was very thankful for the guidance from her academic advisor Lorna Campbell, and UNB resources that were available to assist her in completing her program.

Photo of Lynne Kaine

“Lorna was so helpful, we’d meet once a year, every May and we would take a look at where I was and where I wanted to go for the next year and set a plan.” I utilized the time management course that UNB offered at the very beginning of the year” She also took advantage of the writing centre.

According to Lorna, “Lynne was a very diligent and motivated student. Our Adult Learner Services staff specialize in working with adults pursuing educational goals, and we know that balancing family, work, and other commitments, in addition to study, can be challenging. Lynne’s educational experience at UNB is a perfect example of how our flexible programs assist students in customizing their course selection and schedules to meet their needs.”

Lynne completed her Bachelor of Integrated Studies program in May 2018. What made it extra special was she graduated alongside one of her daughters, Gracelyn (BA, UNBSJ 2018) and described her feeling on her major accomplishment as “relieved”.

“It was an unbelievable experience, and I felt very proud.”

Her daughter and friend organized a graduation party. We had friends over, delicious food, and all had a great time.

Lynne is an inspiration to her children, just as much as they are an inspiration to her.

“It took a while for it to sink in because I kept waking up thinking that I had to go back to school.”

Lynne’s advice to the future adult learner is “stay with it, don’t give up, keep going and talk to the professors because they want to help you to succeed. I wouldn’t have been offered this great new position at work if I had given up.”

Lynne was promoted to a higher-level position at her organization. She advanced from an administrative assistant to the role of community development program coordinator.

To learn more about the Bachelor of Integrated Studies visit or contact the UNB College of Extended Learning at (506) 447-3449 or email

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