Crystal Tyler

Balancing school and other responsibilities

Crystal benefits from having already learned many of life's most difficult lessons, and this is something she appreciates about being a nontraditional student. "I do not have free time like many students, [and] spend a lot of time over the weekends studying," rather than going out, she explains. 

She is also grateful to be married again, to an elementary school teacher who wholeheartedly supports her academic and career goals. These responsibilities bring benefits, and sometimes additional challenges and stress, too. After classes, "I have to get my kids from daycare at a certain time, and go home to my family every night." In this respect, Crystal finds that her schedule is often different from that of other undergraduates. "It can be difficult," she says. "I have to cook supper and put the kids to bed before I can do homework." But, she adds, "It is good." 

Some advice, in Crystal's own words

"I’ve had some hard life experiences, but they have made me not take anything for granted. I feel blessed to finally fulfill my dream after all these years. It’s important for me to show my daughters what it means to be resilient: even when life kicks you down, you can never give up on your dreams. If you’re considering returning to school as a nontraditional student, just do it. If you wait until you are in the perfect place, you may never do so. Just do it."

Around campus

Favorite place to study

"In the Education Library."

Favorite campus eatery


Favorite IU tradition

"Home football games!"