What's it like being a mature student?

(46 Posts)
rockpink Tue 05-Aug-14 22:26:24

Starting University next month, first time, any tips?
PS I'll be 40...twice as old as the average student!

Lally112 Wed 06-Aug-14 02:04:41

Get a thick skin and learn to bite your lip. The kids there when I went as a mature student would moan about their dad cutting their money off so they couldn't go clubbing, their mum going through their rooms or objecting to their boyfriend, applying to hardship funds because they drank their money in the first few weeks or so and were always turning up without a pen. I would think "wait till you hit the real world with kids and a mortgage then you will know". Its not all bad though, As a mature I found I was better equipped to deal with the stress and pressure of it.

MorphineDreams Wed 06-Aug-14 02:13:15

Just be yourself. Can I ask what course you're doing?

I was with a lot of mature students, to be honest got along with them a lot better than people my own age.

nameuschangeus Wed 06-Aug-14 04:22:41

I'm a mature student and can honestly only say positive things about it. I'm the only one amongst my cohort and I truly don't feel any different to any if the 18-21 year olds (I'm 46!)

I very much expected to be left out if things and for nobody to want to work with me but it's been just the opposite. We all struggle with the same things. The advantages to bring a mature student outweigh the disadvantages IMO.

Hope you enjoy your course!

MexicanSpringtime Wed 06-Aug-14 05:02:16

I went when I was 30 years old and it was great, but the absolutely best students were in their forties and fifties. They knew exactly why they were studying, not like so many of the kids that just fell into it straight out of school.

Oodlives Wed 06-Aug-14 07:21:52

I'm ayart

Oodlives Wed 06-Aug-14 07:23:26

Sorry baby helping me!

I'm starting in September too, my course only takes about 30 so limited people to mix with although it's the sort of thing that may attract a couple of mature students.

Dropdeadfred2 Wed 06-Aug-14 08:26:31

I was a mature student..you will not be the only one. I never had a problem during in...Think there were alot of twenty somethings...and quite a few thirty somethings..but you are all equal in the fact you are all learning...I loved it!!!

Dropdeadfred2 Wed 06-Aug-14 08:27:03

fitting in I meant

sashh Wed 06-Aug-14 08:47:59

I went to uni in my 30s, no problem mixing at all. The only person I ever had a problem with was another mature student.

rockpink Wed 06-Aug-14 09:12:15

It's teacher training I'll be doing. 3 years!
I've joined the Facebook groups for the course and chatted a bit with a few who are leaving home for the first time!
I'll not mention how old I am smile
Thank you!

Oodlives Wed 06-Aug-14 19:20:08

There's only one other on my FB group !

rockpink Wed 06-Aug-14 20:35:17

OOh what are you doing Oodlives?

I'm also starting uni next month. I'm 28 and will be moving into halls (going to Bath and I live in Suffolk) so doubly nervous!

rockpink Thu 07-Aug-14 22:50:17

Good luck with your course, are you doing something fab?

DiaDuit Thu 07-Aug-14 22:58:56

good thread!

I'm (hopefully- if I get a place) starting a uni access course in sept (I'm 28) and quite worried about it but I suppose an access course is probably more likely to have other mature students.

how would I find the FB group for my course, if there is one?

I just finished my Access course. You may be one of the younger ones - Access courses really do have people of all ages.

I'm doing Psychology at uni.

DiaDuit Fri 08-Aug-14 16:04:13

Thanks purple smile

ImATotJeSuisUneTot Fri 08-Aug-14 16:12:10

Im a 'mature' student, at 28. Im loving my course. I'll be a qualified teacher when Im done - I work as an unqualified now.

Because I work aswell, despite the fact its a full time course, that was my biggest bugbear - other free as a bird students complaining they didnt have the time to read up, do assignments etc. Id have done 8-3 at school, rushed home to do tea/see my children, then onto uni for lecture at 6pm. Still found time. Its easy when you actively WANT to. grin

NapoleonsNose Fri 08-Aug-14 16:23:55

I was a mature student and went in my late 30s. I graduated last year at 41. I loved it despite, for the first two years, being the only girl on my course and only 1 of 2 mature students. Best thing I ever did and I didn't really notice the age gap at all.

Mature students tend to do well at uni as they are usually used to juggling and adapting because many already have existing committments. I still worked, commuted 50 miles to uni, looked after the DC and house and graduated with a first. It was hard, but I saw it as my one chance to prove myself and was determined to make the best effort I could. Good luck - you'll love it!

rockpink Fri 08-Aug-14 18:29:40

Thank you! There'll be a huge commute for me as well (I see that as a positive, time for me and only me to sing what I want as loud as I want in the car)
grin
I know what you mean about juggling, my access course was quite hard as well. I made a Facebook group for us all and when the lecturer sent us a "round robin" email, I sent everyone the link to join.
It was canny because we discussed exams and techniques between us all !

SlowlorisIncognito Fri 08-Aug-14 18:45:22

I've just finished my degree, and while I'm younger than you, I was older than the average student. Most of the mature students on the course were lovely and got along with everyone. People were always happy to work with them, and they got invited to social events as well. Don't worry about being excluded.

We also had a fb group for the course to share info and discuss assignments and so on.

I also commuted, and found it fine, although occasionally it was frustrating if I had to go in only for a 30 minute tutor meeting e.g. during reading week. If you make the university aware you have a long commute, they may let you change seminars/labs etc to make your timetable more sensible.

There was one mature student who didn't get along so well with doing a degree. He was in his 30s and had some experience in the field, so went in with the attitude he already knew most of it. I think if you go in with this kind of attitude, you won't do so well. Even if you think you know things, be prepared to jump through hoops and do things the way the university wants them done. He eventually dropped out at the end of second year.

rockpink Fri 08-Aug-14 19:46:37

Lordy, I know only so much about the degree I want to do! I think if I research too much up front I might cloud my judgement.
Apart from taking my own DC's to school and months of work experience in the classroom, I hope I'll train to be a great teacher with my eyes wide open and an equally open mind.
I'm so looking forward to it!!
Thank you all for your invaluable advice, it's great!

rockpink Tue 19-Aug-14 09:49:38

I have timetables now smile I feel so excited!
And I have just handed in my notice at work so this is all real now....

I'm a mature student and amongst the cohort I started with there was a 60/40 split between younger and older students. I've stayed on for further studies and I'm the oldest in our group now, but we do all seem to get stuck on similar things.
TBH I don't really notice on a daily basis.

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