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adult learning and confidence

(4 Posts)
PookieDo Wed 17-May-17 21:42:11

I am doing a work sponsored qualification that I really want. I am excited about it but I seem to be losing confidence in my ability. I'm quite far out of my comfort zone, by far the eldest person (by a decade or more) in my tutor group and I've started to really doubt myself. I don't know if it is just nerves that will settle but everyone else seems to be further ahead and more clued up than me - when asked out in class, they all have ideas and I am quite blank and panicky.

I'm usually a really confident person who turns their hand to most things and usually ok at retaining information but my course is quite technical and full of acronyms and this seems to be befuddling my brain. I also feel self conscious due to my age and also even what I am wearing - it is supposed to be smart work wear, which I adhere to but they all dress casually so I even look out of place! I'm overweight and a frump and find it quite difficult to fit in with them all on a social level too

Any of you MNers able to help me feel more confident?

HarHer Sun 21-May-17 11:58:08


Your tutor should be able to help you with tips about remembering acronyms and technical terms. For me, writing things down in a 'glossary' helped.

As for other students being 'so far ahead' well, that is debatable. I have found many students can be very vocal in class, but their written work or practical work does not reflect their apparent knowledge. I have also known students to panic when others talk about how much work they have done or how they have finished their assignment (before anyone else has started!). Yet, every student is different. Some people may have a lot of high quality study time; they may have partners who will look after the family to ensure there is sufficient time to study or they may just work very quickly. Other students have many pressures and little time or they may work at a steadier pace. It does not matter. They all come out with the same qualification.

Socialising with others is nice. However, it is not the main purpose of the course. The course is there to help you with respect to career development. I am sure you are polite and approachable, but if the other students have formed a tight little bond, then so be it. When I was a student I had to leave straight after class to get home to my children.

Finally, I am sure that there will be more than one student thinking, 'I wish I was more like Pookiedo. She is so sensible and professional and she listens to everything the tutor is saying'.

However, if you really want to break the ice try this. When another student asks a question, make a comment such as. 'Ah that's something I was wondering about too' and smile. If they all go off for coffee together, join them. You have direct access to their group because you are a fellow student in the same class.

GoatsFeet Mon 22-May-17 11:32:52

It's great that you're out of your comfort zone - that's when you learn most. My skating tutor used to say that it's when you're falling over your feet that you're learning. But it's difficult, of course!

Just remember: why you're doing the course; the competencies and expertise you bring to it.

Don't worry about being older, or what you're wearing, or your body. No-one else really notices those things - they're all too concerned with coping themselves!

Part of it is that you've probably been out of formal education for a while. So it's seems hard to catch up. But when you do (and you WILL), you'll fly!

Peebles1 Sat 27-May-17 01:21:17

Do persevere Pookiedoo. I was in a similar position, doing a work sponsored degree and older than most of the others. To put it bluntly, I felt thick!! And that's despite already having a degree from a good Uni from when I was 18-21.
Basically I turned up when required, did the lessons and left. Most of it was distance learning. In the second year I did actually click a bit with the others, and went for lunch etc. Each year (I did 3) the students would be different people as they did different pathways etc.
But although I felt 'thick' in lessons, I gave it a go with assignments and my feedback was fine. I passed the degree fine in the end. It seems overwhelming at first but just keep plodding on, bit by bit. You'll be fine, I'm sure. ENJOY!! Xx

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