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Housewife to student

(8 Posts)
Caffeineismydrug35 Mon 12-Nov-18 16:42:50

I’m 38 and in my first year of a three year degree. 99% of my cohorts are young enough to be my children and the older ones are still only early twenties. I get on well with them but can’t socialise with them due to life circumstances. I’m only 2 months in and massively out of my comfort zone. I’m travelling much further than I have in the last 20 years, as well as returning to studying again which is daunting enough. Add on the guilt of how much time I’m spending on my family/uni and we seem to be given ‘group work’ every week. More travelling, more time consuming and more socially awkward. I’m relatively intelligent but will never be the loudest person in the room. Anyone who has got through uni later in life have any words of wisdom? I’d never quit but I’m now dreading the next three years a little.

OP’s posts: |
PinkArcher Sat 24-Nov-18 21:10:14

I'm 38 and just started my third year. Hang on in there! Semesters are much shorter than school years and you'll be finished year one before you know it.

AlwaysColdHands Thu 29-Nov-18 18:08:00

I’m a lecturer and LOVE students like you! Mature students with responsibilities tend to be the most committed, reliable and engaged. Your guilt and feeling totally stretched is normal (sorry).

You’re investing in yourself, providing a great role model for your children, and once you’ve got that degree, no-one can take it away from you.

Let a bit of housework slip, don’t beat yourself up if you miss one or two things. Talk to your lecturers, see them for tutorials for reassurance, and fit bits of study in when you can - ten minutes reading here & there helps you stay engaged.

Best of luck, have courage! X

BernardsarenotalwaysSaints Thu 29-Nov-18 18:18:13

I'm hoping this will be me in September 2020 (seems ages away but I know it's not) I'll be 31 & this is my biggest worry.

I've a friend who's my age in her 2nd year & she found similar & said it got significantly better after Easter of her 1st year.

Caffeineismydrug35 Thu 29-Nov-18 20:05:47

Thank you for your replies.
@PinkArcher I can’t believe I’ve nearly completed my first term, I hope it continues to go quickly.
@AlwaysColdHands, thank you, that really is useful advice.
@BernardsarenotalwaysSaints it’s such a big adjustment but hopefully it’ll settle soon.

It’s a bit of a rollercoaster. I’m loving some elements but obviously struggling with others. The plan is to survive and hopefully laugh about this in a few years.

OP’s posts: |
LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 29-Nov-18 20:50:38

Chiming in with always! We love mature students.

I'd say, too: please make sure you are accessing all the support you're entitled to get. Mature students can be bad at this - if you've been very capable for the past two decades, it can be second nature to assume you should handle everything on your own, but that's not how degrees are designed to work.

Have you asked your tutor/course leader about the amount of joint work? Or raised the issue that it's less than ideal for you? It might be they simply don't realise that, and could vary the process. At the very least, they should be able to tell you whether such 'group' work will continue to be so substantial, and you'll be able to plan/see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Could some of this group work be done over skype? Could some of it be done via email? If you can, raise this with whoever is responsible for the module. IME, universities are trying really hard to show they have strategies for flexible, digital learning, so there's a decent chance they'll actually want to make this work.

Of course, your tutor may not be very helpful (and, if so, keep talking when you change tutors/start a new bit of the course). But it's definitely worth raising the issues. Otherwise, no one will really understand that you're facing challenges like this.

Bekabeech Fri 30-Nov-18 06:44:56

Congratulations! I'm sure it is a bit tough, but the "really" mature students I met as a student were all people I really admire. Yes they always "stuck out" but they were always really interesting to talk to. And you're a bit on the young side to be "really mature".
I've met people who did their degrees in their 60s and 70s.
And the one who sticks out most did his degree at Oxford in his 50s, what I remember most is the image of him scooting around college in his "commoners" gown, and it looking oddly shrunken on him. He must have missed his wife too (he lived away during term time), he was a lovely person.

EduCated Wed 05-Dec-18 08:38:04

Does your union have a mature students association? You might find others in more similar circumstances, even if they’re not on the same course. A bit of moral support from others who ‘get it’ goes a long way!

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