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Mature Student Mutual Support Thread.

(128 Posts)
unleashingtheflyingmonkeys Sat 13-Aug-16 05:27:35

Hi all,

I go back to uni in Oct to continue on with my LLB. There are very few mature students on my course and I am the only parent so I would really like some other students to talk to. About anything really, how your course is going, managing workloads, trying to socialise - so I don't feel so alone.

I am trying to prepare for going back, reading more to stretch my brain, getting a jump on some of the work, preparing workspace etc.

If any academics are also around, any studying advice would be really helpful - how you prepare for assignments, tips on how to prepare for exams, how to manage your workload and time more efficiently (something I'm trying to improve upon from last year),

I thought I'd try to start a thread where we could mutually support each other (so I don't feel as isolated as I did last term).

GracieAmbrose Sat 13-Aug-16 06:43:43

Morning! I'm a mature student, about to go into my final year of my LLB. Let me know if you want to chat. I'm just the same, there are a few mature students on my course but I've only met one other with children, it makes things really tough!

TheDrsDocMartens Sat 13-Aug-16 07:12:38

I'm in my last year of my degree this time. I'm doing a subject that needs practice out of the course and it's been very difficult to manage due to commuting /disability/children.
I'm currently trying to get ahead on reading/dissertation prep before I go back so at least that's out of the way

GracieAmbrose Sat 13-Aug-16 07:23:48

Yes same, I'm trying to read up for my dissertation as during the year I'm constantly playing catch up and always behind. I figure If I read ahead now I'll be at an advantage come term timesmile

Emochild Sat 13-Aug-16 07:29:34


Also going into my final year
There are other mature students on my course and other parents -but they all have supportive partners
I'm a single parent, one of my dc has ASD and they don't understand why I can't just meet up on a Sunday afternoon for a coffee and group study session hmm

No dissertation for me, we have to do a practical 'enquiry' on our final placement

Fortunately only 1 exam and everything else is assignment based -exams are not good for my nerves

GracieAmbrose Sat 13-Aug-16 08:58:46

My partner isn't hugely supportive. The meeting up is difficult - I commute so if its a late meeting, I can never do it as I have to get home in time for bath, story and bedtime.
I always feel like I'm behind and letting someone down.....

booksandchoc Sat 13-Aug-16 09:06:13

Hi, I'm due back in 4 weeks for 4th year. I've been trying to do reading, dissertation prep but with a 4 year old it isn't always easy. I always find other things to distract myself with when I'm meant to be studying then I'm always cramming in as much as I can at deadlines. Hoping this year to make more time daily to be at uni and study rather than be at home not studying.

YouMakeMyDreams Sat 13-Aug-16 09:09:01

I am starting in September. 1st year eek.
Doing BaH in social sciences.
I am both very excited and absolutely terrified.
In Scotland so Dc are back at school on Tuesday giving me a couple of weeks to get the house in order and prepare myself.

Sofabitch Sat 13-Aug-16 09:10:57

Yo. 34 year old mum of 4 here. Just going into my 3rd year... im still avoiding dissertation reading. But ive already done a 6 week placement in the area I will be writting up on.

I'm studying Biomedical Science. Which seems to have an insane amount of contact hours. Leaving no time for reading etc.

A support/chat/procrastination thread would be amazing

booksandchoc Sat 13-Aug-16 09:35:21

Sofabitch, I'm also doing biomed, I found first semester of 3rd year was a lot, but second semester wasn't as much contact hours. Where are you studying?

Sofabitch Sat 13-Aug-16 10:31:26

I'm at Portsmouth. I was restricted rather by the commute distance to anywhere else. But tbh i love it there.

I have to spend a lot of time in the lab for my final year project and it really feels like the pressure is going to be on!

unleashingtheflyingmonkeys Mon 15-Aug-16 20:06:34

Gracie - I'd love to chat, the degree itself is so hard and I'm struggling to balance parenting, study and everything else.

I am looking forward to buying new stationery, nothing like a shiny new planner so send motivation sky high. I have recently moved to a new house so will also be starting to commuting to and am dreading that.

Looking forward to talking to other student parents xx

GracieAmbrose Mon 15-Aug-16 21:16:16

Hi again unleashing

I'm finding the degree really hard too, I've always heard that mature students tend to do better then the younger ones but its not the case for me!

I'm working on my motivation at the moment too - I'm trying to read ahead so that I don't feel so behind when I return.

Where are you studying?

Mum24Girlies Wed 17-Aug-16 14:59:12

I'm about to start a university degree in September and kinda worried about a couple of things.
1...will my children be ok? I've been a stay at home Mum for the past 7 years
2...will I fit in with all the youngest of today? I'm classed as a mature student even though I'm only 28 and not sure if other people will have children on my course :/

Gem xx

Sofabitch Wed 17-Aug-16 18:36:35

Mum24Girlies it will be a complete change of expectations and might take a while for them to get used to it. A lot will depend on your course and how flexible it is.

I joined the mature student society at my uni and that really helped. But there were also several other mature students on my course. The young people are fine.. but you really do notice how immature they can be... they seem to have matured though (either that or have left )

Tips.. if you can afford it get a cleaner and good full time childcare. My friend sorts her child care ad hoc on a day to basis and often has to miss lectures etc its really stressful and does affect her grades.

What are you going to be studying?

Monroe Thu 18-Aug-16 16:19:08

Hello, can I join? I start in just over 4 weeks studying midwifery. I'm 41 with 2 DC'S and although there are a few other parents on the course I am definitely the oldest and most have done access courses whereas i have been out of full time education for over 20 years

I'm giving up a full time job and worrying about how to manage the massively reduced finances, juggle childcare, work shifts and still see my family whilst also completing assignments and not falling behind with studying!

wizzywig Thu 18-Aug-16 16:22:06

Yoohoo! Im a mum of 3 who have sen. Im hopefully handing in my masters dissertation in a couple of weeks then embarking on another distance learning degree. I tend to increase childcare and cleaners when it comes to handing in of assignment time.

TwoLittleBlooms Sat 20-Aug-16 10:13:06

Hi, not sure if this thread is just for mature students in a bricks and mortar uni or can we join if we are distance learning students? I am 37 and just starting a OU degree studying Natural Sciences specializing in Astronomy and Planetary Science. I have two children - a toddler and a teen with AN.

paddlenorapaddle Sat 20-Aug-16 14:04:47

Can I join mature student former SAHM of two

Start first year in September already panicking after registering with university internal computer systems it all seems a bit much

And then there's not particularly supportive partners and childcare sigh

GracieAmbrose Sat 20-Aug-16 14:44:07

Hi paddle, I know how you feel regarding the unsupportive partners bit! I get on with it regardless and ignore him tbh. What are you studying? It'll fly by, I'm about to enter third year and am confused as to where the last two years have gone!

paddlenorapaddle Sat 20-Aug-16 15:12:57

Worcester it's seems like a great uni but I guess the hardest part is just starting really

How did you manage to study around home life X

paddlenorapaddle Sat 20-Aug-16 15:13:43

Hi Gracie waves

GracieAmbrose Sat 20-Aug-16 17:03:27

It's difficult to be honest! I try and muddle through best I can. I keep telling myself I'm doing this for my sons future and that gets me through the nights when I don't get much sleep. What subject are you doing? X

J0kersSmile Sat 20-Aug-16 17:20:27

I've just applied for a full time degree course!

Do you mind me asking some personal questions?

Background. It's an earn while you learn course and you only go in one day a week. I have my placement sorted but it's a volunteer placement as I was going to go to college and do a level 3 course but they're not running it anymore. Before I could have kept my job but now I'm going to have to resign. There are plenty of jobs that come up all the time at my placement and I'm pretty sure with experience they will take me on paid but I haven't got that far yet.

Can I claim housing benefit on top of the maintenance loan and will my working tax credits go down.

Is a maintenance loan and child tax credits enough to live off of since students don't pay council tax.?

Am I being completely stupid to give up my job and study for the career I want while keeping my fingers crossed that a job comes up I can take to fit in with uni comes up?

Sofabitch Sat 20-Aug-16 19:31:26

Student finance doesn't count for tax credits purposes. Single parents can claim housing benefit some is taken into consideration... but I don't know how that works with the new system.

Your working tax credits will stop if you stop working. But if you have a partner they may go up as you won't be earning. I really recommend going to see the finance advisor at your uni they know in great detail and can calculate what you'll get.
I found that super helpful.

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