Well, for starters, what is a mature student? Universities define this as anyone over the age of 21... not much help when you are over 40!
So, I am a real, 46 year old woman, who woke up quite literally one morning disillusioned with my career choice in education and decided I need to make a change!
So, I sat down, pulled all my certificates out, wrote down my strengths, weaknesses, likes, and dislikes of careers, looked at the pathway to social work and family intervention, and thought right, put your big girl pants on and go get a degree!
Applying to UCAS is the easy part, and selecting the right uni is easy – the distance to my home, children juggling, school runs, and life is the hardest part!
My acceptance email from uni came and I whooped my head off in excitement, then it dawned on me...
Oh, my goodness... I’m 46 and going to be a full-time student!...
In October 2014, on the off chance, I called into my local university and it just so happened there was an open day on. I spoke to a lovely man who reassured me that if I wanted to enrol, I could, despite having two young children. I remember him telling me: ‘it won’t be easy, but you can do it, because I did.’ That year I chickened out. It was so easy to keep everything the same and not embrace the change. I consoled myself that the young man had a wife at home who could look after his children, but I regretted my decision, and so, the next year I went to the open day again. I found out as much as I could and applied to UCAS. I remember thinking that it was challenging to apply because I had been a stay-at-home mum for seven years and had no confidence. UCAS made the application simple and you could save it and go back, which I did many times. I was delighted to receive an offer and accepted it straightaway. This was just the start of my journey.
Each year, thousands of mature students apply through UCAS to study at a UK university. Unsure if this path is for you? Check out the inspirational stories from mature students studying at Staffordshire University to see if it’s the right journey for you!
Claire Wilkinson, Business management
I’m a single mum with two children – and a mortgage – living in Tamworth near Birmingham. I’ve worked for several years in a variety of different jobs, but I started to realise that the only way I was going to make real career progression was with a qualification as formal ‘proof’ of my skills and capability.
Studying an accelerated degree really appealed to me. It meant I could complete it in two years rather than three, reducing the pressure on family time and allowing me to get back into full-time employment sooner.
Like a lot of my peers at Staffordshire, I work part-time...
My last blog was about the things a mature student needs to consider… I’ll start my latest blog with a brief update on where things are at with me, as there were a few things I left open…
My health; I had my back surgery early last month; the surgeon is happy it went well. I had a badly slipped disc, so they cut away the part of the disc that was sat on the nerve. I’m still having issues with the nerve, as it was damaged, but the hope is that it will settle before too long. The great news is that last week I was given the all clear to start my rehab, so after four months of living a painfully sedentary existence, I’m now able to swim, do yoga & Pilates and play a little golf.
My long overdue return to work; I previously touched on my nervous breakdown on the...
As I write, I’ve just completed my first/fresher year at the University of Gloucestershire (UoG), and it’s been both an eventful and incredibly fulfilling experience so far.
Returning to study wasn’t a decision that I took lightly. At the age of 47, not unlike most people of that age, I had acquired a good set of life’s baggage and responsibilities. I also had a modicum of security in permanent employment, and a natural reluctance to jeopardise this. However, on the flip-side, I had a growing realisation that my career had reached an impasse. I had never really achieved the happiness and...
This is it. Those final weeks that make or break your A-Levels. Some people have been preparing for months; some weeks; others days. But how should you be feeling? Everyone is taking exam stress in different ways. I have seen so many breakdowns in lessons juxtaposed with people who appear to not even care. I am lucky. I have an unconditional offer to study next year but that doesn’t mean I am not feeling the pressure just like everyone else. Despite reading almost every article going on unconditional offers, I still worry that if I crack under the pressure and get 3 Us that I will not be able to study Music next year. All my life all I have wanted to do is study Music and the thought of not doing that makes me want to cry inside so I cannot imagine what those who have conditional offers are feeling right now.
I recently read an article about the brains of teenagers and how they should not be subjected to major exams such as GCSEs at 16. It claimed their brain is...
After nearly completing my first year of uni (!), I thought it may be good to reflect on my experience and give some tips for anyone starting next year:
1.You will meet some great people
One of my major concerns about going to uni was about whether I’d find friends and people on my wavelength. Happy to say, there are so many people in a university that you’re more than likely to find people like yourself. Don’t worry if it takes a bit of time, or if your friends change over the first year – you’re still getting to know these people and finding your feet!
Colette Simpson – Foundation Degree in Counselling
Colette Simpson was working in the hospitality industry as an assistant manager before she decided to take the leap and return to studying for a change in career. Colette had never been to university before, and had worked in hospitality since leaving sixth form.
While on a gap year teaching in India and Nepal, Colette felt she wanted to do something more meaningful with her career, and, coupled with personal experiences, decided her preferred route would be counselling.
Collette joined Newman University as a mature student, and studied a counselling foundation degree, which enabled her to continue working, and support her studies.
Colette felt the course at Newman University was perfect for her,...
Before you start looking at flights and dreaming of 5* holidays, take a look at your finances and be realistic with what you can actually afford. If you’re looking for
a summer escape with your mates, agree how much you can spend on flights and accommodation before you decide on where to go. If you’re travelling for a long time don’t forget to budget for three meals a day, transportation to and from the airport, visas, keepsakes, entry fees to attractions and a new passport if it’s about to expire.
Plan in advance but remain flexible:
Travelling around the time the schools break up is the most expensive time to get away. Last minute deals do exist, but by far the cheapest way of travelling is to book months in advance. You’ll snap up some gorgeous accommodation on the cheap by doing this....
1. Create a budget
The best way to help make sure your food shopping doesn’t leave you skint is to create a monthly budget of your outgoings and incomings. Factor in how much you spend on food and stick to your budget when you shop. It’s easy to go over by a few pounds each week but over a year this really adds up. Subtract money from your budget every time you pick up anything to eat while you’re out and about to get a handle on how much you’re actually spending on food - you might be surprised by how much you’re actually spending on takeaway food.
2. Take a shopping list
Before you head to the supermarket, write down everything you need and work out if you’ve got enough in your budget to buy it all. Shopping without a list can be lethal – you might end up with goods on offer that you don...