What’s it really like starting university as a ‘mature’ student?

Tuesday 16 April 2019, Mature students


What’s it really like starting university as a ‘mature’ student?

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!

I was adamant that I would attend every pre-starting workshop going – and I did.  Finance, student services, tours – you name it, I did it!

First day excitement – jittery butterflies, all the usual emotions, but not too bad, as I was familiar with the campus by this stage, knew where the toilets and cafe were – big help!

First week flew by, meeting new people, new tutors, new rooms, new way of learning! Reading, academic writing, speaking, discussing – all skills used fully in uni.

A hint for all newbies – always make the effort and attend as many skills workshops and free seminars, and use the library! It’s free.

I woke up two weeks ago and realised that semester two was drawing to a close, and my final assignments were submitted. Yes, I had made it through my first year at uni as an almost 47 year old and survived.

Bring it on September and Year 2 of my degree – I will smash you.