Thanks to www.brightknowledge.org for these excellent tips for mature students returning to education!
Returning to education as a mature student may be daunting. But, don't forget that being a little bit older also has its advantages.
Whether you want a change of career or just enjoy being a lifelong learner, studying in higher education when you are older has many benefits.
But for some mature students, adjusting to the academic lifestyle can be difficult.
If this sounds like you, read these handy tips to help you cope and turn your age and experience into an asset.
Age is an assetLook at ways of bringing your personality and experience before university into your studies to benefit you.
You may already be skilled at planning your time, writing drafts or have an understanding of the circumstances that enable you to work at your best. Also bring your experiences into play in seminars and group discussions.
Don’t run and hideIf walking into a busy lecture hall and realizing you’re the oldest person there is your biggest fear, then this is understandable.
But don’t let it ruin your experience.
Remember that everyone else will be new as well and probably as anxious as you though for different reasons.
Involve family and friendsStudying at university is likely to give you a big confidence boost and make you more assertive in how you deal with everyday situations. To avoid making those closest to you feel excluded, try to involve your family and friends in what you’re doing.
Have you thought about the school holidays?If you have children, plan ahead and ensure you’ve got childcare during the school holidays, allowing you more time to focus on your studies.
Study spaceThink about where and when you study most effectively. If you feel you get disturbed when you study at home, plan your day so that you fit your work around lectures and seminars.
Remember why you’re doing thisIf your motivation flags, remind yourself why you chose to study in the first place. These goals can sometimes be forgotten when deadlines loom or you feel stressed and anxious.
Strength in numbersMost university and HE institutions will have a mature students’ society. If you’re not sure how to join up, ask in your students’ union.
Joining will help you meet and socialise with other mature students. It’s a good place to get tips from students who’ve already learned to adjust.
Get connectedDon’t assume the other students won’t want to get to know you because you are a mature student or that you won’t have anything in common. All students bring a range of experiences and interests to university regardless of their age or background.
Try to get to know as many people as possible on campus. This will enable you to feel more connected and give you people to discuss assignments with.
Don’t suffer in silenceIf you’re struggling with any aspect of uni life, speak to someone. Most universities and HE institutions have counselors on hand who are willing to listen and help. Ask in the student services or welfare department for more information about this.
And finally, try to relax and enjoy yourself!University can be a fun and life-changing experience if you let it.
Try new things and be open to change and you can’t go wrong!