Starting University as a mature student can be both an exciting and daunting time with much of the University’s resources sometimes appearing to be aimed at recruiting younger, undergraduate students. I asked my colleague Georgie to give us an insight into her experience as a mature student at the University of Worcester and here is what she had to say…
“I remember my first day at the University of Worcester back in 2011 –all of us beginning the BSc Human Nutrition course were gathered together by one of the lecturers, given a quick tour of St John’s campus and then plonked in a room and encouraged to get to know each other.
I hadn’t come back to University desperate to make friends – I just wanted to learn and get a decent degree, hoping to redeem myself from my first abysmal attempt at higher education when I had initially gone to University in 1999.
To be honest, I had imagined that my cohorts would all be teenagers who wouldn’t be interested in engaging with a thirty-something misfit. But how wrong I was.
First of all, they certainly weren’t all teenagers. Worcester has a large proportion of mature students and on my course of no more than 20, there were at least 4 other mature students, all of whom were ‘more mature’ than me!
From that first day, I quickly formed some great friendships, which enabled me to settle in and feel at home on campus. Secondly, regardless of age, everybody on the course got along really well. I couldn’t have imagined a lovelier bunch, all brought together by a passion for our subject.
As a mature student I think you are also more likely to build relationships with lecturers, which helps in a number of ways. When I first went to University in 1999, I wasn’t interested in chatting to my lecturers, and as a result I would struggle through an assignment rather than go to them for help. As a mature student this time around, I was forever knocking on someone’s door, not afraid to ask for guidance and advice over a cup of tea! (And the lovely Worcester lecturers are always happy to oblige, especially if biscuits are provided!) This is definitely one of the reasons I did so much better with this degree than my first one.
Confiding in lecturers can also open doors to new opportunities. I was given the chance to do a fascinating post-grad study project (a Masters by Research) because I got along particularly well with one of my lecturers, who is now my MRes supervisor.
So if you are advancing in years and contemplating a University course but worried you might be too old, I say just do it! I much preferred my experience as a mature student to when I had just left school, and got so much more out of it.
You might think that you don’t have the time, or that your family life is too busy, but I think that just makes you more organised and therefore better prepared to cope with the workload and the deadlines. If I can do it, anyone can!”
More information on being a Mature Student at the University of Worcester can be found here.