Many people return to university as mature students over the age of 30, and it can be a very good idea. However, you are likely to have a very different experience compared to an 18-year-old student. Proper preparation for your time at university is essential, and there are a few important things to keep in mind that younger students may not have to think about. Here are a few tips that will make your time as a mature student more rewarding.
Make Sure You Prioritise
Your reasons for going to university as a mature student may be different from the last time you went. You may want to change careers, improve your employment prospects or learn a new skill. Whatever the reason, make sure you know what your priorities are.
For example, partying every night is less likely to be one of them. Social life is still important, but it is likely to be very different compared to before. You may be paying a lot of money for your studies, you may have a family to support, and you may even be working in a job at the same time. Just make sure you prepare for what you want to get from the experience based around your priorities.
You Have More Options for Where to Study
You may find that you have a wider range of options when you decide where to study. For example, not only do you have universities, but you also have online courses that you can study towards. This may be a better option if you want to fit in your education around your other commitments. Or you could consider evening or weekend classes if these are more suitable. Make sure you find out about all your options before making a decision.
Decide Where to Live
There are many tips for mature students online, and one that often comes up involves choosing where you will live. This time around, you may not be so keen to live in student halls. If so, you may prefer to rent a place with other mature students, or you may want to study in a local institution so you can stay living at home.
Expect Things to Be Very Different
Things will have changed a lot in the years since you went to university. Students now have laptops and tablets where before they may have only taken notes by hand. You may have more research options available to you through the internet. New services like those offered by Ivory Research can provide you with essays to base your research on. There are many possibilities that may be new to you, so research what is available and use everything you can to improve your grades.
Funding May Be Available
Further education can be expensive, so it makes sense to find out about the funding options that are available. Bursaries and grants are provided by companies and organisations, and one of these may be just what you are looking for. So start your research at the government’s website and see what you can find.
Join the Mature Students’ Society
There will be many more students your own age, so you don’t have to worry about being older. In fact, many will probably be older than you. If you want to hang out with people who are more your own age and at university for a similar reason, consider joining your Mature Students’ Society.
Make Your Return to University a Success
University is great at any age. No matter how old you are, you will probably find there are other mature students that are around your age to mix with. You may find that you enjoy learning alongside younger people as well. Just make sure you know what to expect when you return to university, and have a great time studying.
Jenny Wescott loves her work as a university career counselor. Working with students and professionals on a daily basis, she enjoys blogging about her insights into career advancement and educational opportunities.