Returning to university after years of working, starting a family, traveling or something completely different can be scary and a bit overwhelming at first. Being a mature student is a different experience from going to uni right after school, but that doesn’t mean your experience has to be any less enjoyable. In fact, there can actually be a lot of benefits with being a bit older in university. Here is some advice for those that are returning to education!
Don't Be Afraid
You might be worried about going back to studying and adapting to the busy life of a student. It’s perfectly normal to be nervous but education is for everyone, and being a mature student might actually be to your advantage. You will benefit from your previous education, even if it was several years ago and you’ll have skills younger students will not. Time management, public speaking, and teamwork are all skills you will probably have practiced before coming to uni and this will help you a lot in your studies!
Get Support From People Around You
Going to uni as a mature student is a big decision and it’s important that you feel supported by the people around you. Make sure you let your friends and family know why your studies matter to you and be clear about your priorities and commitments. Share your weekly schedules and don’t be afraid to ask for help when the deadlines start creeping up. Balancing uni and regular life can be difficult but not impossible with the right support from the people you love.
We know how busy life can be for a mature student at uni, but there is a lot of you can do to make your time at Essex much easier. Many lecturers will announce deadlines and assignments far in advance so make sure to have a look on Moodle or ask them in person so you feel prepared about what’s coming. If you get started on your assignments early, you will not only be more flexible if something unexpected happens in your personal life, you’ll also be able to ask for the right help and support. There are a lot of resources on campus available to you, such as the Talent Development Centre, your personal tutor, the library and Student Support.
Find New Opportunities
To some it may seem like uni is all for younger students, but there is a lot you can get involved in even if you’re more experienced and have different interests. You are always welcome to join us in our great nights out, but there are a bunch of societies, sports clubs, and events that are great for mature students.
On our Colchester campus, we also have a theatre, a cinema and an art gallery on campus for any student to enjoy. If you want to find out what’s going on that might interest mature students, make sure you join the Mature Students Network (its free!) to receive updates about interesting things that are going on and get involved in making life at Essex Uni amazing for mature students.
Talk To Other Students
Around 20% of students on Colchester campus are mature! You’ll meet students in a wide range of ages with completely different life experiences. Essex is the world in one place, and you can have an incredible time here and being a mature student doesn’t stop you from experiencing that. Just go out there, talk to other students and there’s a great possibility that you’ll find friends for life!
If you want to meet other mature students and make a difference on campus, join the Mature Students Network! The network will able you to meet other people with similar experiences as mature students, get support as well as being able to express your opinions and make change for mature students at Essex. It’s completely free to join and only a click away!