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Tips & Advice

Thoughts as a Mature Student - A Student Blog

By nicsl 14 May 2019

What does your typical student look like? They are probably eighteen years old, they have just completed their A levels or equivalent qualifications, they live in halls, they've moved to a new city and they are out partying during the week, as it's too expensive to go out on the weekends.

And me?

When I started university, I wad twenty two years old. I had come to university from working two marketing jobs, equating to full time hours, I lived independently, I drank expensive wine on the weekends and the last time I had been in education was three years prior.

Whilst twenty two may not seem that old, in comparison to a typical student age, starting university, at times, I did feel like a bit of an 'old person' in comparison to my friends. 

But why?

We are at different stages in life.
Whilst I enjoy going out for posh dinners, to bars with £10 cocktails, getting up at 6am for the gym and occasionally treating myself to a shopping trip to Sainsbury's - my uni friends are not in that place yet. We have different lifestyles, but that is okay for so many reasons. For one, every now and then, if I feel like being a 'proper student', I can let my hair down, put on my smaller heels and go dancing in Walkabout on a Wednesday. Vice versa, once my friend said that she had so little money, she couldn't even afford to buy fruit. Well, that broke my heart. So I headed straight to Starucks in the atrium and bought her some fruity goodness. Having two jobs, I have slightly more disposable income than my uni friends, and it's nice to be able to help them out, if and when.

The pros of being a 'mature student'.

  • I went to uni before for half a year or so, but I wasn't driven, I didn't enjoy it. I left. Coming in now, I have experience in what I am learning about. I made my mistake so I ensured that university was absolutely 100% what I wanted to do. I am more driven and determined. I want to get the most out of this experience, so I attend, ask questions and engage.
  • I did not move to a new city, so I already knew Derby very well, and was then able to guide my friends in where were good places were to go, how to get to places and I felt settled immediately.
  • Bringing your experiences to the classroom. The older I have gotten, the more my confidence has grown. I can remember back in college, and school, knowing the answer the a question that was being asked, but doing everything I could to avoid eye contact with the teacher. Now, I have no fear or apprehension when it comes to answering questions in class, or speaking up. For me now, I am able to get the most out of my lectures because of the confidence I have built up.

To be honest, being a mature student works for me as my 'time away' from education allowed me to find a subject area I am very passionate about, and good at (if I do say so myself). It allowed me to gain confidence, skills and to 'mature' (see what I did there). However, some of my younger friends (remember, I am ancient) are incredible women who are completely smashing their studies and working, and achieving all kinds of great things.
Every individual person has their 'right' time for university (if that's what they want to do). These are just my experiences and my thoughts.

For more digital scribbles, check out my blog.


nicsl is the Marketing Assistant. She enjoys travelling, music festivals, delicious food and binge watching Rick and Morty.
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