Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
x Turn on thread page Beta

Any experiences of going to Uni at 40? watch

Announcements
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    I'm 40 years old - properly mature, not 'in-my-mid-twenties-mature'! After one year being unemployed I'm now giving serious consideration to going to uni to study law as first degree. I don't mean Birkbeck or OU. I have no ties and I've applied to Manchester, Aberdeen, Sussex, UCL and Sheffield. Things that are uppermost in my mind are:
    (i) massive debt - I don't have any right now.
    (ii) will a degree make more me employable at 43 than a 21 year old?
    (iii) most of my fellow students will have just left school - it'll make me seem creepy to them.
    (iv) I'll be ostracised for being their parents' ages.
    (v) I won't be able to tolerate the young folks
    (vi) there will not be many students of comparable age
    (vii) Most universites won't accept 40 year old students.

    I'd appreciate any shared experiences or advice.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    tried it once, didn't like it.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Hey, my mum is currently studying occupational therapy at the UEA and she's in her fifties.
    I don't know anything about points 1 & 2 as it is an NHS degree so she doesn't have any student debts, but she doesn't have any problems with the other students. She hangs out socially with other mature students as well as those who have just left sixth form. I think after the initial surprise of having several mature students in their classes, the younger students have got over it and don't really see a divide - they're all there to learn.
    As it is, I'm 17 and the other weekend she was the one at a 21st birthday party!
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by amphidromia)
    I'm 40 years old - properly mature, not 'in-my-mid-twenties-mature'! After one year being unemployed I'm now giving serious consideration to going to uni to study law as first degree. I don't mean Birkbeck or OU. I have no ties and I've applied to Manchester, Aberdeen, Sussex, UCL and Sheffield. Things that are uppermost in my mind are:
    (i) massive debt - I don't have any right now.
    (ii) will a degree make more me employable at 43 than a 21 year old?
    (iii) most of my fellow students will have just left school - it'll make me seem creepy to them.
    (iv) I'll be ostracised for being their parents' ages.
    (v) I won't be able to tolerate the young folks
    (vi) there will not be many students of comparable age
    (vii) Most universites won't accept 40 year old students.

    I'd appreciate any shared experiences or advice.
    To answer some questions - I don't think it's creepy for a 40 year old to be in uni. I'm 23 and I can't tolerate the younger ones haha but everyone is different...most people are decent. On my course there is at least 4 people that are older than 30....but that's just my group...there could be loads more for the whole year. I don't see why unis would not accept a 40 year old. It will go on your experience and qualifications :yes:

    Good luck!!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    cool your jets you young whipersnapper,as a really mature student i dont know what your worried about. Go for it, at least your trying. im the oldest student in my college and dont have a problem,so at 40 you should fit in nice n easy with the kids. Mature my arse.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    I'm not sure I understand why people worry about the debt. It isn't proper debt; it won't count against you for anything and no one will be banging on your door demanding it back. It just comes out with tax etc when you're earning over £15k, you essentially don't have to worry about it at all. And if you're single and over 25 you'll get a non-repayable grant as well as loans.

    You won't be creepy. Lots of mature students of all ages go to uni (certainly no uni will reject you just for being 40 :rolleyes: ). In fact, plenty of unis really like mature students because in general mature students want to be there and want to work; they're less likely than school leavers to be going just 'for the experience' (i.e. getting drunk for 3/4 years) or because they think they should because everyone else is.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    OP: I'm a similar age to you and I don't have a problem. Everyone where I study - by this I mean students and lecturers - have no problem with me being old. A fellow student is 62 and she loves uni too. If you've got the time and money, then go for it
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I would say go for it! My mum just finished her bachelor degree in Italian and Greek, and she even had an Erasmus year included in there. She loved it!! (I found it a bit weird when my mum's new friends were around my age - but oh well!!)
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I'm 40 years old - properly mature, not 'in-my-mid-twenties-mature'! After one year being unemployed I'm now giving serious consideration to going to uni to study law as first degree. I don't mean Birkbeck or OU. I have no ties and I've applied to Manchester, Aberdeen, Sussex, UCL and Sheffield. Things that are uppermost in my mind are:
    (i) massive debt - I don't have any right now.
    (ii) will a degree make more me employable at 43 than a 21 year old?
    (iii) most of my fellow students will have just left school - it'll make me seem creepy to them.
    (iv) I'll be ostracised for being their parents' ages.
    (v) I won't be able to tolerate the young folks
    (vi) there will not be many students of comparable age
    (vii) Most universites won't accept 40 year old students.

    I'd appreciate any shared experiences or advice.

    While i am not an university yet i hope i can give you some advice. I am going to hit 40 next month, as of now i am at college doing an access course. While most of the other students are in thier early 20's I have still made friends with all of them, 2 or 3 of them will probably remain friends for a long time.

    Universities will definitely take you at 40 and older. The degree you gain will of course help you get into a good job once you graduate and should also give you a slightly greater chance against a 21 year old as you already have work experience and skills.

    The debt really isnt that much to worry about as you can not put a price on education. As long as you are careful it will be the cheapest loan you will ever see.

    I hope it all works out for you, it really is a tough choice to make to go back to education but usually it will be the right choice.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    There are a few 60+ year old women in our lectures, and it's totally fine. There are so many people in some of our lectures that no one really pays attention anyway.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    What course are you hoping to study? A friend of mine majored in War Studies and the group was entirely mixed; hippy youth, politics yotuh, young soilders, middle-aged ex-generals and some random mature students!

    Apparantly it provided some 'interesting' arguments!!!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I'm at Uni although I'm not 40 yet I'm very close there are many students in my class some in their 40's and we all get along even with the younger students. I would not worry about it we are all there for the same reason after all. Just do it and enjoy the ride along the way.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I agree with a previous post. I will be 25 when i go and i would rather speak with someone your age than someone of the age of 18. I think thats why over 21 is put as mature, its not the age of the person, its the fact that we are not a child!
    • TSR Support Team
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    TSR Support Team
    Universities like mature students because they are there because they want to be there, not for 'the experience' or because they feel they have to. In my course (engineering), they, along with the foreign students, get the best grades by far.

    Remember universities are places of higher education - why would they discriminate based on age?
    Offline

    4
    ReputationRep:
    I love this thread! I started an OU degree in 2005 when I was 37 and I'll graduate next year aged 42. Age is a non-issue with the OU, I know, but I am starting to jitter a little bit about what life will be like if I want to do my postgrad study at a brick university (I've got my eye on a course at Sussex). Anyway, I've found the posts here immensely reassuring

    And to the OP - go for it!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by amphidromia)
    I'm 40 years old - properly mature, not 'in-my-mid-twenties-mature'! After one year being unemployed I'm now giving serious consideration to going to uni to study law as first degree. I don't mean Birkbeck or OU. I have no ties and I've applied to Manchester, Aberdeen, Sussex, UCL and Sheffield. Things that are uppermost in my mind are:
    (i) massive debt - I don't have any right now.
    (ii) will a degree make more me employable at 43 than a 21 year old?
    (iii) most of my fellow students will have just left school - it'll make me seem creepy to them.
    (iv) I'll be ostracised for being their parents' ages.
    (v) I won't be able to tolerate the young folks
    (vi) there will not be many students of comparable age
    (vii) Most universites won't accept 40 year old students.

    I'd appreciate any shared experiences or advice.
    All valid concerns with the exception of point vii, however it all comes down to your attitude and whether you will be able to put these issues to one side and just get on with your studies.

    As to improving employability, without knowing your previous background it's hard to say, but it's hard to think of any way it will make you worse off - you'll learn a lot and be able to demonstrate to employers that "you've still got it"... Are you thinking of a career in law (ie continue to LPC/BVC) or just to make use of law in your existing field?
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Hi,
    I'm 50 and in my second year. To answer you from my experience:

    (i) massive debt - I don't have any right now:

    I get c£7000pa grant and loan. My rent is £8400pa. By working the three months in summer and 12 hrs per week during term I get through more than ok. I will owe the loans when I leave but they only kick in after £288pw(I think) and are a very small percentage of deductions.

    (ii) will a degree make more me employable at 43 than a 21 year old?

    I've been told by my careers service that it gives you the edge when employers are looking for experience.

    (iii) most of my fellow students will have just left school - it'll make me seem creepy to them. and (iv) I'll be ostracised for being their parents' ages.

    They don't seem to notice you. Hard to chat to, though, until you're dumped with some on a group assignment and then they're ok.

    (v) I won't be able to tolerate the young folks

    Some are a pain but they were a pain anyway when I was their age at school. They think it's just another extension of messing about at school. Fortunately it's the minority.

    (vi) there will not be many students of comparable age

    There are, but they don't speak to you either. They seem to attend lectures but not seminars then disappear.

    (vii) Most universites won't accept 40 year old students.

    Most like having mature students in their ranks.

    Hope that's helpful.

    D.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Take a look at "Mature Students - University Certainly is for you" at

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/947553/Mature-Students

    This gives some advice that might help you.

    And good luck!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I'm 49, soon to be 50, and I'm just finishing my MA in History (I'm ABT). This year I'm applying to PhD programs. I also teach World History at the undergraduate level.
    I can tell you that most professors enjoy teaching "mature" or non-traditional students because they feel these students actually want to be in class learning something. Also, mature students get the work done without excuses and they bring real-world experience to the table. Don't be surprised to hear that no one is concerned about your age; you're the only one!

    I have some additional advice about being employable after your degree: while you're a student, do everything you can to volunteer in whatever sector you are aiming to work in later. This will help you gain additional skills and experience to include in your CV later. Remember that potential employers often appreciate real-world experience that mature job applicants bring with them, just like professors appreciate it in the classroom.

    One more really great thing is that so many of the people I come in contact with are younger than I am and this keeps me young too!

    Best of luck to you

    Kat
 
 
 
Poll
Do you agree with the proposed ban on plastic straws and cotton buds?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.