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    Hi everyone. I have recently accepted a place at London South Bank University as a mature student (26 years old). I am a little bit worried that I may be sidelined by the other students due to my age. Also, I am joining the course on the final year, which means that all the other students there will have already established friendship groups over the previous two years. Should I be anxious about this? It would be great to hear any thoughts, comments or advice from anyone who is in a similar situation.
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    It took me about a year to become "part of the furniture" but then again I was 44 when I started, so I suspect I had a slightly more uphill curve to climb. As long as you stay open and make an effort to chat to folks, things should be a little easier for you. Most unis have a mature students' society - these are organised by students and can be as active or inactive as the community they serve. Try and join in with yours to find more people your own age, if you find the age gap awkward. It has to be said that in my second and third years, my younger colleagues were happy to natter and take the mickey with me, so it's not impossible. Being nearer their age will probably play in your favour.

    I must admit that even I struggled to make contact with the direct entry students who joined for our third year. They seemed to arrive for lectures and then leave directly afterwards. We didn't really have any opportunity to get to know them. Might have been because there were a couple of them who came from the same company and they just kept to themselves because they were a bit nervous. They didn't come on field trips or respond to group invites to pub quizzes etc. (the student social life wasn't all about getting drunk and staying out late!) If you try and take up offers of group activity, these can help a lot.
 
 
 
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