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Mature students: what time was the 'right' time to get back into education or uni? watch

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    Just out of curiosity really. I've been out of education/paid work a couple of years for health reasons, and am just debating if there's a chance I could go to uni this year instead of next as I thought. I've worked out what course I want now, and something I'm actually passionate about rather than just good at. Wondering what other people's reasons were for doing what you did or are doing when you did it
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    (Original post by furryface12)
    Just out of curiosity really. I've been out of education/paid work a couple of years for health reasons, and am just debating if there's a chance I could go to uni this year instead of next as I thought. I've worked out what course I want now, and something I'm actually passionate about rather than just good at. Wondering what other people's reasons were for doing what you did or are doing when you did it
    Went to uni first time round because that's just what I was expected to do. Chose a course that sort-of interested me but mainly because it might be easier to get into. I got into it. Crashed and burned after two years. Swore I'd never go back to uni.

    Fast forward to my early 40s. Thanks to a series of accidentally good job changes, I earned a shedload in the IT industry and paid the mortgage off early. However the 24x7 callout took its toll and made me ill. As I could now afford to take a drastic wage cut, I decided to go into archaeology, which had really grabbed me from an online course I'd completed. You needed a degree to do that, so I jacked the job in and went to uni. Now in my early 50s I work in (and frequently out) of the academic side of archaeology and love it to bits. Not only did I go back to uni, I aced it because I was there for the right reason and ended up as a sort-of career academic! If you'd suggested that when I was 21, I would've fallen over laughing.
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    (Original post by furryface12)
    Just out of curiosity really. I've been out of education/paid work a couple of years for health reasons, and am just debating if there's a chance I could go to uni this year instead of next as I thought. I've worked out what course I want now, and something I'm actually passionate about rather than just good at. Wondering what other people's reasons were for doing what you did or are doing when you did it
    Oh cool, what course would you like to do?

    I couldn't go to university when I was 18 because I was ill, had to keep putting it off, now I'm doing distance learning. Not a very interesting story. :lol:
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    (Original post by Klix88)
    Went to uni first time round because that's just what I was expected to do. Chose a course that sort-of interested me but mainly because it might be easier to get into. I got into it. Crashed and burned after two years. Swore I'd never go back to uni.

    Fast forward to my early 40s. Thanks to a series of accidentally good job changes, I earned a shedload in the IT industry and paid the mortgage off early. However the 24x7 callout took its toll and made me ill. As I could now afford to take a drastic wage cut, I decided to go into archaeology, which had really grabbed me from an online course I'd completed. You needed a degree to do that, so I jacked the job in and went to uni. Now in my early 50s I work in (and frequently out) of the academic side of archaeology and love it to bits. Not only did I go back to uni, I aced it because I was there for the right reason and ended up as a sort-of career academic! If you'd suggested that when I was 21, I would've fallen over laughing.
    This in bucket loads.

    First attempt at uni was "well I have to" so I chose something that vaguely interested me and may earn some money. Lasted a year.

    Now in my 40's and after a bunch of MOOC's have decided to follow something that *REALLY* interests me. I now have the drive and the passion to get me where I want to be (hopefully) instead of a half-arsed idea of what I might want to do and no real drive.
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    (Original post by Klix88)
    Went to uni first time round because that's just what I was expected to do. Chose a course that sort-of interested me but mainly because it might be easier to get into. I got into it. Crashed and burned after two years. Swore I'd never go back to uni.

    Fast forward to my early 40s. Thanks to a series of accidentally good job changes, I earned a shedload in the IT industry and paid the mortgage off early. However the 24x7 callout took its toll and made me ill. As I could now afford to take a drastic wage cut, I decided to go into archaeology, which had really grabbed me from an online course I'd completed. You needed a degree to do that, so I jacked the job in and went to uni. Now in my early 50s I work in (and frequently out) of the academic side of archaeology and love it to bits. Not only did I go back to uni, I aced it because I was there for the right reason and ended up as a sort-of career academic! If you'd suggested that when I was 21, I would've fallen over laughing.
    The one advantage of having got so ill has to be I didn't do that. I'd be graduating now and whilst I'd probably have got through, wouldn't have enjoyed it much. Glad things have worked out for you so well, archaeology sounds really cool!

    (Original post by Snufkin)
    Oh cool, what course would you like to do?

    I couldn't go to university when I was 18 because I was ill, had to keep putting it off, now I'm doing distance learning. Not a very interesting story. :lol:
    Psychology (developmental/educational), with the aim of working with children with autism or learning difficulties/other disabilities yeah, that's pretty much te same as mine tbh might still end up with distance learning but realised a local uni had a good course and I might be better off at. Who knows!

    (Original post by MonsoonStorm)
    This in bucket loads.

    First attempt at uni was "well I have to" so I chose something that vaguely interested me and may earn some money. Lasted a year.

    Now in my 40's and after a bunch of MOOC's have decided to follow something that *REALLY* interests me. I now have the drive and the passion to get me where I want to be (hopefully) instead of a half-arsed idea of what I might want to do and no real drive.
    This annoys me, that feeling you have to go to uni because it's what you do. So many of my friends ended up changing course, dropping out or unhappy where they were just because they were pushed into it. Those that waited an extra few years (however many) and people I've seen on here are so much better off, in so many ways. Good luck with the rest of your degree, sure it'll be great!
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    Today, I am 69 years old. I am in the 2nd year of a Criminology degree.
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    I am what you consider a 'mature' student. I'm glad I waited until I was older to study. I am now studying Criminology and Criminal Justice at Wrexham Glyndwr. Loving every minute of it!
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    (Original post by Klix88)
    Went to uni first time round because that's just what I was expected to do. Chose a course that sort-of interested me but mainly because it might be easier to get into. I got into it. Crashed and burned after two years. Swore I'd never go back to uni.

    Fast forward to my early 40s. Thanks to a series of accidentally good job changes, I earned a shedload in the IT industry and paid the mortgage off early. However the 24x7 callout took its toll and made me ill. As I could now afford to take a drastic wage cut, I decided to go into archaeology, which had really grabbed me from an online course I'd completed. You needed a degree to do that, so I jacked the job in and went to uni. Now in my early 50s I work in (and frequently out) of the academic side of archaeology and love it to bits. Not only did I go back to uni, I aced it because I was there for the right reason and ended up as a sort-of career academic! If you'd suggested that when I was 21, I would've fallen over laughing.
    Amazing story! This gives me hope of fulfilling my academic goals as a mature person!

    (Original post by Snufkin)
    Oh cool, what course would you like to do?

    I couldn't go to university when I was 18 because I was ill, had to keep putting it off, now I'm doing distance learning. Not a very interesting story. :lol:
    Sorry to hear that :/

    What are you studying via distance learning? Are you working whilst studying?
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    Throughout school I was told my grades weren't good enough to pursue a science degree, initially I wanted to be a Vet and my grades were all around between D's and B's so I wasn't exactly 'failing'. By year 10 I had a careers interview and they flat out told me I could never pursue a science career and would be more suited to something more 'realistic'. So I essentially gave up and finished year 11 with average grades, went to college and half assed art A levels since art was my best grade in school. Then tried to get a job in my dead end town and failed. My mother encouraged me to do an NVQ in business and admin to hopefully improve my employability chances and I hated every waking moment of it. I did get a job out of it but a few months in I realised that this wasn't me, I didn't want to be like 52 year old Sally sitting next to me who had been working in the same office for 35 years and hated her life, I wanted to go to university, I wanted to work with animals. Last year I completed my Acces to HE Diploma in Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences and I currently hold offers from all 5 of my universitity choices, including a Russel Group university, and I start a BSc in Zoology and Animal Behaviour degree this coming September. I'll be just turned 23 when I finally go, about 5 years later than most of my friends, but now I'm determined, now is the right time for me.
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    (Original post by Nicoley-oley)
    Throughout school I was told my grades weren't good enough to pursue a science degree, initially I wanted to be a Vet and my grades were all around between D's and B's so I wasn't exactly 'failing'. By year 10 I had a careers interview and they flat out told me I could never pursue a science career and would be more suited to something more 'realistic'. So I essentially gave up and finished year 11 with average grades, went to college and half assed art A levels since art was my best grade in school. Then tried to get a job in my dead end town and failed. My mother encouraged me to do an NVQ in business and admin to hopefully improve my employability chances and I hated every waking moment of it. I did get a job out of it but a few months in I realised that this wasn't me, I didn't want to be like 52 year old Sally sitting next to me who had been working in the same office for 35 years and hated her life, I wanted to go to university, I wanted to work with animals. Last year I completed my Acces to HE Diploma in Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences and I currently hold offers from all 5 of my universitity choices, including a Russel Group university, and I start a BSc in Zoology and Animal Behaviour degree this coming September. I'll be just turned 23 when I finally go, about 5 years later than most of my friends, but now I'm determined, now is the right time for me.
    Fantastic!! Another great story!! Did you work whilst studying your access course? I ask because I'm finding it so difficult to juggle work-life with studying, but I need the financial stability
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    (Original post by Philip-flop)
    Fantastic!! Another great story!! Did you work whilst studying your access course? I ask because I'm finding it so difficult to juggle work-life with studying, but I need the financial stability
    I only worked part time, about 10-15 hours a week, which barely paid for my bus pass to get to and from college (the closest college to me that did Access courses was about 1 1/2 hours away by bus)

    The college advised that we work minimum hours in order to stay on top of our coursework but one girl on the course managed to keep her full time job AND maintain straight A's throughout the course, I honestly don't know how she did it but I salute her lol
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    Am i mature student at 27?

    For me it was realising that an incredibly manual job that i hated was completely unsustainable. The hatred was all consuming, i might not have any money nowadays but i am optimistic for the future!

    Im studying building surveying with the plan to go into historic conservation.
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    (Original post by Seamus123)
    Today, I am 69 years old. I am in the 2nd year of a Criminology degree.
    WHat a great story where do you study
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    (Original post by Jamz115)
    WHat a great story where do you study
    Bucks New University.
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    (Original post by Seamus123)
    Today, I am 69 years old. I am in the 2nd year of a Criminology degree.
    Love this! Come such a long way and deserve everything you have. It's never too late!

    (Original post by Nicoley-oley)
    Throughout school I was told my grades weren't good enough to pursue a science degree, initially I wanted to be a Vet and my grades were all around between D's and B's so I wasn't exactly 'failing'. By year 10 I had a careers interview and they flat out told me I could never pursue a science career and would be more suited to something more 'realistic'. So I essentially gave up and finished year 11 with average grades, went to college and half assed art A levels since art was my best grade in school. Then tried to get a job in my dead end town and failed. My mother encouraged me to do an NVQ in business and admin to hopefully improve my employability chances and I hated every waking moment of it. I did get a job out of it but a few months in I realised that this wasn't me, I didn't want to be like 52 year old Sally sitting next to me who had been working in the same office for 35 years and hated her life, I wanted to go to university, I wanted to work with animals. Last year I completed my Acces to HE Diploma in Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences and I currently hold offers from all 5 of my universitity choices, including a Russel Group university, and I start a BSc in Zoology and Animal Behaviour degree this coming September. I'll be just turned 23 when I finally go, about 5 years later than most of my friends, but now I'm determined, now is the right time for me.
    This annoys me so much. What right do they have to say you'll never be able to do something. Glad you were able to prove them wrong- good luck next year! :woo:

    (Original post by Denzel89)
    Am i mature student at 27?

    For me it was realising that an incredibly manual job that i hated was completely unsustainable. The hatred was all consuming, i might not have any money nowadays but i am optimistic for the future!

    Im studying building surveying with the plan to go into historic conservation.
    Yep, anyone that starts 21+ that sounds so interesting! Hope it all works out for you, sure it will
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    (Original post by furryface12)


    This annoys me so much. What right do they have to say you'll never be able to do something. Glad you were able to prove them wrong- good luck next year! :woo:
    I heard from a lot of my year group that the careers advisor did the same to them, that would probably explain the lack of progression to university in my school/year group

    Thank you!!! Good luck to you too!
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    If it makes you feel better:

    Primary School - we had a sh!t teacher who didn't teach us the curriculum. Only 2 people who passed 11+ were recent students who had moved. Teacher got the sack, but this was before legislation kicked off.

    Secondary School - roughest school you can think off, teacher pushed a student off a wall and broke his leg, student refused to grass, we locked the French teacher in the storeroom until she had a nervous breakdown, English consisted off window putty fights, we 'posted' a prefect, got in a classroom fight where a lad got hit in the head by a chair after I ducked.

    Sh!t grades all around and by some miracle I scrapped 4 C's. One of my friends did similar and everyone else got Fs, Gs and Us.

    I was labelled as being thick, got the equivalent of a HNC in Accounting and a 2.1 BSc (Hons) in Psychology despite people saying I'd never get either. Generally speaking, people seemed to be more disappointed than chuffed for me. Some people blamed the school, never themselves.

    Any reasonably intelligent person can get a degree if they apply themselves.
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    (Original post by furryface12)
    Just out of curiosity really. I've been out of education/paid work a couple of years for health reasons, and am just debating if there's a chance I could go to uni this year instead of next as I thought. I've worked out what course I want now, and something I'm actually passionate about rather than just good at. Wondering what other people's reasons were for doing what you did or are doing when you did it
    Spoiler:
    Show

    I was diagnosed with congenital dysplastic kidneys, meaning they were abnormally small from birth (but somehow I never found out in my earlier life ), this meant that renal failure was due to come at some point in my life. It explains why I have severe hearing loss as well, because my consultant said that when we're being developed - our sense of hearing and kidneys are developed at the same time. Taking off my hearing aids at the end of each day before bed feels great (not sure if this applies to bespectacled people as well). But I still feel fortunate enough to hear with these devices. I remember when the audiologist was fitting in my hearing aids for the first time and asked if I could hear, my response was an involuntary smile .

    When my kidneys were functioning around 10%, I had to be put on dialysis. Dialysis was exhausting and grueling. I remember having 2 near death experiences during 3 years of dialysis. One was on dialysis when my body was overheating for some reason. At one point I could only see white when my eyes were opened. The other instance was completely blacking out at KFC while eating. I was seated and then the next thing you know I woke up being on the floor. Manager told me he rang the ambulance, so they came and they just checked my blood pressure and blood sugar.

    But after 3 years of dialysis, I got a transplant. Only thing I know about my donor is that it was a 27 year old woman. I feel quite different since the transplant, as if some of the donor's memories and traits has merged with mine. I have an unusual higher level of empathy now and crying happy/sad tears is an unusual part of my post-transplant life. When speaking to people, I've used words that I've never used before and question myself where did it come from? I had to Google to make sure I used it in the right context. To my surprise, I did. But overall, I'm passively happier .

    Once everything was going well post-transplant, that's when I decided to get back into studying. Initially, I actually wanted to do medicine, but once I found out my involuntary tremors from my medications prevented me from carrying out chemistry practicals smoothly (means I couldn't do engineering either). So I decided on maths instead, because maths is comforting to me and yet - extraordinary. The aesthetics of it is pleasing to the eyes as well.

    TL;DR - Once I've felt better after an illness, it was the right time for me.
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    (Original post by Student1914)
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    I was diagnosed with congenital dysplastic kidneys, meaning they were abnormally small from birth (but somehow I never found out in my earlier life ), this meant that renal failure was due to come at some point in my life. It explains why I have severe hearing loss as well, because my consultant said that when we're being developed - our sense of hearing and kidneys are developed at the same time. Taking off my hearing aids at the end of each day before bed feels great (not sure if this applies to bespectacled people as well). But I still feel fortunate enough to hear with these devices. I remember when the audiologist was fitting in my hearing aids for the first time and asked if I could hear, my response was an involuntary smile .

    When my kidneys were functioning around 10%, I had to be put on dialysis. Dialysis was exhausting and grueling. I remember having 2 near death experiences during 3 years of dialysis. One was on dialysis when my body was overheating for some reason. At one point I could only see white when my eyes were opened. The other instance was completely blacking out at KFC while eating. I was seated and then the next thing you know I woke up being on the floor. Manager told me he rang the ambulance, so they came and they just checked my blood pressure and blood sugar.

    But after 3 years of dialysis, I got a transplant. Only thing I know about my donor is that it was a 27 year old woman. I feel quite different since the transplant, as if some of the donor's memories and traits has merged with mine. I have an unusual higher level of empathy now and crying happy/sad tears is an unusual part of my post-transplant life. When speaking to people, I've used words that I've never used before and question myself where did it come from? I had to Google to make sure I used it in the right context. To my surprise, I did. But overall, I'm passively happier .

    Once everything was going well post-transplant, that's when I decided to get back into studying. Initially, I actually wanted to do medicine, but once I found out my involuntary tremors from my medications prevented me from carrying out chemistry practicals smoothly (means I couldn't do engineering either). So I decided on maths instead, because maths is comforting to me and yet - extraordinary. The aesthetics of it is pleasing to the eyes as well.

    TL;DR - Once I've felt better after an illness, it was the right time for me.
    Your story is amazing! So much respect for you!
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    The right time for me? The moment I realised that it wasn't my workplace that I disliked; it was my career. I'd moved jobs, thinking that a change of scenery and some new routines would refresh me and stop me dreading work. It didn't.

    I was 24 at that point. I spent 6 months getting together a uni application, as I'd figured why shouldn't I pursue something that I'd actually enjoy doing. You spend too many hours at work to be unhappy. I start uni Sept 2017. Definitely the right time for me, despite it being a little late!
 
 
 

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