What is uni like starting as a mature student?

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Anonymous #1
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Report Thread starter 8 months ago
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Hey all,

What I mean by a 'mature student' is someone who is starting uni at like 21/22 and onwards - so you started when people your age have usually just finished (4 years or so) or are in their final year. What is it like for you?

As someone established in their 20s or even 30s and beyond, are you able to relate to people who have just turned 18? I know it doesn't seem like much of an age gap but in terms of experience, it seems it can be a really big difference in terms of character (that's a generalisation I know). But for example, you may have got all the partying out of your system when you were 17/18 and 4 years down the pipeline you may not feel the need to do this all the time whereas the majority of people around you haven't got it out of their system yet.

What is your experience of being a mature student where you are generally a lot older than pretty much everyone in your first year?

Did you find it hard to make friends?

Could you relate to people? (In relation to the question above)

Was the quality of your university experience affected by being a mature student? I.e. partying, the usual fresher stuff etc.

Did you live in halls? If you did, how did you find this?
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Keele University
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Hey all,

What I mean by a 'mature student' is someone who is starting uni at like 21/22 and onwards - so you started when people your age have usually just finished (4 years or so) or are in their final year. What is it like for you?

As someone established in their 20s or even 30s and beyond, are you able to relate to people who have just turned 18? I know it doesn't seem like much of an age gap but in terms of experience, it seems it can be a really big difference in terms of character (that's a generalisation I know). But for example, you may have got all the partying out of your system when you were 17/18 and 4 years down the pipeline you may not feel the need to do this all the time whereas the majority of people around you haven't got it out of their system yet.

What is your experience of being a mature student where you are generally a lot older than pretty much everyone in your first year?

Did you find it hard to make friends?

Could you relate to people? (In relation to the question above)

Was the quality of your university experience affected by being a mature student? I.e. partying, the usual fresher stuff etc.

Did you live in halls? If you did, how did you find this?
Hi!

I was 33 when I returned to university to start my MA course and I was really worried that I wouldn't fit in with others on my course - most of them were 21/22 and had just finished their undergraduate (although I had one friend on my course who was 60 and had returned to do his masters on retirement from work!).

Personally, I did't find that it made any difference. We all bonded over having the same worries about coping with the course, managing the reading, completing the assignments etc. There were also some specific events during Freshers Week at Keele designed for mature students so I went along to them as well.

With regards to the social side of things, on any university campus there will be plenty of societies and clubs and not all of them will be focused around going out, drinking, clubbing etc. For example, I joined the role-playing and board games association at Keele and have made friends through that with students ranging in age from 18 to into their 30s. If you have a shared interest, the age thing really doesn't matter I find. I've also been to film nights and craft events that the university have put on, as well as to coffee mornings and lunch events run by our postgraduate students union. So if partying isn't your thing, then there are plenty of places on a university campus to find your "tribe" regardless of your age.

That said, I didn't live in halls myself as I already had a house when I started. If noisy flatmates is something you're worried about though, maybe have a chat with your university accommodation office? There's a surprising number of mature students and PG students on the average university campus so you may find that you can request to be accommodated with other mature students, or possibly with PG students.

I hope that helps but if you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask!

Amy
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ladyasprin
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About a third of the students on my course are mature students (13 out of 36), I think for my subject Occupational Therapy it often attracts more mature students as having a bit more life experience can make to a better OT at the end.

As I said there are a lot of mature students on my course, it does appear that most of the "straight out of school" lot hang out together but this is partially as most of them live on campus. Most of the mature students live off-campus as we chose the uni by its locality to where we live. There are mature/post-grad buildings for the accommodation - but that's all I know as I live off-campus.

As a lot of us live off-campus, have families who need us or have jobs - we don't spend that much time partying or being social outside of breaks between classes.
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Liverpool Hope University
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Hey all,

What I mean by a 'mature student' is someone who is starting uni at like 21/22 and onwards - so you started when people your age have usually just finished (4 years or so) or are in their final year. What is it like for you?

As someone established in their 20s or even 30s and beyond, are you able to relate to people who have just turned 18? I know it doesn't seem like much of an age gap but in terms of experience, it seems it can be a really big difference in terms of character (that's a generalisation I know). But for example, you may have got all the partying out of your system when you were 17/18 and 4 years down the pipeline you may not feel the need to do this all the time whereas the majority of people around you haven't got it out of their system yet.

What is your experience of being a mature student where you are generally a lot older than pretty much everyone in your first year?

Did you find it hard to make friends?

Could you relate to people? (In relation to the question above)

Was the quality of your university experience affected by being a mature student? I.e. partying, the usual fresher stuff etc.

Did you live in halls? If you did, how did you find this?
Hi there,

As Amy from Keele University says, age doesn't make a difference at uni. I was 40 when I returned to education and found people I had things in common with and people I had nothing in common with. I always had an open invitation for nights out, but I've never been big for socialising but the invite was there. I found joining societies the best thing for meeting people, and theres plenty to chioose from. Most unis will have a mature students society too.

I never lived in as I have my own place but lots of mature students do. We have a 60 year old mature student at Hope who lives in and her flat mates adore her. Although my uni tends to put mature students in a quieter accommodation block, she chose where she is because she loves being around people.

You'll find plenty of people to talk to and spend time to, and you'll have a great time!

Fi :horse:
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username4551226
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(Original post by Keele University)
Hi!

I was 33 when I returned to university to start my MA course and I was really worried that I wouldn't fit in with others on my course - most of them were 21/22 and had just finished their undergraduate (although I had one friend on my course who was 60 and had returned to do his masters on retirement from work!).

Personally, I did't find that it made any difference. We all bonded over having the same worries about coping with the course, managing the reading, completing the assignments etc. There were also some specific events during Freshers Week at Keele designed for mature students so I went along to them as well.

With regards to the social side of things, on any university campus there will be plenty of societies and clubs and not all of them will be focused around going out, drinking, clubbing etc. For example, I joined the role-playing and board games association at Keele and have made friends through that with students ranging in age from 18 to into their 30s. If you have a shared interest, the age thing really doesn't matter I find. I've also been to film nights and craft events that the university have put on, as well as to coffee mornings and lunch events run by our postgraduate students union. So if partying isn't your thing, then there are plenty of places on a university campus to find your "tribe" regardless of your age.

That said, I didn't live in halls myself as I already had a house when I started. If noisy flatmates is something you're worried about though, maybe have a chat with your university accommodation office? There's a surprising number of mature students and PG students on the average university campus so you may find that you can request to be accommodated with other mature students, or possibly with PG students.

I hope that helps but if you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask!

Amy
Hi Amy, I think the experience is different if you're not living in halls (Becomes more of a natural environment because you're not living with loads of people younger than you are). Out of curiosity, if you didn't have a house and as a 33 year old, would you have wanted to live in halls?
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Hey all,

What I mean by a 'mature student' is someone who is starting uni at like 21/22 and onwards - so you started when people your age have usually just finished (4 years or so) or are in their final year. What is it like for you?

As someone established in their 20s or even 30s and beyond, are you able to relate to people who have just turned 18? I know it doesn't seem like much of an age gap but in terms of experience, it seems it can be a really big difference in terms of character (that's a generalisation I know). But for example, you may have got all the partying out of your system when you were 17/18 and 4 years down the pipeline you may not feel the need to do this all the time whereas the majority of people around you haven't got it out of their system yet.

What is your experience of being a mature student where you are generally a lot older than pretty much everyone in your first year?

Did you find it hard to make friends?

Could you relate to people? (In relation to the question above)

Was the quality of your university experience affected by being a mature student? I.e. partying, the usual fresher stuff etc.

Did you live in halls? If you did, how did you find this?
yeah for you it will be mostly a transactional/functional experience, you will make lots and lots and lots of acquaintances but probably no friends for life - don't let that put you off, as i said uni for you will be mostly transactional.
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Keele University
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(Original post by HarryOnTap)
Hi Amy, I think the experience is different if you're not living in halls (Becomes more of a natural environment because you're not living with loads of people younger than you are). Out of curiosity, if you didn't have a house and as a 33 year old, would you have wanted to live in halls?
Hi HarryOnTap!

Very good point and, in all honesty, I'm not sure.

On the one hand, I'm nothing without a good night's sleep - so the thought of sharing halls with noisy flatmates makes me shudder! Age is no guarantee of peace and quiet though - I have friends who are very noisy 33 year olds and others who are 18/19 and love a bit of peace and quiet as much as I do!

And there were points in my MA course where I felt that not living on or near to campus was 'missing out' on a bit of the experience. As a commuter student, I felt like I had to put in extra effort to attend the on-campus social events that helped me to fit back in to the university experience, whereas my friends who lived on campus or in the town didn't have that problem of distance.

So, on reflection, I think I probably would have lived in halls for my MA year if circumstances had been different and I had been going back to uni on my own. Living in halls is certainly an excellent way of making friends and easing your way into campus life. But personally I would have chosen a smaller halls and probably spoken to the accomodation team about being with other PGs/mature students.

That's just a personal preference though. For me age is less important when it comes to living with others than having similar outlooks and attitudes towards things like noise level, cleanliness of the flat etc.

Amy
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sese20
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Hiya, I am a 23 y/o graduate and have firmed Keele for medicine (undergrad course). Would I be classed as a 'mature' student? I'm applying for accommodation and not sure what to put down. Do most graduates doing medicine stay in halls?
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Keele University
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(Original post by sese20)
Hiya, I am a 23 y/o graduate and have firmed Keele for medicine (undergrad course). Would I be classed as a 'mature' student? I'm applying for accommodation and not sure what to put down. Do most graduates doing medicine stay in halls?
Hi sese20!

Glad to hear you'll be joining us at Keele!

Most universities, including Keele, consider a 'mature student' to be anyone who starts their undergraduate course after the age of 21.

The majority of our first year undergraduate students do live in halls but it's certainly not obligatory. We don't have specific on-campus accomodation for mature students however our Accomodation Services team can assist with advising on the types of accomodation on campus (plus there is information on our web pages), and there should be an option on the accomodation application form to indicate if you would like to live with students who are of a similar age.

You can find out more about being a mature student at Keele on the dedicated mature students web page at: https://www.keele.ac.uk/maturestudents/.

Hope that helps but feel free to ask if you have any other questions!

Amy
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