Can I have some thoughts and advice from older students (25+)Watch
I didn't go to university after college, I went straight into paid employment. This was mainly due to the fact of not knowing what I wanted to do in life, having very little awareness of my own identity, having a horrific secondary school life which made me lazy and feel academically worthless and just because I wanted money to pay for experiences. I did somehow manage to scrape some GCSEs and A levels.
Anyway, I've worked some good jobs over the last ten years, mainly to pay my bills but I'd say they've been fairly decent roles (banking, recruitment and customer services) - nothing to scream about. I'd say I've also accrued a great amount of life and work experience.
I've juggled with the prospect of what degree to do and what career path to follow for a number of years...and whether I would even do one.
However, over the last three years my life was turned upside down when I experienced multiple close bereavements in close succession and my mental and physical resolve has been tested even until this day. This has resulted in me shifting my focus and finally deciding on the career path I'd like to pursue (hopefully leading to Clinical Psychology or some variation).
I would like to know your stories if you are starting a degree at the same stage in life as me. This will be my first time being an undergraduate student, which is both very exciting and terrifying, but I am proud to say I have finally taken the plunge.
I am 29 and started at the University of Sussex in September last year. It's been a bit of a strange year to start uni but can say the following:
- Lots of my coursemates didn't even notice I was 10+ years older than them. A couple of them said how confused I was when I started talking about my previous career, as they thought I was about the same age! As the OU is accessed by people from such a range of backgrounds and ages, I am sure it will be even less noticeable than a 'regular' uni!
- I was really nervous about the academic side of things, but lots of things I have learnt in past jobs helped and I smashed the year. Just ask for help if you need it, and learn from feedback.
- I am about the same age as some of my tutors, and that has actually been really nice.
- Having life experience really helps in class discussions and your experience will enrich your and others' learning.
- It's nervewracking to submit assignments and feel like you're having to start from scratch, try not to overthink it! It's kind of just like delivering a project at work.
- It takes some adjustment, but I hope you enjoy it!