Any 30+ students who have gone back to University?

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NovaeSci
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I'm 32 and I'm going to be studying an Access to HE course in Physics and Maths this September at the University of Glasgow, with the intention of progressing to the Physics with Astrophysics degree.

Are there any 30+ students who have gone back to full-time education and have any advice or stories?
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Admit-One
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(Original post by NovaeSci)
I'm 32 and I'm going to be studying an Access to HE course in Physics and Maths this September at the University of Glasgow, with the intention of progressing to the Physics with Astrophysics degree.

Are there any 30+ students who have gone back to full-time education and have any advice or stories?
There is an excellent post by a mature student here.
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Snufkin
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Me, weeps.
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PinkMobilePhone
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My husband is starting BA (Hons) 3D Game Art at Buckinghamshire New University in September, full time - he's 44. It's via distance learning so not quite the same as physically attending, but still.

I'm 37 - I'm hopefully starting part time at the Open University in October, studying BA (Hons) Classical Studies.
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NovaeSci
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I was going to go the OU route. They're really good and well respected.
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Stumpy1001
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(Original post by NovaeSci)
I'm 32 and I'm going to be studying an Access to HE course in Physics and Maths this September at the University of Glasgow, with the intention of progressing to the Physics with Astrophysics degree.

Are there any 30+ students who have gone back to full-time education and have any advice or stories?
Yes !

But than me write a page of stuff, is there anything you’d like to know , anything specific ?
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StriderHort
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Total cakewalk going back as an adult, so much more focus and 0 teen angst
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NovaeSci
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(Original post by Stumpy1001)
Yes !

But than me write a page of stuff, is there anything you’d like to know , anything specific ?
Well, I'm pretty much going into this blind. I understand the work which will be involved and how the degree is laid out; however, I have no idea of how it affects life, what I should take part in, what I should look out for, etc. Just generally interested in hearing about any students experiences from their point of view, to be honest; the life of a mature student, if you will.
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Stumpy1001
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(Original post by NovaeSci)
Well, I'm pretty much going into this blind. I understand the work which will be involved and how the degree is laid out; however, I have no idea of how it affects life, what I should take part in, what I should look out for, etc. Just generally interested in hearing about any students experiences from their point of view, to be honest.
I as a mature student ( also has a 7 month old ) I found it a peace of cake . Most of the uni people I’ve met who struggle are really poor at time management and go out far more than they should . I mean going out is fun . I’m not saying don’t do it . But if at the end of the term 1 . If you have been in the bar more than in the library then you need to sort that out hahah.
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NovaeSci
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(Original post by Stumpy1001)
I as a mature student ( also has a 7 month old ) I found it a peace of cake . Most of the uni people I’ve met who struggle are really poor at time management and go out far more than they should . I mean going out is fun . I’m not saying don’t do it . But if at the end of the term 1 . If you have been in the bar more than in the library then you need to sort that out hahah.
Well, with being a Physics/Astrophysics degree, I'm definitely prepared for the level of difficulty. The thing is, I'm that passionate about Astrophysics, that I would never feel like I'm working. Even now, I study it in my free time. So at 32, I'll probably end up devoting a lot of my free time to studying as well. I'll of course have time off, as you can still burn out, even if you love what you do. I experienced that with guitar: I used to practice for more than 12 hours a day in school to the end of my teens, but now I find 3 hours is enough without feeling demotivated. So just also wondering if you have felt burnt out as well and what you did to get through. Just curious about pitfalls I may end up being in, so I can be prepared and know how to approach it without having to constantly do trial and error.
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Stumpy1001
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(Original post by NovaeSci)
Well, with being a Physics/Astrophysics degree, I'm definitely prepared for the level of difficulty. The thing is, I'm that passionate about Astrophysics, that I would never feel like I'm working. Even now, I study it in my free time. So at 32, I'll probably end up devoting a lot of my free time to studying as well. I'll of course have time off, as you can still burn out, even if you love what you do. I experienced that with guitar: I used to practice for more than 12 hours a day in school to the end of my teens, but now I find 3 hours is enough without feeling demotivated. So just also wondering if you have felt burnt out as well and what you did to get through. Just curious about pitfalls I may end up being in, so I can be prepared and know how to approach it without having to constantly do trial and error.
I study chinese . There was no burnout form studying that , but because I wasn’t a complete beginner at the start I started at a higher level . The higher the level the less credits which means the less contact hours . So lots of my credits were filled up with things that on paper seemed interesting but were dull as hell when having to read about . For example I linked translation , it’s what I would like to do eventually but reading up on the theory of it was a pain in the ass . I’d sooner watch paint try than have to do that again .
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DCDCo
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Just finished my undergrad in law - 35! About to start an entirely new career as a Lawyer. There's no need to be self-conscious about it!

Drop me a DM if you wanted to chat at all.
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161BMW
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(Original post by NovaeSci)
I'm 32 and I'm going to be studying an Access to HE course in Physics and Maths this September at the University of Glasgow, with the intention of progressing to the Physics with Astrophysics degree.

Are there any 30+ students who have gone back to full-time education and have any advice or stories?
Yes
Advice
Get fit unless you are already
Have good study habits
After 9-5 job most people used to switching off after 6pm but you find a lot of your students are beasting it 6pm - midnight every night.
Manage your time well
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NovaeSci
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(Original post by 161BMW)
Yes
Advice
Get fit unless you are already
Have good study habits
After 9-5 job most people used to switching off after 6pm but you find a lot of your students are beasting it 6pm - midnight every night.
Manage your time well
What does the recommendation for getting fit come from? Have you had a bad past experience? It's piqued my interest, ha. I'm a bit out of shape atm but started at the gym, so I should be back in shape by the time I start...hopefully, haha!
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161BMW
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(Original post by NovaeSci)
What does the recommendation for getting fit come from? Have you had a bad past experience? It's piqued my interest, ha. I'm a bit out of shape atm but started at the gym, so I should be back in shape by the time I start...hopefully, haha!
You can’t expect to be good at studying otherwise.
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HellomynameisNev
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(Original post by NovaeSci)
I'm 32 and I'm going to be studying an Access to HE course in Physics and Maths this September at the University of Glasgow, with the intention of progressing to the Physics with Astrophysics degree.

Are there any 30+ students who have gone back to full-time education and have any advice or stories?
Went back to uni last year, aged 48.

Advice - don't worry too much about your age, it's not that big of deal.

Assuming you've worked before, carry that professionalism and work ethic into your uni career. It's a massive advantage that mature students have, I treat my studies like it's my job.

As another poster said - exercise. It's very, very easy to become somnolent as a student, stuck hunched over your laptop all day long. Make the time to switch it off and go out for a walk/run/ride/swim/whatever. You'll feel much better for it.
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NovaeSci
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(Original post by HellomynameisNev)
Went back to uni last year, aged 48.

Advice - don't worry too much about your age, it's not that big of deal.

Assuming you've worked before, carry that professionalism and work ethic into your uni career. It's a massive advantage that mature students have, I treat my studies like it's my job.

As another poster said - exercise. It's very, very easy to become somnolent as a student, stuck hunched over your laptop all day long. Make the time to switch it off and go out for a walk/run/ride/swim/whatever. You'll feel much better for it.
From working in accounts, I definitely know how it feels when you hit 30, after being hunched over a desk most days, and you wake up one morning and wonder what happened, haha. I used to skateboard throughout school and it made me extremely fit. Throughout my early 20s, it carried over and kept me able to recover easily from falls and have a good balance. These days, my balance is dreadful and I lose breath just tying shoelaces, haha! So I'm definitely focussing on my health over the next year before I start, so should hopefully be in a much better place, health-wise. Going to take up golf on a Sunday, as well.

I definitely agree with being able to carry over professionalism and work ethic into your uni career. I see on so many threads that young students, who ask about commuting from home, or commute from home themselves, even if only 30-45 minutes, really call it a pain in the ass! I'm between living where I am or getting dorms, but thinking I'll just live where I am. My travel time is around 1 hour 15 mins, but it takes me over an hour to get to work, anyway. So, I at least have that experience of what it's like to have to travel; as to someone who has never had to travel for work, so thinks a short journey, rather than a 10-minute walk, is effort.

I used to spend 9-5 working, then in the evening, I'd be studying my accounting qualifications. So will treat Uni like my 9-5 job, and the times in the evening will be extra study times (or work) to do all I can to aim for a first and be the best I can. And weekends a mix of work and studying as well. But will make sure to have a decent social life as well, to free my mind and recharge.
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161BMW
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It depends a bit on the type of university you go to. The university I am at all the students are super smart. No slackers. Everyone is very motivated and high achievers. This is also helped by the lockdowns as they had nothing to do but study.
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NovaeSci
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(Original post by 161BMW)
It depends a bit on the type of university you go to. The university I am at all the students are super smart. No slackers. Everyone is very motivated and high achievers. This is also helped by the lockdowns as they had nothing to do but study.
It will be Glasgow, so still high up on the list, but not like Oxbridge. But, I'm sure there will be many smart-as-hell students on my course!
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Keele Postgraduate
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(Original post by NovaeSci)
I'm 32 and I'm going to be studying an Access to HE course in Physics and Maths this September at the University of Glasgow, with the intention of progressing to the Physics with Astrophysics degree.

Are there any 30+ students who have gone back to full-time education and have any advice or stories?
Yes! I went back to university for my MA at the age of 33 and am now in the second year of my PhD in English at Keele University. I did my BA at 18 so I was really worried about whether I would fit in as a mature student, especially as I was going to be commuting rather than living on campus.

Can honestly say I needn't have worried. There are lots of mature students at university - far more than there were when I was an undergraduate - and the shared experience of studying together does help to defy age boundaries, especially if you have a smaller cohort of students. On my course, we had students ranging in age from 21 to 65 but we all bonded together over seminar discussions, coffee after classes - and the shared stress of essay writing!

My main tip would be to get involved in some clubs and societies at university. Having a shared interest really helps overcome any age gaps. I joined a role-playing and board game society at Keele and made friends within both the undergraduate and postgraduate communities as a result. When you're having fun and playing games together, age doesn't matter - and you find that you learn a lot from each other and about each others experiences of university.

You may also find that your university has a dedicated society or officer for mature students, so look out for their events and activities especially during Welcome Week - it's a great way to meet other mature students, plus a lot of their events are geared towards commuter students or students with jobs/families (so a bit less focused on heavy nights at the SU and more on coffee and cake/picnics in the park/film nights!).

Personally I've found being a mature student has helped me with my studies as I've been able to draw on knowledge and experience from my working life to help me to manage and organise my time, deliver presentations with confidence, and put moments of academic crisis (essay stresses, sudden flashes of imposter syndrome etc) into perspective. So don't be afraid to use those extra years of life experience to your advantage either!

Best of luck with your course and please do ask if you have any other questions!

Amy Louise
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