Mature Students: Biggest Fears

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ARUOfficial
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#1
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Are you a mature student? We want to know what your biggest fears were about applying for an undergraduate degree. Is there anything you wished you'd known before you started?
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EdgeHillStudents
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Hi there,

First of all, congratulations to anyone who has took the plunge to go back into Higher Education. It can be scary to make such a big change, so I applaud you!

I was a mature student at Edge Hill. I think my biggest fear was that I was too old or 'past it' because I had been out of full-time education for years.

I'm here to say that you are never too old. Although you can feel a little on the back foot when it comes to things like essay writing or referencing, you will be surprised how much you can apply the lessons you have learnt in the working world to Higher Education. Organisation, teamwork and communication are key to succeeding at University, and I found that I was equipped with these skills from my time working with the public.

For any academic worries, you will have the support of your tutors and student services. My advice is to take that help if you need it. Even if it is a 10 minute drop in session with a tutor to discuss referencing or a meeting with the Learning Services team to help you figure out Microsoft Excel. Anything to boost your confidence in your own abilities will only help you get the most from your time at University.

I think it can be easy to forget that everyone is in the same boat. Everyone in your class is new to University and to the course. But remember, you are all there to study the same subject, so you're likely to find like-minded people that you connect with.

My final piece of advice is simply to enjoy it!

I wish any mature students going to University the best of luck with everything.

Melissa
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username5892275
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Nerol
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(Original post by ARUOfficial)
Are you a mature student? We want to know what your biggest fears were about applying for an undergraduate degree. Is there anything you wished you'd known before you started?
I started my BSc in Psychology & Counselling when I was 25 and chose to study with the Open University. This was partly because I enjoyed studying independently and liked the freedom distance learning offered, but it was also partly because I didn't think I would enjoy being at a traditional brick univeristy with a lot of younger students. I had no interest in living in halls or going to freshers week events or anything like that, so I guess I would be worried I wouldn't make many friends because of that.

I did attend a brick uni for my MSc at the age of 31, and found there was a good mix of ages on the course.
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Arden University
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(Original post by ARUOfficial)
Are you a mature student? We want to know what your biggest fears were about applying for an undergraduate degree. Is there anything you wished you'd known before you started?
I was a mature student at 22 when I did my BA (Hons) Sociology degree in Manchester - I actually went on to fall in love with academia and do a PGCE, a PGC SENDco, and I have just finished my MSc in Psychology - the latter at Arden University.

I wish I had known what a broad demographic in terms of age there was to be during my lectures and seminars during my degree. This impacted my Masters too, as at the time I assumed I would be one of the oldest ones on my course and it turned out that I was one of the youngest.

Marc
Arden University Student Ambassador
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PinkMobilePhone
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I was nervous about returning to studying, as I dropped out of a brick and mortar university back in 2008, so I hadn't studied for 13 years.
I was concerned about getting back into the swing of it, and hoped my brain hadn't gone a bit soft with age and complacency!

I'm at the OU so the social side wasn't a problem, but there again I had never done distance learning before, so I was worried that it would be vastly different from studying at a brick and mortar uni.

I needn't have worried though. I'm now nearly 4 months into my course (which I started at Level 2) and I'm not having any problems at all. In fact, I'm getting much higher grades for my essays than I did when I was younger.
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Jenrhi
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(Original post by PinkMobilePhone)
I was nervous about returning to studying, as I dropped out of a brick and mortar university back in 2008, so I hadn't studied for 13 years.
I was concerned about getting back into the swing of it, and hoped my brain hadn't gone a bit soft with age and complacency!

I'm at the OU so the social side wasn't a problem, but there again I had never done distance learning before, so I was worried that it would be vastly different from studying at a brick and mortar uni.

I needn't have worried though. I'm now nearly 4 months into my course (which I started at Level 2) and I'm not having any problems at all. In fact, I'm getting much higher grades for my essays than I did when I was younger.
I graduated with a BA in 2007, about to study an Msc in Psychology online. Terrified my brain doesn’t work any more and I won’t be able to write an essay, also reports and statistics. Eek! Good to hear you’re doing so well, congratulations!
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ARUOfficial
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(Original post by Jenrhi)
I graduated with a BA in 2007, about to study an Msc in Psychology online. Terrified my brain doesn’t work any more and I won’t be able to write an essay, also reports and statistics. Eek! Good to hear you’re doing so well, congratulations!
Oh congratulations Jenrhi
You'll do fine, your brain will soon get back into the swing of it.

Make sure you make the most of the support your HE choice offers - because it will offer some academic support, I'm sure. Take everything onboard that you can and don't be afraid to keep asking questions & you'll ace it!

Good luck
Megan
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yorkee2011
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At the age of 64 I have just been diagnosed with Arthiritis, I had to retire from my offshore job. I have always been an avid history reader/fan, I am about to sign up for an OU Acces Module, 031, I'm just hoping It will help me get back into studying and rekindle the grey matter. Is it possible to aquire/buy the relevant study material prior to commencing the course? I always like to be prepared!! Thanks In advance for your help, thanks for taking the time to read this anyway!
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ARUOfficial
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(Original post by yorkee2011)
At the age of 64 I have just been diagnosed with Arthiritis, I had to retire from my offshore job. I have always been an avid history reader/fan, I am about to sign up for an OU Acces Module, 031, I'm just hoping It will help me get back into studying and rekindle the grey matter. Is it possible to aquire/buy the relevant study material prior to commencing the course? I always like to be prepared!! Thanks In advance for your help, thanks for taking the time to read this anyway!
Hi yorkee2011
You'll need to speak with the Open University about course materials At ARU we have access to our amazing library which has most things available as a hard copy or digital, so we advise our students to save their money and use the materials on offer. I don't know how OU work but I'm sure they'll be able to advise you. If they monitor TSR they may also pop by to give you some tips here !

best
Megan
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