The Student Room Group

Mature student at Cambridge

Hi!

I received an offer to study at Cambridge and was intending to start this October, but I was pooled to a college that only accepts mature students, so I have to start next year. I won't be turning 21 until next year, hence the deferred offer.

Naturally, since I'll be around 3 years older than most of my peers, I have some concerns about not fitting in and struggling to make friends. I was therefore wondering if any mature students at Cambridge could tell me what it's like. Has the age gap ever been a problem? Were you still able to make friends with people who just came out of sixth form? Do you have a good social life?

Of course, there will be other mature students like me but I also hope to make friends with people from my course and my year, which is why I'm asking. I'm planning on studying MML btw.

I would be very grateful for your answers! :smile:
Original post by mmlapplicant
Hi!

I received an offer to study at Cambridge and was intending to start this October, but I was pooled to a college that only accepts mature students, so I have to start next year. I won't be turning 21 until next year, hence the deferred offer.

Naturally, since I'll be around 3 years older than most of my peers, I have some concerns about not fitting in and struggling to make friends. I was therefore wondering if any mature students at Cambridge could tell me what it's like. Has the age gap ever been a problem? Were you still able to make friends with people who just came out of sixth form? Do you have a good social life?

Of course, there will be other mature students like me but I also hope to make friends with people from my course and my year, which is why I'm asking. I'm planning on studying MML btw.

I would be very grateful for your answers! :smile:

hello :smile: I know this isn't an answer to your question, but may I ask if A-levels are still valid until 21? I am considering applying and was curious is A-levels are valid or I need to resit them

thanks
Original post by BrightBlueStar11
hello :smile: I know this isn't an answer to your question, but may I ask if A-levels are still valid until 21? I am considering applying and was curious is A-levels are valid or I need to resit them

thanks

We strongly encourage applicants to have completed a relevant course of study within the last 2 years.

More information can be found on our website.
Original post by St Edmund's Admission
We strongly encourage applicants to have completed a relevant course of study within the last 2 years.

More information can be found on our website.

hello,

I have already achieved A*A*A in 2020, but taking an additional A-level in 2022, will this be okay?
Original post by St Edmund's Admission
We strongly encourage applicants to have completed a relevant course of study within the last 2 years.

More information can be found on our website.


just checked it, it says 3 years? so wouldn't I be find? (finished in 2020)
Original post by mmlapplicant
Hi!

I received an offer to study at Cambridge and was intending to start this October, but I was pooled to a college that only accepts mature students, so I have to start next year. I won't be turning 21 until next year, hence the deferred offer.

Naturally, since I'll be around 3 years older than most of my peers, I have some concerns about not fitting in and struggling to make friends. I was therefore wondering if any mature students at Cambridge could tell me what it's like. Has the age gap ever been a problem? Were you still able to make friends with people who just came out of sixth form? Do you have a good social life?

Of course, there will be other mature students like me but I also hope to make friends with people from my course and my year, which is why I'm asking. I'm planning on studying MML btw.

I would be very grateful for your answers! :smile:

I'm not a student but I can offer some reassurance.

At Cambridge, because your college is probably where you live and spend most of your time, a lot of your socialising will most likely happen within your college. One of the great things about the mature colleges is that most of the students will be a similar age and of similar maturity (i.e. not 18 years old and away from home for the first time). At St Edmund's most of our entrants are in their early 20s and postgraduates live and socialise with undergraduates; you will find people of similar age and with similar interest without anyone thinking about whether you're 'in their year' or not.

You mention wanting to connect with others on your course and this is entirely understandable. Remember though that even the 'non-mature' students won't all be 18 - many people apply for deferred entry or apply after having left school. There'll certainly be those on your course who are 20 or nearly 20 when you start and very possibly other students aged 21 or over as well.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by BrightBlueStar11
hello,

I have already achieved A*A*A in 2020, but taking an additional A-level in 2022, will this be okay?

That's very probably ok as you've continued to study. Our exact view is going to depend on what subjects you're taking and what you want to apply for.
Original post by St Edmund's Admission
That's very probably ok as you've continued to study. Our exact view is going to depend on what subjects you're taking and what you want to apply for.

how about psychology?
Original post by BrightBlueStar11
how about psychology?


which A levels have you taken/will you be taking?
Original post by St Edmund's Admission
which A levels have you taken/will you be taking?

hello,

A*A*A computer science, maths, and music - but taking A-level biology in 2022

thanks
Original post by BrightBlueStar11
hello,

A*A*A computer science, maths, and music - but taking A-level biology in 2022

thanks


That should be ok. If you have any other questions, perhaps let's start a new discussion rather than taking up this thread.
Original post by mmlapplicant
Hi!

I received an offer to study at Cambridge and was intending to start this October, but I was pooled to a college that only accepts mature students, so I have to start next year. I won't be turning 21 until next year, hence the deferred offer.

Naturally, since I'll be around 3 years older than most of my peers, I have some concerns about not fitting in and struggling to make friends. I was therefore wondering if any mature students at Cambridge could tell me what it's like. Has the age gap ever been a problem? Were you still able to make friends with people who just came out of sixth form? Do you have a good social life?

Of course, there will be other mature students like me but I also hope to make friends with people from my course and my year, which is why I'm asking. I'm planning on studying MML btw.

I would be very grateful for your answers! :smile:

Honestly, won't make a difference. At uni in general (not specific to Cambridge) students from age 18-23 or so all tend to be roughly at the same stage of life and same maturity with the same interests, so you'll basically be the same as anyone else.

Remember uni isn't segregated by age like school, so in any given cohort you will have a range of ages, including school leavers, people who took one or two gap years, mature students who are exactly 21 like yourself, and older mature students, through their 20s, 30s, 40s etc. The first three categories tend to freely interact with each other. The older mature students sometimes choose not to engage in the activities of the younger students, but this is from what I've seen an active choice on their part, usually because they have their own family and pre-existing friends outside of uni and just see their fellow students as colleagues and coworkers whom they are friendly with but not necessarily looking to be friends with.

Also as above for Cambridge in particular, since you'll be in a mature college, you'll have a lot of other students your age and older to interact with, as well as the school leaver students. So you get the best of both worlds :smile: Cambridge broadly also has a pretty wide range of student ages, across both undergraduate and postgraduate students, and is a very large uni, so you'd be hard pressed to not find people to engage with unless you don't try and interact with others I should imagine!
Original post by St Edmund's Admission
I'm not a student but I can offer some reassurance.

At Cambridge, because your college is probably where you live and spend most of your time, a lot of your socialising will most likely happen within your college. One of the great things about the mature colleges is that most of the students will be a similar age and of similar maturity (i.e. not 18 years old and away from home for the first time). At St Edmund's most of our entrants are in their early 20s and postgraduates live and socialise with undergraduates; you will find people of similar age and with similar interest without anyone thinking about whether you're 'in their year' or not.

You mention wanting to connect with others on your course and this is entirely understandable. Remember though that even the 'non-mature' students won't all be 18 - many people apply for deferred entry or apply after having left school. There'll certainly be those on your course who are 20 or nearly 20 when you start and very possibly other students aged 21 or over as well.

Thank you so much! This is very reassuring. Can't wait to be a student at Hughes Hall. :smile:
Original post by artful_lounger
Honestly, won't make a difference. At uni in general (not specific to Cambridge) students from age 18-23 or so all tend to be roughly at the same stage of life and same maturity with the same interests, so you'll basically be the same as anyone else.

Remember uni isn't segregated by age like school, so in any given cohort you will have a range of ages, including school leavers, people who took one or two gap years, mature students who are exactly 21 like yourself, and older mature students, through their 20s, 30s, 40s etc. The first three categories tend to freely interact with each other. The older mature students sometimes choose not to engage in the activities of the younger students, but this is from what I've seen an active choice on their part, usually because they have their own family and pre-existing friends outside of uni and just see their fellow students as colleagues and coworkers whom they are friendly with but not necessarily looking to be friends with.

Also as above for Cambridge in particular, since you'll be in a mature college, you'll have a lot of other students your age and older to interact with, as well as the school leaver students. So you get the best of both worlds :smile: Cambridge broadly also has a pretty wide range of student ages, across both undergraduate and postgraduate students, and is a very large uni, so you'd be hard pressed to not find people to engage with unless you don't try and interact with others I should imagine!

Thank you so much. You make a lot of good points, many of which I'd completely overlooked. This really changed my perspective.

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