Scared about starting uni at 23, feel like I’ve missed my opportunity!

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skippydog
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#1
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#1
Hi,

I’m having to restart my studies at university at 23, after a long period of pretty serious illness and other things that meant I couldn’t study. I feel very behind if all my friends as they’re graduating or have already graduated and I’m only just starting, or they’re in higher level jobs while I’ve never really had a ‘proper’ job and my first ‘proper’ job will likely be at 26/27. I feel a little like I’ve missed my chance with starting and getting a good job, and I’m worried people will judge me! Has anyone else felt like this, and does anyone have any advice?
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sienna2891
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i started at 21 last september, didn't like the uni so am dropping out and starting at a different one this september at 22, i don't know about you but you can't tell just by looking at me that i'm older than 18/19 and every fresher i've met in the last year was surprised that i was in my early 20s. I lived in halls and knew one girl who was 21, one who was 22 and two boys who were 23 so there will be others. Lots of people don't get "proper" jobs straight after leaving uni when i was 18/19 working behind the bar in a pub one of my coworkers was 24/25 and had a decent degree from a good uni just hadn't found a proper job yet. Not everyone our age that's left uni has a fancy grad job due to covid or other reasons. I'd rather be at uni now anyway bc covids over and everyone i know who started in 2018/2019 spent half of it in lockdown which i think i would be very bitter about had i been at uni myself at that time
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username5971572
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#3
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#3
They won't judge, because everyone's life is different. Some people graduate at 21 like me, and others graduate at 27. My brother never finished uni and only finished a vocational course in college when he was 26. He still ended up getting a decent job after some perseverance and networking. A degree is not everything and everyone's life path is different. It's never too late to go to uni or go as a mature student. Some people go to university just to mess around and don't end up getting the job at the end at all. As long as you understand what you want out of your degree and you have a clear career goal in mind then no one should stop you from going to uni at 23.
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laurenlaura
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#4
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#4
Heyyy! I’m starting uni in September and I’m 30, so trust me you have nothing to worry about x
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PinkMobilePhone
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I'm 38 and I'm at uni. There's no one set path through life.
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skippydog
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#6
(Original post by sienna2891)
i started at 21 last september, didn't like the uni so am dropping out and starting at a different one this september at 22, i don't know about you but you can't tell just by looking at me that i'm older than 18/19 and every fresher i've met in the last year was surprised that i was in my early 20s. I lived in halls and knew one girl who was 21, one who was 22 and two boys who were 23 so there will be others. Lots of people don't get "proper" jobs straight after leaving uni when i was 18/19 working behind the bar in a pub one of my coworkers was 24/25 and had a decent degree from a good uni just hadn't found a proper job yet. Not everyone our age that's left uni has a fancy grad job due to covid or other reasons. I'd rather be at uni now anyway bc covids over and everyone i know who started in 2018/2019 spent half of it in lockdown which i think i would be very bitter about had i been at uni myself at that time
Thank you for your reply! Means a lot to hear someone is also in the same shoes! I hope your studying goes well this time around
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skippydog
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#7
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(Original post by PinkMobilePhone)
I'm 38 and I'm at uni. There's no one set path through life.
Thank you for your kind words, I hope your studying goes well!
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Tracey_W
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#8
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#8
(Original post by skippydog)
Hi,

I’m having to restart my studies at university at 23, after a long period of pretty serious illness and other things that meant I couldn’t study. I feel very behind if all my friends as they’re graduating or have already graduated and I’m only just starting, or they’re in higher level jobs while I’ve never really had a ‘proper’ job and my first ‘proper’ job will likely be at 26/27. I feel a little like I’ve missed my chance with starting and getting a good job, and I’m worried people will judge me! Has anyone else felt like this, and does anyone have any advice?
I was 26 when I started my midwifing degree at university and qualified at 29 and I was not the oldest in my group as was in amongst others who was nearly 50 years old and some very young people.

You'll probably be in a group of mixed ages so I wouldn't worry about it okay

Go and enjoy yourself at university.
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artful_lounger
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Don't be. Pretty much everyone from age 18-25 or so is roughly in the same period of life, approaches things the same ways, and are interested in the same kinds of things. Also remember uni is not age segregated in the way school was, and you'll have people from all sorts of ages, different degree programmes, and even different cohorts ("year groups" in school parlance) in any given module, because everything is a real mix normally.

Also even mature students over the age of 25 can and do engage in all the usual trappings of uni student life if they so desire - it's just a bit less common because students of or above that age are sometimes less interested in doing so, often because they already have their own friends and family outside of uni and so uni for them is more of a professional endeavour and the other students their colleagues more than friends. But that is their choice, is the important point.
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np1908
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#10
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#10
I'm starting uni this year and I wouldn't judge you!!!!
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DTON
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#11
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#11
I'm starting at 20 in October, I too feel behind because my mates have been at uni a couple of years now. Meanwhile I've been working dead end jobs or high stress jobs with potential but my mental health gave in after a while. Found a good job mentally, gardening but got laid off as I wasn't even getting paid minimum wage lol. So tried an agency job which failed, then followed by a trainee for a garage but got sacked a couple of weeks in because they "didn't have time to train me"

Kind of had an early life crisis and decided to rewind the clock before I'm too old. Haven't studied in a couple of years but it'll come back (I hope). Doing OU to save time as I can't be hassled with access courses, plus I'm not great around people so brick uni probably isn't for me.

That said, I don't think anything under 25 is too old. Really any age is fine because nobody else really cares imo.

Try not to overthink it and just focus on what you're there to achieve. What ya studying?
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JVM2020
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#12
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#12
I was 22 when I started University. A few weeks after starting, I turned 23.

Dont be ashamed!

You are built for greatness. You will find greatness in anything you set your mind to. If you set your mind to your life goals, you will achieve them!

Don't let any broken moments hold you back. You can escape a broken past. You can heal from your past wounds.

You are very special and you need to live in Hope of what you can achieve
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skippydog
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#13
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#13
(Original post by DTON)
I'm starting at 20 in October, I too feel behind because my mates have been at uni a couple of years now. Meanwhile I've been working dead end jobs or high stress jobs with potential but my mental health gave in after a while. Found a good job mentally, gardening but got laid off as I wasn't even getting paid minimum wage lol. So tried an agency job which failed, then followed by a trainee for a garage but got sacked a couple of weeks in because they "didn't have time to train me"

Kind of had an early life crisis and decided to rewind the clock before I'm too old. Haven't studied in a couple of years but it'll come back (I hope). Doing OU to save time as I can't be hassled with access courses, plus I'm not great around people so brick uni probably isn't for me.

That said, I don't think anything under 25 is too old. Really any age is fine because nobody else really cares imo.

Try not to overthink it and just focus on what you're there to achieve. What ya studying?
Oh goodness! I’m studying with the OU too; mainly because of fees and also I have to have medications that make me very tired so living away from home isn’t ideal for me! I’m studying art history and classics, what about you?

It’s really lovely to hear that someone is in the same shoes as me, thank you for your response
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skippydog
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#14
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#14
(Original post by JVM2020)
I was 22 when I started University. A few weeks after starting, I turned 23.

Dont be ashamed!

You are built for greatness. You will find greatness in anything you set your mind to. If you set your mind to your life goals, you will achieve them!

Don't let any broken moments hold you back. You can escape a broken past. You can heal from your past wounds.

You are very special and you need to live in Hope of what you can achieve
This is such a lovely and caring response! Made me well up haha! Thank you for your words <3
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DTON
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#15
(Original post by skippydog)
Oh goodness! I’m studying with the OU too; mainly because of fees and also I have to have medications that make me very tired so living away from home isn’t ideal for me! I’m studying art history and classics, what about you?

It’s really lovely to hear that someone is in the same shoes as me, thank you for your response
I'll be doing psychology.

Living away from home definitely wouldn't be for me; or at least not yet haha.

Much rather be left to my own devices, sink or swim.

Good luck with your course btw!
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JVM2020
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#16
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#16
(Original post by skippydog)
This is such a lovely and caring response! Made me well up haha! Thank you for your words <3
it's my pleasure to empower you

Always here to lift the hearts of everyone in the Student Room.
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