Mature student who are parents how did you manage doing a degree.

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manuraheel
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#1
Hi
I'm looking to hear from mature students who are parents, how did you find going back to university at 35? How did you manage your time at home with the kids and assignment ? I'm looking to do study a science related subject for 4 years and wondering how I'll manage.

Thank you in advance
Last edited by manuraheel; 1 month ago
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UCLan Student
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(Original post by manuraheel)
Hi
I'm looking to hear from mature students who are parents, how did you find going back to university at 35? How did you manage your time at home with the kids and assignment ? I'm looking to do study a science related subject for 4 years and wondering how I'll manage.

Thank you in advance
Good morning Manuraheel,

While I am technically classed as a 'young' mature student at 25 (I started my foundation year at 19, had my daughter at 21 and returned to study at 22/23, just finished my degree in Biology) I hope I can help.

I won't sugar-coat it... studying with a child/children is tough. A degree is hard work for anyone but with the added childcare responsibilities, even more so. That being said, there is a huge support system for mature students and parents in place at many universities. Here are my top tips, so may not be relevant so just focus on what is:

1. When you get accepted, make sure to contact the university and let them know your situation ASAP so they can put the right support in place for you before you start - you could be given extra time for assignments etc.
2. Sort out childcare asap if you need it - if you have a partner/family/etc. can they support you? If not, are your kids at primary school? Can they go to an after school club?
3. Student Finance can also help with childcare costs so make sure to check that out if needed.
4. Get organised. As soon as you get your timetable, plan the skeleton of your days beforehand and keep a diary on you.
5. When you're at home with the children, focus on them and do your assignments/study when they are in bed. It will involve late nights and early starts but you'll soon fall into a rhythm.
6. At weekends, split your days with whomever you live with/your childcare so that you get a balance of homelife and work.

As I said, it'll be long hours, tough and mentally frustrating at times but also worth it in the end. Stay positive and determined - always seek support when you need it.

Sorry if this doesn't help much but I saw your post and wanted to share my own experience!

Best of luck,
Chelsea
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Davidswift9
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#3
(Original post by manuraheel)
Hi
I'm looking to hear from mature students who are parents, how did you find going back to university at 35? How did you manage your time at home with the kids and assignment ? I'm looking to do study a science related subject for 4 years and wondering how I'll manage.

Thank you in advance
I finished my physics degree when I was 30. Fast forward 6 years later and I work in the space satellite industry in UK and I earn not far off six figure salary.

Having a STEM degree changes your life by bringing more opportunities. I went with Open University instead of going to a brick university when I finally realised I needed a degree to change my life. At that time I was bouncing from call centres and retail jobs and needed a salary because I had debts and dependents.

You are starting now and could potentially finish at 40 studying full time at a brick uni or even full time at Open Uni. You can even work full time when studying OU full time but that's a very big commitment with kids. Or you could study part time OU and still work and be a parent.

I worked full time and studied OU full time, apart from the last 6 months I went part time in my job because the studying got intense alongside life.

You will find likely all open university students are similar, they fell through the cracks of society, had illnesses so couldn't go to uni, parents or career changers... All of which makes studying again incredibly difficult and Open Uni is setup in a manner that makes studying and juggling life easier.

I don't want to sound patronising but you are still very young. There's a lot of young people who use this website who will say you are old but these people I don't quite think get life yet! I'm 36 and still in the young side of the workforce in the company I work for. I've hired people in my team in their late 40s who have transferred from other engineering sectors and basically learning the job from scratch, this will be similar to you when you finish.

Our age group will likely work until we are 70+ so you are not even halfway yet.

Open University was the hardest thing I've ever done, only those who have finished it truly understand what it takes to do this later in life alongside commitments.

It will be a hard road with lots of tears, confidence knocks and self doubting. Not ashamed when no one was looking I cried to myself many times into my pillow at night after coming home from work, child duties and then studying when exhausted or many times studying on my lunch breaks! A lot of sacrifices.
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Bradpa
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I planned to spend as much time as I can during the the daytime at school reading then most evenings am home with the kids. I also got lots of help from some guys who did assignments for me at a small fee. All in all I made it and am now pursuing a masters though the journey ain't easy
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NovaeSci
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(Original post by Davidswift9)
I finished my physics degree when I was 30. Fast forward 6 years later and I work in the space satellite industry in UK and I earn not far off six figure salary.

Having a STEM degree changes your life by bringing more opportunities. I went with Open University instead of going to a brick university when I finally realised I needed a degree to change my life. At that time I was bouncing from call centres and retail jobs and needed a salary because I had debts and dependents.

You are starting now and could potentially finish at 40 studying full time at a brick uni or even full time at Open Uni. You can even work full time when studying OU full time but that's a very big commitment with kids. Or you could study part time OU and still work and be a parent.

I worked full time and studied OU full time, apart from the last 6 months I went part time in my job because the studying got intense alongside life.

You will find likely all open university students are similar, they fell through the cracks of society, had illnesses so couldn't go to uni, parents or career changers... All of which makes studying again incredibly difficult and Open Uni is setup in a manner that makes studying and juggling life easier.

I don't want to sound patronising but you are still very young. There's a lot of young people who use this website who will say you are old but these people I don't quite think get life yet! I'm 36 and still in the young side of the workforce in the company I work for. I've hired people in my team in their late 40s who have transferred from other engineering sectors and basically learning the job from scratch, this will be similar to you when you finish.

Our age group will likely work until we are 70+ so you are not even halfway yet.

Open University was the hardest thing I've ever done, only those who have finished it truly understand what it takes to do this later in life alongside commitments.

It will be a hard road with lots of tears, confidence knocks and self doubting. Not ashamed when no one was looking I cried to myself many times into my pillow at night after coming home from work, child duties and then studying when exhausted or many times studying on my lunch breaks! A lot of sacrifices.
I think this is the most inspiring post, for a mature, science student, that I've read up to now.

Definitely shines a bright light on all the naysayers who say starting a science degree in your 30s (which I'm currently doing) is probably a little too late.

I'd love to hear a lot more of your twilight years of study, along with the transition into the dawn of your employment years within science
Last edited by NovaeSci; 2 weeks ago
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