The Student Room Group

Navigating University as a Mature Student

WHOOP! WHOOP! :happy2:Congratulations on receiving your offer to start your university journey. I know some of you are somewhat worried about starting university as a mature student. According to UCAS, a mature student is a student aged 21 or over at the start of their studies. It can be quite nerve wracking as I too started my university studies at 21 years old. Here are my tips for navigating university as a mature student.

M Mental Health. I can’t stress how important it is for us as mature students to place our mental health as a major priority. As a matter of fact, it should be a priority for all students. As mature students, we at times feel as though we may not fit in with the student life norm and sometimes isolate ourselves. I strongly suggest the opposite of this as isolation can lead to a decline in your mental health. If you ever feel like you are struggling mentally, don’t be afraid to reach out to your university for support.

A Approachable. I’ve heard students pass comments time and time again that mature students appear to be very stand-offish and unapproachable. Mature students tend to assume that they are too “mature” to enjoy the university student life or even contribute in class. As such they sometimes give off 'snobbish energies' towards other students. Avoid this at all costs! University is the place where you network and being approachable makes this so much easier. You never know how the person who approaches you in first year might hook you up with a big opportunity in the future :wink: .

T Trust the process. There will be times where you want to give up and throw in the towel. However, I admonish you to trust the process and grow with it. I can vividly recall when I started university, I told my mom that I was tired, broke and the work load was so foreign to me. She nicely reminded me of the saying that “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, to trust the process and I will see the growth both personally and professionally. I’m so happy that I listened to that advice because whew, your boy was going through :laugh:. But hey, look at me now! On my final stretch to achieving my PhD :danceboy:

U Understand that you are not alone. There are other mature students who are going through if not the same thing as you, similar experiences. Don’t ever feel like you are a burden to express how you are feeling during the university journey. I can guarantee you that someone is going through the same or has gone through the same. These individuals provide some of the greatest support as you get to navigate the experience together :console:. I live by my former student government motto: “Together we can make it happen!” Together with the support of others and your families you can see it through the end. :hugs:

R Rest. Something that I realize as students is that we are our own enemies of progress. Sometimes it’s okay to sit back, take a deep breath and rest. Find time to relax and allow your brain to rest. You can rest by cooking your favourite meal, going for a walk, painting, catching up on your favourite show or even taking a weekend trip. Resting helps to improve your memory, reduces stress, boost your energy and productivity levels and improve your overall health. I know you might feel guilty at times resting (I’m a bit guilty of this too) but I remember seeing a tweet one day. It said, “to do your best, you need to rest!”. :sleep:

E ENJOY every moment of the experience! The university experience only happens once! As such, enjoy it. Don’t spend too much time complaining but find a balance that helps you to take advantage of opportunities. Immerse yourself in the student life experience and the love for the course you are studying. :congrats:

I hope this short 6 tips help you navigate university as a mature student. If you are a mature student and you have any other tips, please let us know in the comments below.

All the best and remember YOU GOT THIS!

- Dennis :biggrin: (3rd Year Air Transport Management PhD student)

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