The Student Room Group

Older than most at uni?

I had some time out of education after my Alevels, i’m 20 now
I’m starting university this year and was wondering if I would be more of an outsider because of my age :/

I’ve never considered myself as a mature student, I’m a young adult and everywhere I go people tell me I look much younger haha

I would just like some feedback thanks for reading !
Original post by Anonymous
I had some time out of education after my Alevels, i’m 20 now
I’m starting university this year and was wondering if I would be more of an outsider because of my age :/
I’ve never considered myself as a mature student, I’m a young adult and everywhere I go people tell me I look much younger haha
I would just like some feedback thanks for reading !

When I was in first year there were a couple of guys that were 21-22 on my course and even a flatmate so I think you'll be fine
Hey,

You don't need to worry. I started university at 22 years old and there are people in my cohort who are in their 30s and 40s. I am sure you won't be the oldest in your cohort.

-Natacha - UH Rep
Original post by Anonymous
I had some time out of education after my Alevels, i’m 20 now
I’m starting university this year and was wondering if I would be more of an outsider because of my age :/
I’ve never considered myself as a mature student, I’m a young adult and everywhere I go people tell me I look much younger haha
I would just like some feedback thanks for reading !

Hi @anonymous #1,

You don't need to worry about being 20 when you start university. A lot of people I was friends with in uni either in my flat or on my course were around your age or older when they first started and honestly I didn't even notice they were older. It might be asked when you first arrive and meeting people but from my experience that's about it and gets forgotten about and didn't matter how old people were. Lots of people don't start uni at 18 so there is a mix of ages so you won't be the oldest or feel like an outsider.

Hope this helps 🙂
Louise - University of Wolverhampton rep.
Original post by Anonymous
I had some time out of education after my Alevels, i’m 20 now
I’m starting university this year and was wondering if I would be more of an outsider because of my age :/
I’ve never considered myself as a mature student, I’m a young adult and everywhere I go people tell me I look much younger haha
I would just like some feedback thanks for reading !

Hey there! I totally understand your concern about feeling like an outsider due to your age. However, in my experience at university as a cyber security student, there were actually more students around the age of 20 than those who were 18 (or at least all the people I built connections with were 20-24). Everyone is on their own unique path and many students take gap years or start university a bit later for various reasons. So, don't worry about your age being a barrier. Universities are diverse communities with students of different ages and life experiences.

Best of luck with your university journey!
Ilya :smile:
Original post by Anonymous
I had some time out of education after my Alevels, i’m 20 now
I’m starting university this year and was wondering if I would be more of an outsider because of my age :/
I’ve never considered myself as a mature student, I’m a young adult and everywhere I go people tell me I look much younger haha
I would just like some feedback thanks for reading !

Hi there,

I wouldn't worry at all!

I joined straight from sixth form, but I made friends with people ranging from 18-28! You really can't tell unless you bring it up, but it really doesn't make a difference.

We're all at different stages when we join university, so you'll be absolutely fine. Just put the time and effort in to make connections, be willing to try new things, and enjoy yourself!

Best of luck,

Isabella
Third-year Geography with a Year Abroad Student
Original post by Anonymous
I had some time out of education after my Alevels, i’m 20 now
I’m starting university this year and was wondering if I would be more of an outsider because of my age :/
I’ve never considered myself as a mature student, I’m a young adult and everywhere I go people tell me I look much younger haha
I would just like some feedback thanks for reading !

HI there,

This is a common misconception but don't worry about this! I started uni when I was 20 and went into halls and it honestly didn't make a difference in terms of making friends with people. There isn't that much of an age gap between 18 and 21 and you can't usually tell that much if people are older than you or younger.

There will be people older than you too at uni and it really won't make a difference and if you are going to be living in accommodation, don't worry about this as it doesn't matter. If you wanted to, you could probably request that you like with people who are your age but I honestly wouldn't worry too much!

On your course there will be a mix of ages, on mine we had 18 year olds but also mature students who were in their 30's so don't worry about being old on your course. You won't be considered a mature student at 20 so don't think into this too much.

When you arrive, people will probably ask how old you are as general conversation as you are getting to know each other, but after this nobody will even think about it again as you make friends with people based on their personality and what they are like as a friend, not their age.

I hope some of this helps,

Lucy -SHU student ambassador.
Reply 7
Thanks everyone :smile:
Original post by Anonymous
I had some time out of education after my Alevels, i’m 20 now
I’m starting university this year and was wondering if I would be more of an outsider because of my age :/
I’ve never considered myself as a mature student, I’m a young adult and everywhere I go people tell me I look much younger haha
I would just like some feedback thanks for reading !

Hi!

I totally understand your worries but it's honestly really normal. Lots of people start university around your age and even later. In your case I honestly don't think people will know unless you tell them and they won't care then either. On my course we have a couple people who are a bit older then the rest of us but it doesn't matter at all. They're super nice and no one treats them any differently (if you are concerned about that). University tends to be a lot more accepting of people being older / younger or coming from different places and it's easy to make friends on your course because you all have one big thing in common with the fact you're studying and really love the same subject.

I hope this helps a little and get excited - uni is so much fun! 🙂

- Jessica
2nd year, Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence)
Reply 9
Original post by Anonymous
I had some time out of education after my Alevels, i’m 20 now
I’m starting university this year and was wondering if I would be more of an outsider because of my age :/
I’ve never considered myself as a mature student, I’m a young adult and everywhere I go people tell me I look much younger haha
I would just like some feedback thanks for reading !

Not at all! I didn't start university until I was 24. I am 27 now and about to finish my degree alongside 3 people, all who are 5/6 years younger than me, who I genuinely consider my best friends.

I was so anxious to start, thinking it would be a really lonely experience due to my age. But you're all in it together! It was the best thing I ever did. And, although I am one of the oldest in my cohort, there are about 6 or 7 people who are older than me, most of which are in their 30s and 40s.

Don't worry or overthink it, and most importantly remember to enjoy it!

Hope this helps :smile:
Original post by Anonymous
I had some time out of education after my Alevels, i’m 20 now
I’m starting university this year and was wondering if I would be more of an outsider because of my age :/

I’ve never considered myself as a mature student, I’m a young adult and everywhere I go people tell me I look much younger haha

I would just like some feedback thanks for reading !


Well, by most university considerations you aren't a mature student - normally mature students are people who are aged 21 or over at the start of the course. Also in any event, basically everyone aged 18-23 or so at uni is more or less indistinguishable visually and socially. You're all at the same stage of your life and doing the same things.

Besides which, students generally don't mind even engaging with "older" mature students in their late 20s, 30s and so on, it's more that those mature students are more likely to have existing families and friend circles outside of uni and so they may be more likely to see other students as colleagues to engage with on friendly terms, rather than people they are actively looking for form friendships with. Similarly they may be less interested in the kinds of activities those students do - but there is no barrier to joining in with them if they so wished.

Remember that uni isn't like school. Students aren't segregated by age like in school. You will have people who took one or five gap years, those who returned to study after a career elsewhere, etc. Also even among those who did all go to uni after leaving school immediately, in any given module you'll get a range of students - first years, second years, third years, year abroad students from other countries, students on other degrees, etc. So there is no homogeneity in general among study cohorts at uni, even on a per module basis.

It's a non issue, don't worry about it :smile:
Original post by Anonymous
I had some time out of education after my Alevels, i’m 20 now
I’m starting university this year and was wondering if I would be more of an outsider because of my age :/
I’ve never considered myself as a mature student, I’m a young adult and everywhere I go people tell me I look much younger haha
I would just like some feedback thanks for reading !

Hi Anonymous #1,

I started university at 20 and did not feel a difference between me and the younger students. The people I was friends with were 20-40 years old. Everyone finds their passion and is ready for university at different times. I believe that if you do not mention no one will notice you are not 18. Currently, I am doing my second degree and most of my peers are in their late 20s or 30s. If anything I think that being slightly advantage in making friends.

What course are you about to do?

Hristiana (Kingston rep)
1st year Mental Health student
Original post by Kingston Reps
Hi Anonymous #1,
I started university at 20 and did not feel a difference between me and the younger students. The people I was friends with were 20-40 years old. Everyone finds their passion and is ready for university at different times. I believe that if you do not mention no one will notice you are not 18. Currently, I am doing my second degree and most of my peers are in their late 20s or 30s. If anything I think that being slightly advantage in making friends.
What course are you about to do?
Hristiana (Kingston rep)
1st year Mental Health student


Thankyou for your advice : )
I’ll be studying social work
I’m in my first year and I’m 21 honestly no one even guesses unless I tell them but I had the exact same worries and I thought it would be blatantly obvious to everyone but it’s not and no one is looking for that kind of thing so don’t worry and also there are loads of people in the early twenties in first year, I hope this makes you feel better :smile:
Original post by Anonymous
I’m in my first year and I’m 21 honestly no one even guesses unless I tell them but I had the exact same worries and I thought it would be blatantly obvious to everyone but it’s not and no one is looking for that kind of thing so don’t worry and also there are loads of people in the early twenties in first year, I hope this makes you feel better :smile:


thankyou! :smile:
Reply 15
When I first looked at the title, I thought you were at least 40. Then, I read that you are...20. So, I will give you some perspective.

When I started my first undergrad, I was 27.
Now, I am about to start another degree, and I am 34.

In reality, age does not matter. The most important factor is what you have in mind and how mature you are.
Personally, I think that 'older' students are fascinating because they are real examples of how sometimes life can be difficult. There is not always a straightforward pathway towards your goals; sometimes, you do not know what you want to do. Everything comes with time and experience.
Hello,

You’re only as old as how you feel!!!

I’m studying medicine and for a lot of my classmates it’s their second or third degree and you can’t even guess their age.

The best thing about University is you’ll meet people in different paths of life !Try to make the most out of it!

best of luck,
Haya -MBBS V

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