Mature student Profiles/Case studies - please complete yours

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J
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As mentioned in this thread, we're working with DIUS to put together resources for prospective mature students returning to education. We thought profiles/case studies would be useful to have and with your help have come up with the following headings. Please take the time to fill it in. A TSR subscription for all completed profiles many thanks..

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Please cut and paste the headings into your reply and fill in what you can

1/ Date of Birth:

2/ What you're studying and where?:

3/ Full time or part time Education?

4/ Reasons for returning back to education as a mature student?

5/ How are you funding yourself?

6/ Where do you live?

7/ What were you doing before?:

8/ Did you need to refresh your study skills (essay writing etc.)? If so how did you do it?

9/ Challenges with being a mature student?:

10/ Best bits about being a mature student?:

11/ How do you find being older than most students?

12/ What I hope to gain?

13/ How do your children/husband/wife find you being a student (if applicable)?

14/ Any tips for other people contemplating becoming a mature student?
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ShinyApple
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I can do this, good questions J. I like it.

1/ What you're studying and where?:

Studying Physics at the University of Leeds

2/ Full time or part time Education?

Full time

3/ Reasons for returning back to education as a mature student?

I wasn't satisfied with my first degree and didn't want to pursue it as a career, so looked at what I enjoyed and tried to find a way to study it and make a career out of it in the end.

4/ How are you funding yourself?

Work, work, and more work. Funding can be hard as a mature student, especially with other caring responsibilities (which thankfully I do not have). However, it is possible and there is help out there.

5/ Where do you live?

I live in a shared house just the same as any other student would. It has worked fine for me, since there are actually a lot of other older students out there such as postgraduates and medics. Even if you're a lot older than myself, living in a shared house is totally possible and can be a really great way to make sure you enjoy the social side of university life as well.

6/ What were you doing before?:

I was working and studying. Pretty much the same as now. I did have a full-time job at one point as a bar manager. It depressed me quite badly as I knew there wasn't much of a future in it. Also, I knew I could achieve more.

7/ Did you need to refresh your study skills (essay writing etc.)? If so how did you do it?

I took a course which involved improving study skills called "Transferable Skills". There I was helped to update my skills and learn things like referencing properly, which is a very important area of university study at the moment. I also met a lot of other student like me. Most universities offer such workshops. Try to get in contact with your lifelong learning centre.

8/ Challenges with being a mature student?:

My biggest challenge was getting my brain back into gear after a break. I found that many of my fellow students flew through 1st year, whereas I found it a lot harder to do. I spent a lot of time in the library with the foreign students. In the end though it was worth it as I felt I was more prepared for the subsequent years.

9/ Best bits about being a mature student?:

I find that many people look to me for the answers to the world around them. I have made some really great friends of all ages, but it's a great feeling to think that you really have helped people. It's also a far better learning experience now that I have the will to study as opposed to just wanting to spend 3 years having a party!

10/ How do you find being older than most students?

It's not a major problem for me, because I am not that much older than most of them. However, sometime I find I am much more mature and have to hold back on judging others because of their maturity. I initially got into arguments with people who simply didn't have my maturity level, and it would frustrate me. However, as I said, it's great to help those who are a little clueless about the student life their rights.

11/ What I hope to gain?

I hope to get into a great job, but I've also learnt that there is much to be gained from university. I've really got involved in many areas of university life and met many people from many different backgrounds. My viewpoints have been changed dramatically over the years and it's been a fantastic way to learn about humans in general.

12/ How do your children/husband/wife find you being a student (if applicable)?

I don't have them, but my girlfriend has been really supportive, despite having finished a year before I started. She found it difficult that our two different social lives did not mix very well, but it has worked out fine.

13/ Any tips for other people contemplating becoming a mature student?

Many universities are offering buddying schemes for mature students and also have union reps for them. Try to get in contact with them and also go to see the people at the lifelong learning centre. These people can really give you a point in the right direction even if you don't think you need it.
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20083
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1/ What you're studying and where?:
BSc (Hons) Computing Science with Industrial Placement @ The University of Aberdeen
2/ Full time or part time Education?
Full
3/ Reasons for returning back to education as a mature student?
Firstly there was always the wish to go back into education (but not to university) to try desperately to get out of a factory life. Forced out of work due to an accident, it was seen as the perfect time to study and set about doing a SVQ Group Award, which then prompted me to do an HNC. It was only when staff at the college convinced me that I could (and should) study in university, combined with my surprising top grades at college did I go for it.
4/ How are you funding yourself?
SAAS/SLC, help from parents, scholarship and payed work placements (summer placements as part of my scholarship) and part time work with the university's Alumni Annual Fund.
5/ Where do you live?
University Halls of Residence first two years, and then Unite this year.
6/ What were you doing before?
As mentioned earlier, working in fish factories. Working as a department supervisor/team leader.
7/ Did you need to refresh your study skills (essay writing etc.)? If so how did you do it?
The college I went to was very good in putting us through communications, maths, ICT, etc. core skills courses during the first year.
8/ Challenges with being a mature student?:
Finance: It's more the worries of finance before you go to university that is the problem. It seems worse than it will be, especially when you are used to money coming in regularly.
Accommodation: Worries about being too old for halls. Completely unfounded though, as once you are there it really is not an issue (or noticed).
9/ Best bits about being a mature student?:
Being a "teenager" for a second time Seriously... you can go to university and have the same experiences and activities as your younger counterparts.
10/ How do you find being older than most students?
As said above... when it comes down to it, there is no difference at all. You just need to be willing to get on and make friends with younger people, and do younger things.
11/ What I hope to gain?
A degree, a decent job, good experience and some respect.
12/ How do your children/husband/wife find you being a student (if applicable)?
n/a
13/ Any tips for other people contemplating becoming a mature student?
Apply for scholarships and placements. Employers and sponsors will look favourably on you due to being a mature student, and there are some gems out there which little students no about. They are not advertised well, so get onto the university's website, find the scholarships page and see what you fancy. You are likely to get cash, experience and prestige of having a scholarship. Applications often have to be in by Easter, so look early.
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mullings1
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1/ Date of Birth:

Age: 39

2/ What you're studying and where?:

I will be study law, not sure which uni as yet, still waiting for my replies.

3/ Full time or part time Education?

Full time

4/ Reasons for returning back to education as a mature student?

After raising my children and working several years, I decided to go back to full time education.

5/ How are you funding yourself?

Student Finance

6/ Where do you live?

I live in London, within my own accommodation

7/ What were you doing before?:

Raising my two children. Working as a legal secretary, which is where my interest to study law came from.

8/ Did you need to refresh your study skills (essay writing etc.)? If so how did you do it?

As a mature student I undertook the ILEX Legal Secretaries Diploma, which I received 6 distinctions. Immediately after the course, I enrolled on the Access Course Law Pathway.

9/ Challenges with being a mature student?:

After being away from education for a long time, I experienced anxieties as to how I would cope with the workload. My tutors were very supportive and understood my situation and made allowances for that.

10/ Best bits about being a mature student?:

Knowing that it is never too late to get a degree. Also, knowing their are like minded people in the same situation as myself.

11/ How do you find being older than most students?

While I was completing my Access Course, the oldest student was 60 years old, so it didn't seem so bad. The amount of knowledge that this lady new was enormous. The universities I have researched welcome mature students, knowing this has put my mind at rest. I am not sure how I would cope if I was the only mature student in the class.

12/ What I hope to gain?

A degree hopefully and a great job to boot

13/ How do your children/husband/wife find you being a student (if applicable)?

My daughter is 18, she is so proud of me, and my family are very supportive and are behind me 100%

14/ Any tips for other people contemplating becoming a mature student?

Dont be put off because of your age. Look at this as an advantage not a disadvantage. It is never too late. If you have been out of education for a while, Access Courses are very good, and these are recognised by most universities. Research your universities, to see if they welcome mature students. Go to as many open days, and ask as many questions possible to put your mind at ease.

Lastly the best of luck
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Roodie
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1/ Date of Birth:

September 1973

2/ What you're studying and where?

Nutrition & Dietetics at Chester University

3/ Full time or part time Education? Full time

4/ Reasons for returning back to education as a mature student?

Never tried hard at school and ended up in a job I despised, for little money and no recognition. Wanted a career I felt was more worthwhile, caring and science-related. After researching for ages I really felt I’d discovered a job that was perfect for me - a dietitian. But it took me over three years of planning to get on to the degree course.

5/ How are you funding yourself?

As it's a Health Professional course the lovely NHS pay my course fees, give me a bursary and pay 85% of my son’s nursery costs.

6/ Where do you live?

North Wales, about 12 miles from Uni, so it's easy to travel in.

7/ What were you doing before?

I went to art college ended up as a retail graphic designer for a “frozen food supermarket”. I was so bored sat at my desk day in, day out. Sales figures, marketing targets.....zzzzz.........I felt I wasn't using my brain at all, and personally thought that people's health and well-being was more important than the shallow world of retail.

8/ Did you need to refresh your study skills (essay writing etc.)? If so how did you do it?

I did an access course, which was fantastic and really prepared me for uni.

9/ Challenges with being a mature student?

Juggling family life and housework with alot of study is very hard. You need to be so organised and manage your time well.

10/ Best bits about being a mature student?

It’s fantastic studying and actually enjoying what you are learning. If my 16-year old self could see me now, I wouldn’t believe I could be such a swot! In the library all hours, working hard. Pub? No chance! (Can’t afford it anyway!)

11/ How do you find being older than most students?

Not a problem at all, the youngies are very friendly on my course.

12/ What I hope to gain?

On graduating I’ll be a State Registered Dietitian. I hope to have a great career as a specialist, with deserved recognition, and a varied and interesting job. But at the end of the day I would just love a job I enjoy. A half decent salary would do too

13/ How do your children/husband/wife find you being a student (if applicable)?

Partner and family very proud. Some friends don’t seem to be that interested though...

14/ Any tips for other people contemplating becoming a mature student?

Go for it – you will always regret it if you don’t try. In the words of George Eliot: “It’s never too late to be what you should have been”
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MrShifty
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#6
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1/ Date of Birth:

1978

2/ What you're studying and where?:

PhD -Mathematics, UEA (formerly, University of Bristol, BSc Mathematics)

3/ Full time or part time Education?

Full time.

4/ Reasons for returning back to education as a mature student?

Necessary for a career in academia.

5/ How are you funding yourself?

Isle of Man grant (maintenance and tuition).

6/ Where do you live?

Norwich.

7/ What were you doing before?:

Immediately before my current course: Studying an MSc in pure maths at UEA.

Before becoming a mature student: Dossing, travelling, renaissance manning.

8/ Did you need to refresh your study skills (essay writing etc.)? If so how did you do it?

Yes, read through A-Level texts immediately before starting at the local sixth form/FE college.

9/ Challenges with being a mature student?:

The haunting, dead eyes of fresh faced youngsters staring at me with soulless befuddlement.

10/ Best bits about being a mature student?:

Not feeling a compulsion to stay in halls or join thousands of societies. Imagining oneself as looking dashingly weatherbeaten.

11/ How do you find being older than most students?

s'alright. They're lovely really.

12/ What I hope to gain?

Being able to shut myself away in academia forevermore, shielding myself from the real world with an impenetrably thick air of pomposity and smugness.

13/ How do your children/husband/wife find you being a student (if applicable)?

Recently also a postgraduate student, so fine!

14/ Any tips for other people contemplating becoming a mature student?

Don't be put off or let yourself be intimidated by the idea you're going to be a sore thumb, you wont be as the whipsnaps are quite accomodating! Well, I was a bit, but that's only because I'm a maladjusted anti-social ne'erdowell.
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eve_22
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1/ Date of Birth: Sometime in 1986

2/ What you're studying and where?: Certificate of HE in Legal Method, Birkbeck University of London (Access to Law course)

3/ Full time or part time Education? Part time one year

4/ Reasons for returning back to education as a mature student? I wanted to give myself the long awaited chance of achieving my dreams and realising my ambitions.

5/ How are you funding yourself? Self funded (through earnings at work). However, as from October 2009 I will be getting government support from Student Finance.

6/ Where do you live?
London

7/ What were you doing before?: i left school at 16 and moved to UK. Since then, I have been working.

8/ Did you need to refresh your study skills (essay writing etc.)? If so how did you do it? It all just came back to me I count myself lucky.

9/ Challenges with being a mature student?: I am yet to start university, however, as I will be attending a mature student college at Oxford, I am not expecting too many (or at least hoping not to come across them too much)

10/ Best bits about being a mature student?: Not having to have A levels :p: Other then that, I think that coming back to education, having gained experience of the adult life and experienced the harshness it may bring upon you, is an advantage. It allows one to be focused and consistent on what one wants to achieve.

11/ How do you find being older than most students? The course I am currently studying on is for mature students, so I wouldn't know about that.

12/ What I hope to gain? My aim was to get an offer from a university to read law, which I did and which I am extremely pleased about.

13/ How do your children/husband/wife find you being a student (if applicable)? My partner (I am not married) is very supportive and have been all along the way. I don't know how I would have handled the stress without his support :love:

14/ Any tips for other people contemplating becoming a mature student?[/ Do not hesitate and go for it! Put the work in and the results might pleasantly surprise you.
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Orli19
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1/ Date of Birth:

Age, 25.

2/ What you're studying and where?:

Not currently at uni as i am completing my A-Levels - hope to study Geography next year.

3/ Full time or part time Education?

Full time at College

4/ Reasons for returning back to education as a mature student?

Got tired of doing the same mundane job over and over, i took a look at my life and decided that i cant continue doing this forever. I had always wanted to return to education, but i had always put it off or said "I'll do it later" So i just thought now is as good a time as any, so why not.

5/ How are you funding yourself?

Part-time work and ALG.

6/ Where do you live?

At home with parents.

7/ What were you doing before?:

Working as a civil servant dealing with property tax.

8/ Did you need to refresh your study skills (essay writing etc.)? If so how did you do it?

Sort of - once enrolled at college i spoke to my teachers to let them know my situation (being an old git), and really just asked if they had any advice or tips. The study skills seemed to come back naturally and after a few weeks i was fully refreshed - it was like i'd never been away from education!

9/ Challenges with being a mature student?:

Funding - although i'm living at home, i still pay rent, as well as various bills/debts/car etc which my new part time wage barely covers. So the main challenge was adapting to the lack of money!

10/ Best bits about being a mature student?:

It's just nice being a student again, knowing that age is not a barrier.

11/ How do you find being older than most students?

It was a bit strange at first, but its not caused any problems, most people don't even realise i am older, and i don't bring it up unless i'm specifically asked. After a few weeks i just felt like any other student.

12/ What I hope to gain?

I hope to get my degree which i hope will lead to a more interesting/promising career.

13/ How do your children/husband/wife find you being a student (if applicable)?

14/ Any tips for other people contemplating becoming a mature student?

Don't let age stop you from returning to education, it really is not an issue. If its something you want to do, then just go for it, it's never too late.
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moonkatie
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#9
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#9
1/ Age:
24

2/ What you're studying and where?:
Currently studying Human Biology, Forensic Science, Archaeological Sciences and Scientific Maths with the Open University.
I will be switching to a 'brick' University in October to study Archaeology & Anthropology (grades permitting) at the University of Cambridge.

3/ Full time or part time Education?
Currently part time, will be full time as of Oct.

4/ Reasons for returning back to education as a mature student?
I attempted to have a 'career' without returning to education but there was no denying that it just wasn't my calling in life.

5/ How are you funding yourself?
Full time study will be funded by loans, grants, bursaries and my pathetic attempt at saving.

6/ Where do you live?
I rent privately and will continue to do so.

7/ What were you doing before?:
Most recently, fraud investigation - nicely paid, mortgage, (relatively) secure life.

8/ Did you need to refresh your study skills (essay writing etc.)? If so how did you do it?
Hopefully two years of work with the OU at both first and second year level will be good preparation.

9/ Challenges with being a mature student?:
Finances and time - I am often lacking in both.

10/ Best bits about being a mature student?:
I know exactly what I want to do. Had I completed a degree earlier I would most certainly have taken a course that was not right for me.
It's also helpful that my 'just left home, every night out on the lash' days are over and I can focus on the work.

11/ How do you find being older than most students?
This isn't really applicable to me at present, but it's not something that I'm unduly concerned about.

12/ What I hope to gain?
A good class of degree in a discipline that I adore. Longterm, I would like to continue my education past undergraduate level.

13/ How do your children/husband/wife find you being a student (if applicable)?
My daughter is too young to really be aware of it at present. There is a certain level of guilt on my part when I am trying to hurry her to bed as I have an approaching deadline, and I'm sure it'll only get worse once I'm dropping her off at nursery every morning... one day I'd like to think that she will understand my choices and be happy with the life that I am making for us.

14/ Any tips for other people contemplating becoming a mature student?
Do your research. Whilst some Universities are very good at dealing with the demands of mature students, you may well find that others are totally hopeless and you're out there on your own. The information is out there, it's just not always very easy to find. Talking with other mature students on forums (such as TSR) can be a huge help.
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MarshallJT
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#10
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#10
1/ Date of Birth:

Age: 21

2/ What you're studying and where?:

I am currently on an Access to Higher Education course, Its a full science based course with one related "bridge" subject and Study Skills (Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Environmental Science). Enough to cover a range of locations should the second requirement for my intended degree differ between Chem or Environmental Science.

3/ Full time or part time Education?


Full time

4/ Reasons for returning back to education as a mature student?

I always intended to go into higher education, but due to family issues and massive arguments with many schools and colleges I generally lost faith in the 14 - 19 education system when I was around those ages. But I always enjoyed myself and worked hard and passed when I participated in Undergraduate level workshops ran by my local University.

So in order to get myself out of the cycle I was in and to get me into a set of work that I want to do in the future I decided I would have to do the access course. Thinking back I was somewhat negatively biased towards considering doing anything like an Access course even over the standard route (which I hated with a passion) when I was a few years younger than I am. But thinking about where I am now, I really should've attempted the join the access course in previous years as what I did exclusively last year was incorporated into it anyways.

5/ How are you funding yourself?

A combination of set aside funds and student finance/ bursaries...etc

6/ Where do you live?

I live in an inner city apartment, if it wasn't a perk of the job I wouldn't be able to afford it.

7/ What were you doing before?:

Working as a caretaker, if you mean before that then I was going from house to house/ shelter as I was effectively homeless due to being an early casualty to the events leading up to the current recession.

8/ Did you need to refresh your study skills (essay writing etc.)? If so how did you do it?

Yes and no, as it depends on which study skill your talking about. I have written a lot of essays and assignments over the year and never really forgot how to write one but as far as research papers and census reports I needed to learn them from scratch as I had never used them and they are crucial for my future intentions.

9/ Challenges with being a mature student?:

Balancing time/ Time Management, also putting up with things your not keen on within your course (like when your being learning from a book and the answers it says are correct are wrong! and a big argument in class begins as to why we are learning from a book that is wrong).

10/ Best bits about being a mature student?:

Greater leniency when it comes to attendance and how far behind you can get on work before staff start to drop hints or outright confront you. Meaning that there is generally less grief and stress in the learning environment.

11/ How do you find being older than most students?

Well being 21, I am not exactly older than most students. I am at more or less the same age as people on Post graduate level courses or people who have taken a single gap year from education. So the only thing that I could say is that some of the older students (30+ in age) are generally less likely to talk or approach me because I am younger meaning sometimes it can get a bit lonely in lessons.

12/ What I hope to gain?

Qualifications to get me closer to my goal of being an Ecologist, though in general I guess to get enough work done to get into a degree course.

13/ How do your children/husband/wife find you being a student (if applicable)?

Not applicable, as I am single and without kids. But I share the apartment and work (the job I/ we do is a 24/7 type of job) we another person. Though we pick up after each other should the other need time off for one reason or another. So there are rarely any real conflicts of interest.

14/ Any tips for other people contemplating becoming a mature student?

Get as much information as you possibly can about what you intend to do or become and what routes you can go to achieve this. If I had done that I would have been on my second year at university by now, instead of still working towards it.
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biba girl
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#11
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#11
1/ Date of Birth:

I've just turned 25.

2/ What you're studying and where?:

English and Politics - Queen's University Belfast.

3/ Full time or part time Education?

Full time.

4/ Reasons for returning back to education as a mature student?

Realised any job I wanted to do would require a degree.

5/ How are you funding yourself?

LEA.

6/ Where do you live?

Northern Ireland.

7/ What were you doing before?:

Working in IT.

8/ Did you need to refresh your study skills (essay writing etc.)? If so how did you do it?

I went back to college and did a fast-track (one year) Foundation Humanities course which was certified by Queen's University, so was specifically to prepare you for their courses. It included a study skills module.

9/ Challenges with being a mature student?:

None really - I'm not married, don't have children and didn't give up a proper career. I still live mostly at home and work part time, so my life isn't much different to younger students.

10/ Best bits about being a mature student?:

I appreciate being at university more because I've had jobs that were boring and poorly paid, so knowing the sort of thing I'd have to go back to definitely motivates me to do well!

11/ How do you find being older than most students?

This is a bit tricky for me because I'm only in my mid-twenties and I look younger, so no one really guesses I'm a mature student. I can't totally relate to the 18/19-year-olds because I am a bit older than them, but at the same time I can't really relate to the 'proper' mature students, because I'm not worrying about things like kids and mortgages! I have felt more excluded by other mature students (people in their 30s/40s) than I have by younger students.

12/ What I hope to gain?

A degree, and hopefully a better job than I would have otherwise.

13/ How do your children/husband/wife find you being a student (if applicable)?

N/A (but my parents are very supportive).

14/ Any tips for other people contemplating becoming a mature student?

Try to get into the university experience as much as you can - make friends with different kinds of people, join clubs/societies that look interesting, make use of the careers/learning services, etc. Basically, take advantage of all the resources available to you, because you're paying for them and you'll probably regret it in the end if you just coast through your degree.
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Zarogue
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#12
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#12
1/ Date of Birth:
1971

2/ What you're studying and where?:
BSc Chemistry, University of Pymouth

3/ Full time or part time Education?
Full Time

4/ Reasons for returning back to education as a mature student?
The job I found myself in after leaving the army, was leaving me with a feeling that I was wasting my life away, there was scope for later promotion but the job didn't do anything for me. I felt I was capable of more and without any further training/education there was no way to escape doing that sort of job for the rest of my working life.

5/ How are you funding yourself?
Just.
Student Finance, I was part time van driving, although I've just lost that job through my boss ending the contract on the round I was working on. Looking for something else atm. Wife works part-time and is also studying, working towards Early Years Professional Status

6/ Where do you live?
Plymouth, We have our own house and a £50k mortgage.

7/ What were you doing before?: 12 years in the Army , left in 2004. Then 6 months as a Postman before almost three years at he local newspaper press site.

8/ Did you need to refresh your study skills (essay writing etc.)? If so how did you do it?
Yes, I had taken A-Levels, but in 1990 and didn't do particularly well. I approached the University directly about taking a degree and they required me to take their Foundation Science year, which is a route I would fully recommend.

9/ Challenges with being a mature student?:
Being married and having two children, my main struggles are with finance and time management. We are lucky that my wife works at the after-school club for next-door to my youngest son's school so when I have later lectures childcare is not a problem. Finding time and a place to study at home is sometimes difficult especially when my wife is also studying, she's taking her maths and english GCSE's as well as a Foundation degree.

10/ Best bits about being a mature student?:
Especially as an older mature student i.e. over 30 I feel that you are treated slightly differently by tutors as they realise that you have made a big commitment and have a lot to lose by not succeeding. Your life experiences help you to cope with situations both in and out of class. There is no peer pressure to go out every night and leave coursework 'til the last minute.

11/ How do you find being older than most students?
At 37, I'm almost twice the age of about 1/3 of the course, there is only one other student over 30. I have made some good friends, they know my domestic situation and realise that I have a different social agenda to the majority of them and it has never been an issue.

12/ What I hope to gain?
A good class of degree and the chance to start a second career.

13/ How do your children/husband/wife find you being a student (if applicable)?
They have been very supportive, as mentioned before my wife is a student too, which helps.

14/ Any tips for other people contemplating becoming a mature student?
Think about what's most important to you in a choice of Uni, degree choice, location etc. because I didn't want to move I went directly to my local one. As previous posters said remember you are paying for all this so make the most of it. Take your time in choosing your degree, I changed my mind during the foundation year. Don't be put off by thinking you will be out of place, you won't be. Think about the finances well in advance too and keep on top of all the paperwork, I've lost count of the number of times I've had to send of evidence of this that and the other for student finance or tax credits etc.
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PinkMobilePhone
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#13
Report 12 years ago
#13
1/ Date of Birth:
20//12/1983

2/ What you're studying and where?:
Classical Civilisation at University of Leeds. But I'm currently taking time out for maternity reasons.

3/ Full time or part time Education?
Full time

4/ Reasons for returning back to education as a mature student?
Well I didn't start as a mature student. I sort of turned into one. I started uni when I was 20 on a different course. And then I had a baby, and changed courses, so by the time I re-started uni as a fresher on my new course I was 22 and therefore a mature student. After that I keep taking years out so I'm getting older and older!

5/ How are you funding yourself?
student loan and grant, same as other students

6/ Where do you live?
own home about 20 minutes drive from the uni

7/ What were you doing before?:
did my A levels at sixth form college, and then worked for a year in an office

8/ Did you need to refresh your study skills (essay writing etc.)? If so how did you do it?
n/a

9/ Challenges with being a mature student?:
no social life. Also having to juggle children and writing essays is difficult

10/ Best bits about being a mature student?:
none really. I think I would have preferred to have got my degree out of the way before having kids and being a mature student. But life didn't go that way.

11/ How do you find being older than most students?
a bit isolating. It's kind of odd because I'm only 25 so I could pass for being a non-mature student looks wise, but my situation with having a husband and children and so on is so different to all of the younger students. But there again I don't really feel the same as some of the 'older' mature students on my course, as they are in their 60s, and they look upon me in much the same way as they would look at a non-mature student, because to them they see me as just being 'young' so I'm stuck in the middle really.

12/ What I hope to gain?
a degree of course. Plus I want my children to be proud of me, and I want to be proud of myself, for actually having achieved something!

13/ How do your children/husband/wife find you being a student (if applicable)?
My kids are too young to understand really. My husband is not very supportive at all. He would rather I left uni for good.

14/ Any tips for other people contemplating becoming a mature student?
If it's something you want to do, then go for it. It's rewarding but don't expect to find it easy because it can be isolating.
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pinknurse21
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#14
Report 12 years ago
#14
1/ Date of Birth:

nearly 21

2/ What you're studying and where?:

access to health profession's

3/ Full time or part time Education?

part time

4/ Reasons for returning back to education as a mature student?

had time out of education due to caring for my daughter. feel that now is the best time to get it done.

5/ How are you funding yourself?

i didnt have to pay for my course besides enrolment fee! its only 1 day a week so not much funding.

6/ Where do you live?

surrey

7/ What were you doing before?:

stay at home mum

8/ Did you need to refresh your study skills (essay writing etc.)? If so how did you do it?

no

9/ Challenges with being a mature student?:

well i only started last week so none yet!

10/ Best bits about being a mature student?:

cant tell as of yet

11/ How do you find being older than most students?

i go to a college were there are loads of young people but i look around the same age as them so i just blend in. in my class there are loads of older people so i still feel young!

12/ What I hope to gain?

to be successfull on my course an then to go onto uni

13/ How do your children/husband/wife find you being a student (if applicable)?

very very supportive. my lttle girl was upset that i had to leave her

14/ Any tips for other people contemplating becoming a mature student?

go for it anything is possibly!!!
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quizster
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#15
Report 12 years ago
#15
Please cut and paste the headings into your reply and fill in what you can

1/ Date of Birth:
1985

2/ What you're studying and where?:

In the 2007/2008 academic year I was studying on the foundation programme at Durham University Queens Campus (for those who are not sure what the foundation year is, its is a year study which brings students up to that level of education to start a degree). I successfully passed the foundation year, but due to a number of reasons, I decided to take a year out, I guess mainly to save some more money and also make sure of my academic future was in the right direction. I was due and still am due to study Geography. For me to return to study, I have had to reapply, which I have done, but I took the opportunity to reapply to 5 universities again, not just Durham, and have been offered places at 4, just waiting to hear from Durham. I am quite nervous about hearing back from Durham, because they might feel I have been messing them about, although I did discuss my situation with the admission tutor. I guess Durham is my first choice, with Sheffield and Hull being 2 and 3, but truth me known, I am really inclined to Hull at the moment, because the course I applied for is Geography and History, and the context of the course really appeals to me right now.

3/ Full time or part time Education?

Full

4/ Reasons for returning back to education as a mature student?

The biggest regret of my life is not going to sixth form college, I had obtained the grades and was due to enrol, but a last minute change of heart, stopped me. From then on, I guess I got stuck in a rut, I got a job, which was a good job, with half decent money, and for 5 years I just got stuck in a rut, until I realised if I didn't make a move, I'd end up being stuck in the rut for the rest of my life. The job I had could have lead to bigger and better things, but it just wasn't for me, I used to feel so unsatisfied with my life, and for a while I thought this is how it must be for everyone, then I realised it wasn't like this for everyone, and some people must enjoy their job, and I wanted to get into a position where one day I would be one of these people.

5/ How are you funding yourself?
Student Finance

6/ Where do you live?

Home at the moment with parents, but will be in student accommodation from September/October this year.

7/ What were you doing before?:

Working in an administration position.

8/ Did you need to refresh your study skills (essay writing etc.)? If so how did you do it?

I did a Pre Access course at my local further education college, it was for student going onto the Access course at college, but this suited me, and helped me progress onto the foundation year programme, it was only 16 weeks, 3 hours every week on an evening. The course covered presentations, essay writing, time management etc.

9/ Challenges with being a mature student?:

There is no bout it can seem a challenge top fit in with other "regular" students, but the fact is, it need not be, I find most students are quite open minded, and the ones that aren't, well, they are not worth knowing.

10/ Best bits about being a mature student?:

Fulfilling your potential.

11/ How do you find being older than most students?

No major problem

12/ What I hope to gain?

The opportunity to have a better life with the academic qualifications needed.

14/ Any tips for other people contemplating becoming a mature student?

Make the jump today!
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ipswichblade
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#16
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#16
1/ Date of Birth: 07/05/1986

2/ What you're studying and where?: See signature...don't know yet, hopefully teaching at either Huddersfield or York St John

3/ Full time or part time Education? Full time

4/ Reasons for returning back to education as a mature student? Dropped out of uni in 2007 after choosing wrong course and now I know what I want to do 100% I'm going for it

5/ How are you funding yourself? Been saving up from the 2 jobs I have plus student finance apart from tution fee loan as I've already had 2 years of study

6/ Where do you live? Ipswich

7/ What were you doing before?: I did Criminology and Psychology at Sheffield Hallam but didn't like the course and now I am working as a playworker and senior midday supervisor gaining experience working with children

8/ Did you need to refresh your study skills (essay writing etc.)? If so how did you do it? Been practicing QTS skills test online

9/ Challenges with being a mature student?: Hopefully not too many!

10/ Best bits about being a mature student?: Ask me this time next year!

11/ How do you find being older than most students? See previous answer

12/ What I hope to gain? A happy time at uni unlike previously and hopefully I will become a teacher at the end of the degree!

13/ How do your children/husband/wife find you being a student (if applicable)? My OH will support me all the way!

14/ Any tips for other people contemplating becoming a mature student? Go for it, don't be put off by previous study or bad experiences or a lack of support from friends/family.
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J
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#17
Report Thread starter 12 years ago
#17
these are really excellent thanks everyone. I'm putting the profiles together in article format next. If anyone is happy with us including their photo with their profile it would bring it to life a bit, drop me a private message and i'll give you my email to send it to or include it in this thread as an attachement, or if you have a picture in your profile on TSR just let me know its fine to use it.

Thanks
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20083
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#18
Report 12 years ago
#18
(Original post by J)
these are really excellent thanks everyone. I'm putting the profiles together in article format next. If anyone is happy with us including their photo with their profile it would bring it to life a bit, drop me a private message and i'll give you my email to send it to or include it in this thread as an attachement, or if you have a picture in your profile on TSR just let me know its fine to use it.

Thanks
You can use my TSR profile pic.
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devils_nose
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#19
Report 12 years ago
#19
1/ Date of Birth: 1979

2/ What you're studying and where?: Meteorology, Reading Uni

3/ Full time or part time Education? Full-time

4/ Reasons for returning back to education as a mature student? Dissatisfied with my career, finally figured out what I want to do with myself

5/ How are you funding yourself? Student finance, work

6/ Where do you live? In halls last year, house share with other mature students this year

7/ What were you doing before?: 10 long years in finance

8/ Did you need to refresh your study skills (essay writing etc.)? If so how did you do it? I did a foundation year at Reading before starting my degree, mainly because I didn't have any a-levels (other than maths which I did on an evening course prior to applying)

9/ Challenges with being a mature student?: None really, I get on well with the younger students and seem to be doing ok academically. Obviously, I get no help from my parents but that is true for a lot of 18 year olds too!

10/ Best bits about being a mature student?: Motivation, I have very different reasons for doing this than a lot of my peers IMO and I try very hard to make worthwhile all that I gave up to be here. Other than that, I find it a lot easier to find vacation work with my working background.

11/ How do you find being older than most students? Inevitable! Its something I'm always aware of as I'm the only mature student on my course but I don't let it affect my work or friendships.

12/ What I hope to gain? A career that I can enjoy

13/ How do your children/husband/wife find you being a student (if applicable)? N/A - although my boyfriend is very supportive and proud of me.

14/ Any tips for other people contemplating becoming a mature student? Throw yourself in head first, people won't notice your age if you don't take much notice of theirs. You will be amazed how much capacity for learning your brain has retained - so never think you're too old to do it.
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Apocalypte
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#20
Report 12 years ago
#20
1/ Date of Birth:
24/06/1984 - I'll be 25 just after I finish my honours degree.

2/ What you're studying and where?:
Computer Science, University College Dublin

3/ Full time or part time Education?
Full-time

4/ Reasons for returning back to education as a mature student?
Realising that I couldn't go for the jobs I wanted with only a general (3-year) degree which I completed in 2007, and that I'd need the honours (4-year) one.

5/ How are you funding yourself?
Living off savings, and (embarrassingly enough) sponging off my parents.

6/ Where do you live?
At home, home being Tallaght, on the southside of Dublin.

7/ What were you doing before?:
Working as a technical support agent for a large pharma company.

8/ Did you need to refresh your study skills (essay writing etc.)? If so how did you do it?
It didn't take me a particularly long time to get back into studying, I'd only been out of uni for a year when I decided to go back. For a while, concentration and paying attention were a problem, but I'd attribute that to the fact that several years of playing MMOs kinda fries the brain!

9/ Challenges with being a mature student?:
Finances have been the biggest challenge for me. Because of the workload, I can't take a part-time job this year so I'm living off savings and I'm painfully broke all the time. It also feels weird if I'm at some of the college nights out which are open to all years, it can make me feel really old!

10/ Best bits about being a mature student?:
In a way, I think I appreciate what I'm learning more, because I know just how much it sucks trying to find a job without the full honours degree.

11/ How do you find being older than most students?
Not too bad, but then again I'm only three years older than most people in my class so that's not a big difference.

12/ What I hope to gain?
A career that I enjoy, or possibly being able to go on to further study. I'm currently contemplating doing a postgrad, though I'll probably need to go work for a year first unless I can get funding.

13/ How do your children/husband/wife find you being a student (if applicable)?
Not applicable, single and childfree!

14/ Any tips for other people contemplating becoming a mature student?
Go for it! With the economy in a jock, there's never been a better time. Do a bit of research and make sure you know what you're getting yourself in for, but there's something out there for everyone and you won't regret it if you go for it.
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