At university I’m classed as a mature student. A mature student is someone aged 21 or over. In other words I’m an adult learner. I’m placed into this category. Is it because of my age – yes? Is it a reflection of my personality – yes, in my opinion. But what is it really like being a mature student from my experience?
I’m 22. I chose to start university at the age of 20. I went to do a degree in social work. It didn’t work out as you may know by now. Fast forward to September 2015 and I started my degree in journalism – that’s working out really well. So I started the degree that I will graduate from at the age of 21. At this point I was classed as a mature student.
I’m the oldest on my course and will be 24 when I graduate. It doesn’t bother me.
So far my experience of being a mature student doesn’t feel any different. I don’t get treated any differently just because I have more university experience and am a little older than others on my course. I am treated equally.
In fact, I don’t feel like a mature student. I don’t think you are made to feel that way at university and that’s how it should be.
I like that I have experience that I can draw on to help other people. I can’t always help and that’s okay. But it’s nice when people ask me for help and want advice and support throughout university and when I can help. It isn’t something I tire of at all.
I don’t think people see my age either. Many are surprised when I tell them how old I actually am. But it’s not met with why are you going to university now? It may be because it’s the norm these days or because there are other people in my department that are older than me and studying different courses.
It is refreshing to know I’m not the only one.
On my social work course I was classed as one of the older younger ones – I wasn’t a fresh-faced 18 year old straight from college, but I wasn’t too experienced either. There were a lot of mature students on my social work course.
There aren’t many 18/19 year olds on my journalism course either, but I’m still the only mature student.
But I don’t mind.
For all of you over the age of 21 that are thinking about going to university to study for your first degree – do it. You still can.
What’s your experience of being a mature student? Let me know in the comments section below or on my social media accounts.