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Life as a mature student

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Entering into education as a mature student you may have to deal with more things than hangovers and stolen traffic cones. Prepare for your studies ahead with these top tips

Prepare for a change

Life will be a little different, so be prepared for things to change. And let your family and friends know too. If you have children it’s a good idea to sort out your childcare as soon as possible so it doesn’t become something stressful that you have to sort out at the last minute. Do you know what you’re going to do for travel arrangements?

Once you have your academic timetable, it might be a good idea to draw up a timetable of what typical life as a student will look like. Do you want to set aside one evening a week for study? And one to do things with family or friends?

Get to grip with the basics

Entering academia you’ll need to find a study technique that suits you. Experiment. How do you like to take notes in a lecture theatre? Do you like taking notes in a notebook? Bullet points? Short hand? Typing on your lap top? Think about how you will: 

  • Organise your time
  • Take notes
  • Read around the subject
  • Write essays and reports.

Know your worth

The university or college that accepted you believes that you have the potential to do really well at this course, that’s why they gave you a place. So feel confident that you can cope with the academic workload. There may be situations in your working or personal life that have unknowingly prepared you for academic work.

Find a balance

When you already have an established life outside of education you might need to juggle a few balls at the same time. Something will have to give. Is there anything that you can give up or invest less time in? Is there a way that you can come to a compromise with your time? Try not to feel guilty about spending time with your family and friends, everyone needs a break from study.

Learn from both worlds

You never know, if you have children, being a father or mother may benefit your academic practice. It might have given you the determination and strength of mind to succeed when others will crumble, so be open minded to your academic and personal life overlapping.

Don’t be too hard on yourself

Life in education might take a bit of getting used to. But don’t give yourself a hard time, you’ll get used to it and you’ll get into the swing of things in no time.  

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Adam Roxby

    This is a really good article and hopefully will inspire more people to enter the profession. I have had lots of conversations with people who have all felt that they are too old to start nursing training so in future I will direct them here to help them make their decision as to whether it is right for them.
    I also told them that there are a large number of people in my cohort that are above 40 and because the profession is so diverse there are many options for different people of different ages to contribute. I find this diversity exciting and is one of the facets of the profession that I enjoy.

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