How life is going as a mature student

By Jess Brown, BA (Hons) Graphic Design and Illustration, 2nd year.

I was 22 when I came to uni in September of 2017. I was a terrified mess, worrying about everything under the sun from the way I looked to the way I spoke and even walked.

I have a perfectly normal walk (whatever that means) but still… terrified. What if they hate me? What if they think I’m too much? I wrote a blog this past summer about how all of these fears were dispelled on pretty much the first day of uni. So I thought it’d be nice to do an update to show how I’m getting on as a mature student. You can find the link to my last blog here.

It won’t be the same for every mature student but if you put yourself out there like I have done, you may find that you can quite easily become ‘mother hen’ to students. I don’t mean to brag, but with how much people come to me for advice and help, I do feel a bit like a mystic guru. I should start charging: “Bring me food for advice”.

I’ve been in my own flat for a while now which is way less daunting than I thought it was going to be. That’s right I am fully independent, living in my own studio flat, look at me go. Although truth be told at my friend’s the other day, she had to teach me how heat in an oven works. I blame society.

In terms of academics I’m doing great. Making more friends at uni and stepping up in my role as a student rep. I honestly find that as a mature student who has been in the world of work, people can sense that. Working does teach you how to interact with anyone and also how to hold yourself a bit different. Both tutors and students seem like they can talk to me easily which is good for the student rep life.

The point of this isn’t to brag but it’s to recognise your own strengths as a mature student. I was a bit taken back by the word at first because I was like “excuse me I’m only 22, I ain’t that old yet”. But being mature isn’t about age it’s about experience. A person who is 16 can have been through more than someone who is 50. So if you are a mature student or a mature anything, try and see it as a force for good. Don’t lord it over people obviously but help when you can. Going through young adulthood and uni is tough for us all, so if you can help your younger students find their way, why not?