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I’m about to return to study, 20 years since completing school. I’m feeling completely overwhelmed, and I’m unsure what to expect. Any tips on being a mature aged student?


Posted by mrscroxford, 5th March 2014


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  • Just be yourself! Focus on your studies and not so much on making friends.


  • Best of luck for your studies ! . Perhaps talk to someone like an adviser at the university or tafe ( or wherever ) it is and see if they can give you some advice . I did a 3 month course a couple of years ago and it was quite fun , but still it was intensive . It was a good feeling to get the Certificate in the end .


  • Good for you for following your dreams. My advice would be to just go and study,months listen to any negativity, shut it out. And the best of luck!


  • It’s hard. I decided to study whilst home with children, but did it by correspondence. I found the hard thing is getting started and being disciplined. Some nights when life gets busy, it’s hard to find the energy and motivation to do it. But you have to push through that.
    Also, I think you will find a lot of people these days are mature aged students so you really shouldn’t get any grief!
    Good luck!


  • Hold your head high and be proud of what you’re doing! It will be different being back at school and will take some adjusting. Stick with it, hang in there, I’m rooting for ya!!


  • Hope it has gone well for you and that you are finding you can get everything done


  • I’m hoping its going well for you


  • there are some good comments here


  • Congratulations for taking the first step to doing what you want.

    I took on study 10 years ago and found there are a number of support and added learning programs available within any institution to assist you. Take advantage of it all. Get to know your students that you are studying with. You will find younger or older than you, each one will have a significant contribution that you can learn from. Lecturers and tutorials will also help with information and resources available to you.

    I recently went back to study and completed my honours year in a full-time load, as a single parent with children at kindy and starting school. I found this was extremely tough, but I learnt quickly that the children needed me first and foremost, and I learnt to live on cat naps and sleep where ver i had a few moments to spare. For me I learnt to study through the night, and often would go to bed with about two hours sleep before the children woke.

    Looking back, I dont know how i managed it with so many other things going on, and with minimal family support. However, like anything when you start out, it feels intimidating, but when you start, I hope to hear you say, why did it take me so long to get here.

    You will have an absolute blast. I found that the interaction with like minded people kept me going. As others have suggested, pace yourself, set up planning charts and highlight when your assessments are due and bring this forward by a week on your chart This gives you time also to go back and review your work and edit.

    Good luck with your studies and revise your work weekly to minimise stress at exam time.


  • I’m also a a mature age student. My advice is to take advantage of the free courses and resources the uni has available – the library tutorials that teach you how to use the library systems, the online study guides, the student centre with guidance counsellors and so on. Your uni student services webpage should have a list or some links on where to find these. I’ve also worked at a uni doing some teaching and I can tell you that we want our students to succeed! So go see your tutors or lecturers (make an appointment, don’t just rock up to their office and hope they’re there). Your lecturer/course coordinator should be happy to talk to you, or link you up with people that can help,
    Try and set up a study group, or befriend some people in the same course on facebook if you can – you can always ask them questions and get their help too. It’s not easy to start with, but it gets easier to recognise faces the more time you spend in a room with them week after week. There may also be a mature age students group on campus who can help you and connect you with others in the same boat.
    Hope that helps, good luck and have fun!!


  • You are actually not alone. There are quite a lot of mature age students studying! And take the tine to meet your tutors and other staff, as there is an amazing amount if support available!


  • I’m also a nature aged student studying via distance. All I can say is to take advantage of the wonderful support the staff will give you to succeed. There are so many parents out there studying and I have found the support to be fabulous because they actually want us to succeed and not drop out!


  • Plan ahead and pace yourself, uni’s are set up these days to accommodate mature age students much better and they will be sympathetic to your needs and ‘real world’ issues. Get a great big calender and mark it out well, dont leave assignments to the last minute and research extensively! oh and dont be afraid to ask any questions, odds are everyone wants to know anyway~!


  • You’ll probably find that more than a quarter of your class will be mature students, so you won’t be alone :)


  • I went back to study after being a stay at home mum for 12 years (yes I am mature) lol I found it to be like starting kindergarten on the first day, but 4 years later I had completed my social welfare and nursing degree which opened up many opportunities.
    Good luck with it all, education is the key to finding quality in life choices, just remember almost everyone is feeling like you on that first day!!


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