Student Communications Ambassador Kelly Jones shares her experience on what it’s like as a mature student at university.
Whether it be a career change, skills development or simply the quest for knowledge, mature students are motivated, resilient and hardworking individuals. I’m here to share my experience returning to learning and what you can expect when starting university.
Taking the plunge
Whether you’re new to university life or returning to learning, it can be a little daunting taking those first few steps. However, it can also be incredibly exciting with the right support in place. Chances are, a large portion of your course is going to be based on academic research and writing (subject to what you are studying) and there are plenty of resources that you’ll have access to when you start your course. The Bath Spa Library has a team of friendly faces to help you find what you’re looking for and the Writing and Learning Centre holds workshops that are available by appointment to help develop your skills. Additionally, I can’t stress enough how helpful academic staff and subject-specific tutors have been to me for my first year of university. They are contactable by email and meetings can be booked to discuss anything about your work - from finding inspiration to help with further research.
Many mature students have other life commitments along-side their studies, such as being primary caregivers or full/part-time jobs. Time management is often one of the most important skills that mature students develop but there are lots of ways that the university can help you too. The on-campus Oak Tree Day Nursery can be a huge help to students with childcare needs and Student Wellbeing Services can offer a variety of support too. There are also lots of different study spaces on campus, so you can work out where you study best, free from distraction and many look out on to our beautiful campuses.
Being part of a community
Starting university can feel like you're a small fish in a big pond but joining different groups that share similarities with you is a great way to find your community. There are so many events and societies to join held by the Students’ Union, including one especially for mature students to meet and socialise. In my experience, the university community is incredibly friendly, understanding and accepting.
So, to summarise what can you expect as a mature student at university?
- A supportive group of passionate university staff to aid you with your studies.
- Services that give you the best chance at success.
- A thriving and open-minded community of friendly fellow students.
- Endless opportunity for new experiences.
What are you waiting for? Take the plunge!
Disclaimer: The Bath Spa blog is a platform for individual voices and views from the University's community. Any views or opinions represented in individual posts are personal, belonging solely to the author of that post, and do not represent the views of other Bath Spa staff, or Bath Spa University as an institution.
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