Your life experiences, unique skills and determination can positively support your university experience as a mature student, explains Senior Schools and Colleges Engagement Officer Kim Ang.
Going to university as an older student may feel unusual to you, but it's more common that you think and University staff and students appreciate the many things that you have to offer. Here are some key reasons why being a mature student at university is really rewarding.
We value your experience
As a mature student, you're valued for your life experience and unique skillset that you bring to your studies, and for your contribution to the university community. You're able to apply what you have learnt in real world situations to concepts taught in class, bringing valuable insight to other students and your tutors. Learning from peers is a key part of the University experience and contributing your experience will be seen as a fantastic asset.
We respect your determination
Your commitment to your studies and your educational objectives during your university course and willingness to learn and try something new will be attractive not only to us, but to future employers, as it shows that you are keen to develop yourself and your situation. You'll also likely have relevant work experience under your belt, which many employers are keen to see when hiring new employees.
We recognise your existing skill set
With your life experience and all the transferable skills you bring to the table, you'll know how to organise yourself and manage your time, whether that was developed through going to work every day, managing your own business or supporting your family. These are vital skills, especially when you’ll be working on essays, coursework or report deadlines and will very much help you to succeed.
You’ll also likely be experienced with working as part of a team, which is particularly useful when working collaboratively with others in a group setting.
We appreciate your self-understanding
You have a greater awareness and understanding of yourself – it's likely you’ll be aware of how you like to learn, whether you prefer in person or online teaching, in group settings or independently. You’ll know what works best for you, studying in the evenings or early mornings, in coffee shops or at the library.
We support your goals
You’ll have a goal that you want to achieve, perhaps a career change, progression in your current career or wanting to learn for the love of learning. You’ll likely be more motivated and focused on an end goal. Our aim when you’re at university is to support you in achieving this. Bath Spa University’s Careers service supports students with one to one careers advice, reviewing of CVs, interview prep and much more. You can even access this for three years once you finish your degree!
We’ll help you network with others
University opens up access to wider networks and the academic communities. You’re likely to develop a unique connection with your academic tutors and be able to network with people in the field of work that you are interested in too, from other university students to industry professionals. Not only that, you’ll likely develop good friendships with people of different ages and backgrounds, who will support you throughout your time on your course.
You’ll get some great benefits
While you’re at university, you can access a multitude of things; societies and sports clubs which might spark a new hobby, specialist kit and equipment, facilities and study spaces, experienced staff and dedicated support services (from Wellbeing, Careers, access to a library with all its resources and academic support). As well as this, you’ll be able to take advantage of all the discounts available to you as a student. Saving money on those items or activities you usually buy at full price will feel great and will help keep your student finances in check!
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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Being a mature student at university is rewarding and can help you achieve your goals whilst learning valuable skills.