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Fitting in: a current mature student perspective

Fitting into a new course can be exciting and daunting too. Settling in can take time, but with a determination and an end goal, success will come.
I was very apprehensive about coming to university at my age. It is a young person’s thing, all my friends said. But I was determined to do it as it was always something I had wanted to do but didn’t get the opportunity when I was younger… different times. Once I arrived, initially I found it very difficult to fit in. Everyone I encountered was decades younger than me, and I struggled with finding a commonality - some of my cohort were younger than my children. I even went as far as speaking with my personal tutor about how I felt and she was a great inspiration and encouragement to me and spurred me on.
All the staff at the university are fantastic and the support is there for you if you want it. I took on the challenge and found my voice and found my place within university life. I applied for Department Rep and got the position and now sit on various committees and boards, my voice is heard and I am honoured to speak on behalf of students who can’t find their own voices. I feel that the initial feeling of not fitting in is part of the process and speaking with others it is a very common theme when going to university. I found solace in the fact that it wasn’t just me feeling that way about not fitting in.
Keep the end goal in mind and ride out the initial ‘few week storm’ as it does get better. I am still here two years into my programme so it can’t be that bad! I would encourage anyone to do it whatever age they are, as it is truly the best thing I have ever done.

Susan juggles the second year of a university course to become a Nurse, with a full-time job, work placement, family life and studying. She has the determination to succeed and has chosen priorities in her life to support her on this journey.

What changes or sacrifices would you be willing to make to achieve a goal, or ambition? How would you make that happen? Share your thoughts or plans with others.

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Returning to Education as a Mature Student

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