Why become a mature student? Well, why not?! There is the old adage, “if you don’t use it, you lose it!” While I have conversed with mature students in their 70s, the label ‘mature’ generally applies to anyone over 21. Expanding your neural pathways is never a ‘bad’ thing. Although, studying in Higher Education nurtures your analytical mind and you may end up examining all aspects of your life. This may not always be easy, but reflexive thinking is definitely a valuable skill.
Meeting new people and learning new skills may lead you down new, unexplored avenues, or you might end up exactly where you were before, but with a paper certificate with a number on it. Yes, all those years of hard work are reduced to a grade. So, it is worth getting support on how to get your CV noticed and how to shine in interviews. Fortunately, Warwick University provides careers advice and CV workshops to help you make the most of your 3 or 4 year investment of time and energy in your education.
I have expanded my network exponentially over the last three years, as well as expanding my mind. With my background in health and wellbeing, I was totally out of my comfort zone studying Politics, Research, Sociology and Social Policy. However, I am so grateful the course has opened my eyes to what is actually going on in society and what I can proactively do about it, rather than remain ignorant or continue to bemoan the state of the world!
If you have offspring and you are the main care-giver, then studying for a degree with family and/or alternative employment WILL be challenging. But, I think it is worth it. When I started my Access to HE, my kids were smaller and more dependent so I could only study after their bedtime. Now they are older, we often sit and study together round the dining table. I like to think I am a positive role model and demonstrate that there is no one right way to do things in life. I appreciate my education more now than I did when I was much younger and my priorities were vastly different. I LOVE learning new things.
Ultimately, only you can decide whether being a mature student is right for you. But, if you don’t try it, you will never know!