lifestyle

Nine reasons why mature-aged students are awesome.

Evocca College
Thanks to our brand partner, Evocca College

High five,mature” students. High five.

My first experience with university was not ideal.

I’d drive to campus hoping that as soon as I arrived, there would be some big emergency which meant we’d all have to be sent home – THAT’s how much I enjoyed it.

So you can imagine my surprise when some 15 years later I decided to enrol in a course as a mature-aged student. I finished it and promptly enrolled in another. When that is finished in a few months’ time, I have my next one all lined up.

What I’ve learned is that mature-aged students are pretty awesome at this whole learning thing, and here’s why.

1. Our brains have recovered properly from high school.

During my first year it felt like my brain was a computer that was lagging. I tried all the usual uni student reboots such as coffee, sugar and other legal stimulants, and none of it worked.

This time around I am all recovered and my brain is more like something that had gathered a bit of dust. I just brushed the dust off and it was even better than new.

2. We aren’t tired or hungover.

When it was time to enrol in my classes the first time around, I tried to make sure none of them started before 10am. Sometimes I would turn up exhausted and a touch hungover, and a few times I didn’t even bother sleeping at all and would go straight to class.

Not anymore. I am in bed and asleep by 9.30pm each night and I arrive at all of my classes annoyingly refreshed and sharp.

3. Not a lot of time is wasted flirting.

I still remember the boy I had a massive crush on during my undergraduate years. These days I am happily married with three children, so obviously I am not noticing any of the cute boys (my husband is reading this so I’d like to give him a quick shout out) and that way I am able to focus on my studies.

4. Procrastination is a luxury we cannot afford.

I have three children and a job and so I don’t have any time to waste. Procrastination isn’t something I can even entertain. I just have to get everything done as quickly and as efficiently as possible.

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Gone are the days I would furiously type out an essay mere minutes before it was due.

5. Being a goody-two-shoes is allowed.

When you are a mature-aged student you are allowed to be a complete and total nerd. I sit at the front of the class and I am the one who closes the door if it gets a bit noisy outside.

I hand out worksheets to people and help my lecturer carry things back to his office. Anything that maximises my learning.

6. We know lots of people who can help.

I am so much more resourceful than I used to be. In fact, I wasn’t at all resourceful during my final years as a teenager and those uncertain first couple of years in my early 20s. Of course, you couldn’t tell me that, the naive fool that I was. These days I know how to find out anything, anytime, anywhere — and it helps, a lot.

7. We aren’t afraid to ask for help or change it up.

We accept our limitations. We know what we’re good at and what we aren’t so good at. We also have the confidence to put our hands up when we need help with the things we struggle with.

8. We know where our interests lie.

It was hard to choose what I wanted to learn the first time around. I had so many interests. As an older student, I know exactly where my interests lie and I can spend all of my time blissfully indulging in my passions.

9. Complicated enrolment procedures no longer freak us out.

I often joke that the real test is the enrolment procedures. If you can figure out how to enrol and how to log into everything needed for your studies, you are smart enough to attend.

It’s quite clever, if you think about it.

Are you a mature-aged student? How do you feel about the experience?

Here are six women who rocked their career-boat successfully:

Want more? How about:

Radical idea: Could job-hopping be good for your career?

Yes, changing careers is actually possible.

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