What it’s like going to uni as a mature student

Attending university is an exciting step in life. It can also be a daunting one, particularly if you are going to uni as a mature student. There’s a preconception that undertaking university studies after taking time off can make excelling in your studies more difficult than heading straight into study from high school. However, this is a notion that is changing. 

In fact, almost 40% of all Australian students are 25 or older and can be considered mature aged students. With more and more mature aged students heading to university, let’s take a look at what you can expect when returning to study.

Why more older Aussies are studying later in life

In a rapidly changing world, the importance of upskilling and staying on top of the latest developments in your chosen industry is becoming increasingly evident. If you are already in the workforce, one of the surest ways to progress in your career is by undertaking further study.

This is also true for anyone who has decided that they need a career change. Many Australians have found that the easiest way to get into a new industry is by heading back to University and studying later in life.

Benefits of being a mature aged student at university

Applying to uni as a mature age student comes with many benefits. 

1. You know what you want

Knowing what you truly want out of your life and career isn’t as easy as it sounds. Mature students have had a chance to think about it and draw on past work history and life experiences to decide how they want to move forward. Many younger students do not have the benefit of knowing exactly what they want to study and many will change their minds mid-study, costing them time and money.

2. You’ve gained important skills

Core skills such as time management, prioritising, and self-motivation are the types of skills that many people pick up throughout their careers. If you’re a mature student who has spent time in the workforce, this instantly gives you a huge advantage. These skills are critical when it comes to excelling in your studies.

Challenges of being a mature aged student at university

Just as there are benefits, there are also some challenges to be aware of.

1. Fitting in with recent school leavers

For some mature students, it can be difficult to adjust to being a mature student among recent school leavers. However, this is just a negative preconception that isn’t true for everyone. It is particularly unimportant now that so many people are applying for university as a mature age student.

2. Juggling commitments

Many mature age students must continue to work in order to support themselves during studies. With commitments such as working full time, raising children, paying off a mortgage or supporting aging parents, the luxury to study part-time isn’t an option. Juggling commitments is a skill, and may require some planning, however, it should not put you off pursuing your dream career.

There’s no doubt that going back to university as a mature aged student can be incredibly fulfilling. The benefits to studying as a mature aged student, more often than not outweigh the challenges.

If you liked this article, you might also like How to prepare for uni: things to know before you go.