Going to University as a mature student is a big decision to make. It has financial and time implications and could also impact on friends and family. It is daunting to face studying and revision for exams all over again. What if you fail?
However, there are many upsides to being a mature student as you probably already possess many more transferable skills than you realise.
Ability to organise
Everyone has different ways of organising themselves. Anyone who lives independently, looks after a family or is employed will have learnt what techniques work for them. Whether this be a diary, post-it notes or copious to-do lists. This will be a huge advantage when juggling studying and assignments.
Being able to talk to people
Mature students have usually had more experience of meeting different people from different walks of life. Even if you are naturally shy, the day to day experiences of adult life will have meant you have developed coping strategies when thrown into new situations. This not only makes it easier to make friends on the course but will also help you contribute to lectures and will be a real asset on clinical placement.
You can take a flexible view
As you go through life you realise that you can learn about situations but that life doesn't always play by the book. This can help when you learn that individuals don't fit into neat boxes and that professionals can have different views on almost everything. It will also make you more understanding towards parents and carers.
You will appreciate the support available at University
From the lecturers who will give extra tutorials, to the library staff who will talk you through accessing journal articles, it is lovely to be in an environment where people will help you. This is not something that we always experience in the workplace, so you will be more likely to seize these opportunities and really appreciate them.
There’s mature and then there's mature
Don't worry about being the only mature student on your course. You will be amazed at the age range of speech and language therapy students. From 18 year olds through to 50+ year olds. But everyone has something in common - the desire to work as a speech and language therapist.
You get discounts
While you will be studying because you are passionate about becoming a speech and language therapist, a student discount card is a lovely bonus and takes some of the guilt out of buying fancy stationery.
Becoming a mature student is daunting, particularly as speech and language therapy is a very demanding course, but it might just be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.
Written by a brave lady who took the plunge and does not regret it!