You don’t have to look very far and you’ll spot plenty of mature students on campus. Age is no bar to getting qualified with people heading to university later in life whether it’s because they’re changing careers, never had the chance to go to university or have simply had a break from education.
It might seem daunting throwing yourself back into the system but there’s never been a better time to get educated, whatever your age.
Benefits of being a mature student
1. You’re more focused
Unlike many of your younger peers you’re likely to be more career focused and determined to succeed at your degree. Enjoying the social side of university life is probably less important than when you were 18, which means less distractions. Plus, if you’ve decided to go to university later in life it’s a pretty big decision to make, one you’ve probably not taken lightly as well as making a heavy financial investment in and not an opportunity you want to waste.
2. You have more life experience
Yes, returning to university might be nerve-wracking but you’ve got more life experience than the teenagers on campus. You’ve probably been through different life situations and survived those so you’ll know you can survive university. Your experience can also help you with your studies because you’ll view subjects in a different way or be able to bring other skills and insights to them.
3. Entry requirements are more flexible
Students tend to follow the well-trodden path of GCSEs and then A-Levels or equivalent before they embark upon their degree. But don’t despair if you don’t have those qualifications. The great thing about being a mature student is lots of universities will look at your work history and life experience instead.
At GSM London you can start a degree without formal qualifications. They will consider you if you’ve worked full-time for at least a year, have an up-to-date CV and a signed and stamped work reference. You might have to go to an interview and complete a written essay but just because you don’t have the right exams doesn’t mean you won’t get in.
4. You’re great at time management and organisation
If you’ve been part of the working world for a while you’ll no doubt have got quite good at organising yourself and turning up to places on time. These are all skills which are advantageous when you study for a degree.
A degree takes a great deal of effort, particularly if you opt for an accelerated two-year degree, and you need to be able to prioritise your work.
5. Employers love mature students
As a graduate you’ll be ahead of the race when it comes to getting a job. Employers like mature students because they bring with them qualifications and life experience. You’ll have a certain maturity and level-headedness as well as plenty of transferable skills you will have picked up in previous years working. You’ll also have reliable references too.
6. Your accommodation is nicer
Depending on your circumstances you may study close to home or you might choose to rent somewhere. But there is a very good chance you won’t be sampling the delights of the less salubrious student accommodation offerings.
7. You still get great student discounts
Okay, so this one is slightly frivolous but while you’re a student you might as well enjoy some of the perks that come with it such as travel discounts, shop discounts and even reductions in your council tax. You’ll also be able to benefit from discounts for plenty of cultural events, museum or attraction entry and even the cinema.
8. You have a career plan
Mature students will often have a much better idea of what career path they want to follow because of the time they have had away from education. You’ll know what interests and motivates you and be able to pick a course that specifically suits your ambitions as opposed to some teenagers who choose a broad degree precisely because they aren’t sure what to do.
You will also be better at understanding your strengths and weaknesses so can pick a degree with a learning style that suits you.
We would like to hear from you if you’re thinking about becoming a mature student and studying for a degree. You can call us on 020 3797 4687 or find out how to apply here.