For some time now I’ve been wanting to create a series of posts all about my experiences of being a mature student and going to University. From the title of this post, You can see that I went to Uni as a mature student to study Audio Production at the University of Lincoln. It’s been almost 1 year now since I graduated! I want to create a series of posts that explain and describe my experiences of being a mature student. I also want to write about my experiences of going to Uni in general, and if you are thinking of going, or you may feel that the time is not yet right to go, then maybe some of these posts will help. (I hope)! I would love to know your thoughts in the comments below. If you have any questions at all about going to University, or maybe you are thinking of going back into education as a mature student, please feel free to ask.
I can always remember when I was a lot younger, I always knew that I didn’t have any plans to go to University straight after college. I knew I wanted to go to college, but that was as far as my education would go. I had made my mind up and I was going to stick with it. After leaving school at 16, I went straight to College to study Performing Arts. After a year of doing that course, I then went on to study Music for three years. I know that in this post you might be reading this and think that all I have done is spend my most of my years in education! But I wouldn’t change it for the world. Each course has given me so many new skills and experiences that will stay with me for life. And I am truly thankful for that. They always say that school days are the best days of your life. For me, going to school wasn’t, but going to College and University was.
After I finished college in 2010, although I looked at and thought about going to University, I just didn’t feel that that was what I wanted to do straight after college at the age of 20. I spent the next couple of years, carrying on working at my job that I had whilst I was studying, and it wasn’t until I got a call from my lecturer from the college I attended, asking would I like to come back and complete an HND course, that I actually started to think about going back in to education again. After learning more about the course, which was HND Music, it felt right and I knew that this was what I wanted to do. There weren’t many others doing the course but one of my first thoughts was, was that everyone is going to be younger than me! But I didn’t let that bother me and I couldn’t have been more wrong. There was another person who I knew, I found out that they were doing the course too, who was about 20 years older than me. One thing I definitely learned about being a mature student, is to never felt that you are too old to do anything. Literally anything. If there is something you want to do, go out and do it. Whilst studying for my HND, a lovely woman started studying a music course at the college I was at. I think she was in her 70’s. And she inspired me so much to go after my dreams. I absolutely loved talking to her and watching her go after her dreams after all those years.
After completing my HND after 2 years, I wanted more, I wanted to go out and get a degree. The timing just felt so right and I got a place at the University of Lincoln studying Audio Production. I can still remember now when I had the letter come through saying I had got a place. I actually cried so many happy tears! Before I started University, the same thoughts went through my mind, that everyone will be younger than me being a mature student. Once again I was completely wrong. One of my friends from college who was the same age as me, they went on to do the same course and I met so many more people who were about the same age or even older than me. Never once did I feel isolated because of age. I remember when I first met all of my fellow course mates, some of them wanted to know how old each other was and at first I felt a little embarrassed saying that I was 24 when most of them were 18 and 19. But not one of them was bothered that I was older than them. It was just me who was the one that was bothered!
I found it quite easy getting back into education again, especially after taking two years out before going on to study for my HND at College. The lecturers were all so helpful and ready to answer any questions that I had. I purchased some really useful books that helped me through when studying at University, I will be writing another post very soon on these, and I found that going to open days was extremely helpful in getting to know where I was going to be studying and meeting fellow course mates and my lecturers and tutors. This is something that I highly recommend doing. This is definitely something I am also going to touch on in a future post too.
I did go out on a few of evenings out at University, but as I stayed living at home and traveled into University, I didn’t always fancy the late night home drive. If I had of lived on campus, maybe I would have gone out a bit more, but to be honest, I did all that when I was 18 and it’s not really my thing. Don’t get me wrong, I love going out for the night with friends, but I also love to have a nice cosy evening in with a nice warm blanket, hot chocolate, and Netflix! I was happy just getting in my car, driving home and having a relaxing evening before starting again the next day.
I feel that going back into education as a mature student, gave me more time to think about what I wanted to do and to have a look round at the different courses and Universities. I feel that if I had of gone to University straight after college, I may have ended up doing a completely different course, somewhere that I didn’t want to be and I wouldn’t be where I am today. I wouldn’t have gone back to College and got my HND in Music and I probably wouldn’t have gone on to study Audio Production at an amazing University.
I absolutely loved being a mature student at University. The timing was right, I thoroughly enjoyed it, I made new friends and I went out and got myself a degree. Something that I definitely didn’t think would happen when I was 20 and didn’t think that University was for me. I suppose what I’m trying to say in this post is that, if the timing isn’t right just yet for you to go to University, College even, never think that you are too old to go back into education if you feel you want to in a few years time. Going to University at the age of 24 and graduating at the age of 27, was one of the best things I’ve ever done. If you are thinking of going back into education, whatever age you may be, I say do it. Do it and go out and follow your dreams.
If there are any particular topics about University or going to University that you would like to see on Clem Loves, please let me know in the comments below. Also feel free to email me too at email@example.com ?
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