The term ‘mature aged student’ is quite broad. While it varies between institutions, the term usually applies to any students over 21. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 90,000 students aged over 25 enrolled in university from 2011 to 2016.
For those who have had a significant time out in the workforce and/or managing family commitments, returning to study is a big decision. If you’re worried about making that step, here are some tips to get into the swing of getting back into studying.
Get to know the environment
Enrolling in or going back to study as a mature-aged student can be an exciting experience, and it’s important to hit the ground running before classes start. You can start by learning the map of the campus or read up on what unit and subjects you need to take on. If you’re studying online, take the time to familiarise yourself with the online portal. It’s also a great idea to attend orientations to find out more about the faculty you’re in.
Set realistic expectations
If you’ve been out of the studying game a long time, you might need to brush up on academic skills like referencing, plagiarism and the general mindset that’s required for formal study. However, it’s important to go easy and know that you don’t have to nail it all from day one— having patience and adjusting your expectations is part of the transition into student life.
Don’t wait until the very last minute to find out your assignments take up a lot of your time. Instead, set early deadlines to keep yourself on track to make sure that important tasks are done on time. For starters, you can focus on the objectives for each of your subjects. Examine your course outlines carefully and this way, you won’t lose motivation during your studies.
Develop a network
Being a student provides you with the opportunity to develop a network of friends and establish meaningful friendships. Attending orientation days and faculty welcomes are a great way to connect with other students and lecturers. Your time on campus is limited, so be sure you make the most out of it and maintain the friendships and connections you have made.