Brave enough to apply for University – at your age?
“Brave enough to apply for University at your age? Will you even get in when you’re competing against all those youngsters?”
Yep, this is exactly what somebody said to me when I mentioned that I’d applied to study for a degree at my age – honestly – you’d think I was seriously ancient – I’m 45 – which fair enough is more than 27 years older than most people on my course but I didn’t let that bother or intimidate me at any stage of the application process. And if you’re a little more mature than the average applicant you shouldn’t let it deter you either, we really do have an awful lot to offer.
The same gentleman also asked me how long the course would be – to which I replied 4 years, he then kindly pointed out exactly how old I would be when I graduated and laughed, telling me that it was a “hell of a commitment to make”. Mmmmmm, these words were not meant to be cruel but unfortunately the mature student is often faced with interesting opinions from others – you should not let this deter you, EVER. Suffice to say I kept my application progress between myself, my husband and our sons after that conversation. I did not allow the nerves to set in while I waited to hear back – I was confident and you must be too – always remember “what’s for you, will not go past you” and fortunately for me it didn’t.
Once I’d submitted my application the wait began, however, I heard back very quickly that I had been accepted to study a BA Hons Degree in Digital Marketing at Robert Gordon University, without a need for an interview which really did give me a huge boost and assured me that I had made the right decision to take the leap. If the University believed in me enough to accept me, then I had every faith in myself to be able to conquer this student thing! This was my first and only choice of study option mainly based on the course content but also because the University is 1.4 miles from my home so I knew I could easily juggle my life with my studies without too much disruption. You can of course apply to multiple establishments and courses through UCAS, the choices are endless.
It is so important to have the support of your family and friends when you consider any major change in your life, talk to them about it, because the decision will ultimately affect them as much as it will you. The commitment you make to further education should not be taken lightly and is made that much easier if everyone around you is on board. That’s not to say you shouldn’t take the step without support but it definitely will make life easier for you going forward if you have family and friends that this big change will affect so get the balance right from the outset. If need be explain why it is important to you and what the end result will mean to you – they love you – they’ll want you to follow your dreams.
In the UK the application process for higher education is actually incredibly easy, the most difficult part being the creation of your personal statement which I will cover in more detail in future posts. You may feel that school and college leavers have more assistance because they have teachers and tutors to guide them with this element of the journey but, trust me, it really is very straightforward and UCAS are incredibly helpful if there is anything you’re unsure of just contact them.
You can apply through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Administration Services) online.
The whole form filling process took no time at all but make sure you dedicate plenty of time to crafting an engaging personal statement as that is where you will stand out from the crowd. Your experience in both work and life are hugely significant to Universities when considering your attributes and whether you are suitable for their course so make sure you concentrate on this aspect. You can read more about how to write a winning personal statement here.
Most importantly, enjoy the process – this is an exciting time. Don’t get stressed, sell yourself in your application and be confident that you can absolutely nail this and that your future will be better because you’ve had the confidence to change your life.
Wishing you all the luck in the world with your application, please feel free to comment below about this topic or drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if I can help with anything or if you have any suggestions.
Thanks for reading.
Jen – The Voice of the Mature Student Tribe
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