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In Depth or in Distraction => Chilled, Mature and Deep => Topic started by: redred on Jun 28, 2010, 01:42:40 PM

Title: being a mature student
Post by: redred on Jun 28, 2010, 01:42:40 PM
i thought i might start a thread for all those of us who are returning to study and the changes that that throws up, expected or otherwise.

For myself, i'm adjusting to having zero spare cash. That's one thing i'd steeled myself for and it comes as no surprise but it isn't worry free. What i hadn't prepped for was feeling isolated. That's hit me quite hard, and i'm spending a lot of time during the day in my own company.

I hadn't really acknowledged the level of anxiety i would experience, either. This isn't helped by London Met being spectacularly sh*t at giving out information or organising anything. For instance, i have yet to be allocated an academic tutor, even though i've been pushing for one since i started in february. I learned last week that my course leader's contract is up and that's why he hasn't wanted to take anyone on. OK. What about me, my dissertation, my support? They cocked up my special exam conditions, too (i need a scribe due to RSI in my hands).

I had presumed there would be some kind of student community but there isn't, really. Each module i'm doing has different people on it and there's a complete mixed bag of part time and full time students with a high ratio of overseas students who have left London for the summer. I rarely see my class mates outside of our lectures. My previous postgrad had much more of a community feel.

The RSI means getting a summer job is problematic and really i shouldn't be using them. That would help re £ and being on my own but it isn't really practicable.

I was prepared for hard work, for two concentrated 15 week semesters of hard graft on a subject that is new to me. I had taken on the chin that i wouldn't be buying any new things or clothes. I just hadn't factored in the other stuff and it's harder to digest.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lexx on Jun 28, 2010, 01:49:46 PM
I will be starting my Social Work BA in oct, I am really not sure how it is going to be, but I am excited new challenge etc. I am worried how I will be seen by the rest of the class and may be the only mature student.

Sorry not really helped with your problems.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: redred on Jun 28, 2010, 01:51:44 PM
it's not meant to be a thread about my problems, i just thought i'd get the ball rolling..... i think it might turn into a 'what to expect' thread that could be helpful.....
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Miaow on Jun 28, 2010, 01:55:30 PM

What are you studying Red Red?

I found what you say similar to wanting to do a PhD. I got a place at the Royal College of Art to do one last September. But the isolation of being a PhD student is too much I thought. I have postponed it until next year or so for now.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: redred on Jun 28, 2010, 02:35:30 PM

What are you studying Red Red?


i'm doing an MA in housing and inclusion, a complete departure for me. Specialising in services for older people. I'm doing my dissertation on older LGBTQI Londoner's housing aspiration. It's full time until next May.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: tayto on Jun 28, 2010, 03:17:37 PM
Hey redred

I empathise. I did an MSc as a mature (part time) student, which I completed in 2005.

The isolation was very difficult - if I hadn't previously known one of the others on the course, and studied closely with him, I wonder if I might not have completed the Master's at all.

I also had expectations regarding the standard of lecturing, how organised the university would be and so on. Eh. That was a bit of an eye opener really.

It was a hard slog - I found some of the technical material difficult, but more so the isolation. But. I finished it (and had a baby who was born on the day my thesis was due in!) and I will always be glad I did it.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: kate b on Jun 28, 2010, 03:42:50 PM
I'm a mature student for the second time around and right now (doing a BSc psych with the OU) struggling with some of the things you describe, too. It can be very isolating - even more so doing distance learning - and hard to stay motivated. And that's before even starting on all the screwed-up  issues re performance and achievement (although that's obviously personal to me).

Apart from better 'service delivery' from the Met in terms of tutor allocation, what do you think would make things easier for you>
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: skream on Jun 28, 2010, 04:04:55 PM
i started an intro course, as a taster to doing an MBA about a year ago - i just couldn't find the time to do it. the key thing at the time was how getting to work really ate into a huge chunk out of my day - about 2 hours in total on a good day and about 2-3 on a bad day.

i am considering this again, as i don't intend to commute for an hour into work every day and back forever, courses can be done online, and it appears that more MBA courses are based heavily around sustainability issues in business - this is something i really find interesting and feel i can help to make a change in.

time is the most important thing for me here - hopefully in a year or two, my time will be more structured and i'm not all over the place due to work.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Jun 28, 2010, 05:54:59 PM
I'm doing a BSc at the moment - part-time, and I guess therefore my experiences are most closely mirrored in what skream talks about - the issues of time constraints and competing demands.

For me, I've not found the experience isolating in the least - I guess this is probably down to the differences between an undergrad programme and a Masters, and also perhaps the nature of part-time study - virtually everyone on my course is a 'worker' in the first instance, rather than a student, so for example there isn't the situation of student flight in the summer months. There is - or at least feels to me - a big shared understanding, a kind of camaraderie - because it's fvck-off hard to work fulltime and commit to studying on top of that ; and it's fvck-off hard to come back to studying after years and years and years out. I almost feel a bit fraudulent describing myself as a mature student, I'm 22 - but I'm far and away the youngest in my class probably, and certainly within my immediate group of friends.

All of that said, though, about perhaps it being the undergrad / postgrad difference that affects the feeling of a student community, whenever I'm in the SU it seems to be overwhelmingly dominated by postgrad students. So maybe it really is just different attitudes at different unis, or something.

I do sometimes wonder about student support infrastructure within universities, and how they differ for mature / 'normal' students. I don't really have any pastoral stuff going on - I mean I technically have a tutor who I could go if I wanted, but I've not had any cause to and not felt particularly encouraged to do so. They're very upfront on this, saying that the feedback they've had is that grown-up people prefer to know it's there and access as they wish, rather than be booked in for however-frequently catch-up style meetings. And on the whole I'm cool with this, but once in a while I wonder if it's a bit too sink-or-swim. That said, the inclusion / financial support people / disability support people are absolutely first-rate and bl00dy inescapable.

I think there's a very vocal challenging of standards from students on my course - in terms of what they expect from lecturers, from the course structure, that sort of thing, which I think is perhaps quite particular to the mature student experience, and which is certainly beneficial. I absolutely love the environment it creates, too - some of the people in my seminars etc bring such a wealth to the debate, it sounds so naff to say it, but experience is just priceless, you know ? I've got guys who work at the Treasury, people who already have another different degree / university experience, the total amassed reading these people have done couldn't possibly be matched by a class of 18-year-olds. I love that. Monkey, I would be incredibly surprised if you're anywhere near the oldest or only mature student in your class, but in any event you'll probably end up being one of the most interesting students as a result.

I've written far too much.  :-[
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: marzipan gnome on Jun 28, 2010, 06:16:48 PM
animal - Sounds like my time at Birkbeck. Everyone was in the same boat. There was no mixing of part time and full time students and three quarters of the course was compulsory so we were together in lectures and seminars with the same folk most of the time. The options were only open to us law folk too so no strangers from other courses droppin in. But then Birkbeck is unique.

One of the problems Red is that London Met is totally broke after its guvner's totally screwed up the books and told big lies. Its a bit bums on seats for it undergraduate courses and maybe that filters through to the post grad stuff too?  I am only thankful that the pgce is such a specific thing we didnt get lumped together with every other course. 
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Rosie on Jun 29, 2010, 07:00:23 PM

What are you studying Red Red?

I found what you say similar to wanting to do a PhD. I got a place at the Royal College of Art to do one last September. But the isolation of being a PhD student is too much I thought. I have postponed it until next year or so for now.

Most PhD students aren't isolated; they are part of a vibrant community of research students who are encouraged to mix and network and who will attend various courses, seminars etc together as they progress along their PhD. It is the job of the Graduate School (or its equivalent) in the University to ensure that this happens. pgr experience is taken very seriously and externally assessed so universities have a duty to ensure that PhD students are not isolated. Obviously some aspects of the work do mean that you are following very individual research and working on your own - sometimes for long periods - but you shouldn't always be on your own, or feel isolated.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Rosie on Jun 29, 2010, 07:11:56 PM
@ redred; what you describe isn't at all uncommon and I'm sorry to hear about it - my experiences, like your previous experience, have been of a really strong cohort who all contributed and engaged with the programme and each other in ways which enriched the experience.

There's not much you can do about the lack of group cohesion/group spirit etc etc but it does sound to me as though you are being seriously short-changed by your university on a practical front in terms of the things which they are duty bound to provide for you. That is appalling and you shouldn't have to put up with it. Students' union, student support, mature students' officer - there should be various bodies/persons around the university who are there to help ensure that students aren't getting short changed as you are. Don't let your course get away with this shoddy treatment. The things you mention are  a serious breach of the university's obligations to you in my view. Don't let them get away with it. You're making sacrifices to get on this course and paying fees etc - to be honest, it makes my blood boil when I hear if this kind of thing. As someone who is in charge of all post grad (pgt and pgr)programmes in my university I know what universities should be doing for students and your university sounds below standard to me.

On the other hand your dedication and attitude will no doubt carry you through regardless but a less confident candidate might fall by the wayside. It's not right.

Sorry for the little rant on your thread, redred but there really is no excuse.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: petalponk on Jun 30, 2010, 11:00:49 AM
Just wondering, as i was thinking of maybe going back to do some studying, but does anyone know of any websites etc. that are aimed at mature students?
I've been trying to find out whether i could get loans/grants and it's all aimed at kids!
Any help gratefully received. :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Jun 30, 2010, 11:15:00 AM
^ I think a lot of the www.direct.gov.uk/studentfinance stuff is very very clearly applicable to mature students, though perhaps that depends on what you're looking at doing .. (What are you looking at doing ? Uni or something else ?)

I know this will obviously vary wildly from institution to institution, but I really can't stress enough how fantastically useful and accessible and going-the-extra-mile the finance office at my uni have been, since before I was even offered a place, so I would definitely contact the places you're looking at attending to get their advice too.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: petalponk on Jun 30, 2010, 11:27:58 AM
i was looking at doing this http://www.eastridingcollege.ac.uk/courses?course=73 or this http://www.eastridingcollege.ac.uk/courses?course=72, so basically a 2 year btec.

Cheers for the advice i will get looking :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lexx on Jun 30, 2010, 12:35:16 PM
No you will not get student finance for a BETEC, you will get ALG which is £30 a week and help with child care if you have children.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: petalponk on Jun 30, 2010, 01:40:36 PM
Damn, it's like they don't want you to improve yourself in this country! i think the £30 would probably just about cover the train fare...
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lexx on Jun 30, 2010, 01:54:26 PM
I can see both sides yes it would be good if the goverment would support all education but it is imposible finacially and I would much prefer they put money into making complusry education. 

You may be better off doing a degree if you want to go into IT as you will be up against graduates when going for jobs, if that's what you wanted to do.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Jul 04, 2010, 09:38:51 AM
I've been thinking some more on this, and about the impact that returning to study has on personal relationships.

It's hard. Any big change can be hard, and returning to study (whether as well as or instead of work) seems to me to always be both a massive practical change and a massive headspace change. I haven't got a bad word to say about how my partner has responded - she has been fantastically supportive and understanding - but I still often feel really frustrated by being so much less available than I used to be. Once in a while I feel a sort of distance - I've got a whole new sphere of me, and with all the interest and support she's expressed she's still definitely not within that sphere, and (again, emphatically, this is very much once in a while) it does feel like there is a massive distance between where my head is sometimes at and where hers is / where mine used to be. That's in spite of not really ever having been a 'merger' couple - different social lives, different jobs etc ; I think the difference this time is that the new stuff is very all-consuming, and exciting, and I sometimes feel a bit guilty for being so immersed in it.

That may not make any sense at all.

It's not just my relationship with my partner - it's been relationships with friends too, being unable to get people to understand just how tired I am / how little time I actually have available, though this perhaps is very specific to combining uni and work.

I don't know how any of this applies to people who don't have a partner - of my uni friends, all bar one is in a serious relationship (I don't know whether this is representative of mature students / students on my course / whatever, or a random coincidence, or whether it's just one of the things we have in common as a small subgroup ..) so I don't really have much alternative experience to draw on. I wouldn't trade in my situation for the 'convenience' of being able to be completely selfish in the way I imagine many 18-year-olds are able to, but I think it probably makes for a massive massive difference. I think that might be the chasm of understanding between me and long-term friends who went to uni at 18, actually - I wonder if they can't understand how it's different to have established a non-studying life and then fit uni into that (even if I had been able to give up work and 'just' study instead of that), compared to simply leaving home and moulding a student life, fitting a job into that.

I went to an orientation day thingy before I started uni, and there was a talk on what to expect from returning to study. Those are the two things I remember - time ("you need to understand exactly how many hours a week you'll need to spend studying, and then you need to sit there and work out how you're going to fit them in ; you'll have to give something else up, and you need to decide what it will be") and relationships ("whatever your set-up now, it's going to come under a lot of pressure from change ; you need to appreciate it's going to be a difficult surprise for the people around you, and some of you will definitely come under pressure to abandon your course and go back to how things were before .."). I can't remember anything more, but maybe that's just stuff I've forgotten because it hasn't become any part of my experience.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: tayto on Jul 05, 2010, 11:45:45 AM
I think your experience is very common, animalnitrate. Certainly based on my own observations over the years (I teach a number of groups that are mostly made up of mature students).

I suppose it is, at some level, impossible for other people to understand exactly the impact on you, if they're not themselves going through the same experiences. So if one is lucky, one's partner/friends/family will be supportive and empathise, but they can't actually experience it as you do.

And actually, I am just thinking that for all my teaching of mature students/students who are combining study and work, study and parenting, study and other committments, etc nothing made me really understand what it is like until I actually went back and did a Postgrad as a mature student myself.

Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: pthbbbt on Jul 11, 2010, 11:00:56 AM
I started my degree when I was 27. I lived in the dorm for the first term as the Uni was on the Island and I didn't have housing.

I was in a few different long distance relationships throughout the five years of my education, and there was no summer break, I did field schools and summer terms. I also did work-study programs the whole time.

On reading breaks (the week before mid-term exams and final exams) I would usually spend those with my partner (whomever it was at the time) studying my ass off, completing final papers while they worked.

I graduated and didn't pick up a book for 6 months.

I found uni to be quite isolating as I didn't really fit much with the student body. I did make some friends with a few of the profs and I'm glad I went to such a good university that wasn't up it's own @ss about heirarchies. My friendships with the academics really meant a lot to me and saved my mental health many times.

when we move, inks and I will both being going back to school - I'll be completing a certificate degree in laboratory technology while inks attends a college to transfer an English nursing degree into a Canuck one.

I don't see too many problems. I know we'll have less time than even we do now, but we'll also have far less stressors and a much higher quality of life. We've already got a better place to live that's practically free for two years, a huge garden, three blocks from a park (I think people here would call it a forest/wood). If we want to attend the occational night out in town (if we have the time) my mates back home have all offered their sofa beds.

unlike here, the difficulties will be with transport. That will take up most of our time. I'm very much relieved to be going back to school. I hate office work, I don't understand the wierd hierarchy and panick around certain things - I often think people's priorities and sense of importance are severely screwed and the lack of admin that don't take the piss...

sometimes I want to transplant an office into an emergency room and make them work there for a week to get a sense of perspective.

I'm so glad I'm going back to lab work where I can hear myself think. and it's required that I do.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: redred on Jul 12, 2010, 05:53:05 PM
having worked really hard for fifteen weeks i'm now finding the summer inertia has hit me like a wall. Admittedly my anaemia has reared its head and i'm going in for treatment over the next few weeks but i can't be arsed to read anything academic. I try. I fail. Term restarts at the end of september. I'm hoping fear will give me a good kick up the arse somewhere nearer the time.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Jul 12, 2010, 11:38:56 PM
^ I think pretty much everyone* I know has completely crashed over the summer, in spite of often quite specific and highly anticipated plans to read Many Important Books. Fifteen weeks is a hell of a long time - you must be pretty burnt out mentally even before factoring in the anaemia ? It'll come back .. Or even if it doesn't and there comes a point when you really do have to force yourself to read and retain, you've still got a good few weeks to be un-academic and not beat yourself up for it, by the sounds of things :)


* this should probably say "every mature student I know", but that's too much of a mouthful
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Charlotte Mew on Jul 19, 2010, 01:25:24 AM
redred I am so sorry to hear London Met is being so unsupportive.  I found the office (admin) a bit chaotic when I did my MA there but I was really lucky with the community aspect, but it may have been a fluke.  About 6 of us used to go drinking after the classes in a little Irish pub at the back of the Holloway Rd site and several of the lecturers used to come too.  It did increase my alcohol intake but it was invaluable to me.   Sadly they knocked the pub down when they built the Emirates Arsenal stadium. 

I found being a more mature student (I was in my late fifties) than other MA students quite a challenge.  There was also vague homophobia and ignorance and anti-feminism and one of the lecturers was a right idiot.  Others were good.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: redred on Jul 19, 2010, 04:10:29 PM
i think they're all totally demoralised by cuts and frankly i don't really blame them. At least i have a tutor of sorts now after going around the houses and leaning on another member of staff who likes me.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: k1t5un3 on Jul 21, 2010, 05:21:35 PM
After several years in the work force, I've decided to head back to train as a teacher. I'll be a full-time student on a hectic PGCE course. I'm not too worried about meeting people, as I've heard from many graduates that it tends to be a tight-knit group. My worry is about it might affect my relationship with my partner. We both enjoy being busy, but I haven't been as busy as the PGCE will keep me at any point in our relationship. Also, as I'm non-eu and 7 months shy of 3 years of residence in the EU, I don't qualify for any funding or home fees, and I wasn't selected for one of the scholarships I applied for either.

I'll have little money, little sleep and not much of a life, but at leasts it's only for 9 months. However, after the summer break, the NQT year will begin.

Overall, I'm looking forward to it, but I'm also a bit nervous about how things at home will be. I hope I can manage a bit of a social life, too!
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: marzipan gnome on Jul 21, 2010, 07:04:04 PM
Hey

I have just finished my pgce. I havent seen so much of my friends as I usually would and weekends often got lost in lesson planning and what not but there are peaks and troughs and a lot will also depend on where your placements are - i found the travelling bit knackering as I was not used to getting up at 6am. 

I didn't have the relationship issue to handle but just as many people are still together than those that broke up.  Honestly, those that were together years, married, kids - still together. The youngsters with boyfriends didnt last. Always because the boyfriends didn't like suddenly coming second fiddle to lesson planning.  As you say its not forever and a bit of give for a few months isn't the end of the world. Half terms go out the window but christmas and easter holidays you should make sure you and partner do something spesh.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Charlotte Mew on Jul 23, 2010, 02:27:51 PM
congrats on finishing this marzipan gnome.  I've noticed you weren't on here much, but thought it was just how boring we all are.  ;D  Are you going you planning to teach now?  what subject/age group?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: marzipan gnome on Jul 23, 2010, 07:41:16 PM
Yup, all done. Just need a job now. I chose a recession to retrain so there havent been so many jobs this year as folk are sitting tight and I'm limited by travel/not being able to move. But there is supply.  I'm secondary. I trained primarily in Citizenship and PSHE with some humanities thrown in for good measure. 


oh yeh, you are all still boring  ;D
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Rosie on Jul 23, 2010, 08:18:21 PM
^wow, congratulations - good luck with the job hunting :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Charlotte Mew on Jul 24, 2010, 02:49:01 AM
seconded on that.   
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: betterthanaverage on Aug 23, 2010, 03:46:37 PM
I've got the opportunity to do something different with my life so I'm thinking about studying for a postgraduate degree in journalism so that I have a proven skill I can take anywhere (hopefully)  and then later do an MA course in English ( part-time).

I'd like to work in an art environment and I believe that my experience in sales, marketing and administration will help me to get an internship/work experience. Am I too old for this. Is this a crazy idea?

Just thinking out loud.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Deeper Purple on Aug 23, 2010, 04:40:51 PM
I've got the opportunity to do something different with my life so I'm thinking about studying for a postgraduate degree in journalism so that I have a proven skill I can take anywhere (hopefully)  and then later do an MA course in English ( part-time).

I'd like to work in an art environment and I believe that my experience in sales, marketing and administration will help me to get an internship/work experience. Am I too old for this. Is this a crazy idea?

Just thinking out loud.

I know you are just thinking aloud... But:

You're most definately not too old!!  If there's passion and drive :)... and if you have weighed up the odds in terms of finance management, living etc... and if it's a question of whether it is simply too late for you to change your career path... If you do not pursue it, will it be a niggling desire/thought, will you be regretful?

Decisions, decisions...

You'll work it out...
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: skream on Aug 26, 2010, 12:52:02 PM
my boss has now talked me out of doing the most expensive and time consuming course one could ever do - it wouldn't really help my current career path and i don't think 6/7 years to qualify is something i'm keen to do at this point. i think i'd rather do something to help further my career, in a more specialized way, but looking into other options for 2011.

does anyone have any experience with doing a CIMA qualification ? its just an idea i'm having at the moment.

Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Little_Nene on Aug 26, 2010, 01:17:21 PM
CIMA no, but I am currently going back to do my level 4 NVQ of AAT and will be starting ACA after that for another 2-3years.

I'll be having one day off work a week so I still get the benifit of a full time job I haven't really found college too hard to go back to and i've been engoying it a lot more than when I was a teen. I do expect it to get harder at some point probley when I hit ACA and get into new ground that I haven't already covered on the job.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: skream on Aug 26, 2010, 05:23:32 PM
^ nice.

I'm not sure if it is too late to start with a CIMA. I was originally toying with the idea of completing an MBA. But a lot could happen in 6/7 years to warrant such a huge investment - personally and financially.

Hmm.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: skream on Aug 26, 2010, 05:28:35 PM
And I'd rather not bore my clients to death Gantt charts either.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: ScarletBea on Aug 26, 2010, 07:14:53 PM
^ nice.

I'm not sure if it is too late to start with a CIMA. I was originally toying with the idea of completing an MBA. But a lot could happen in 6/7 years to warrant such a huge investment - personally and financially.

Hmm.

How old are you?
I'm 40 and I've thought of doing a CIMA (basically because I qualified abroad and here in england most companies require what they call 'proper' qualifications ::)), but I just feel that I can't concentrate as well anymore, and it'd require a load of work.
Also because I can't help but think that I'd just be learning about stuff that I've learnt already, and most of the things I use at my work anyway.

Would like to do some sort of a part-time course in an unrelated subject though... just to keep my mind expanding, hehe

Some companies pay for a MBA, you could try to check with your HR, if it'd help you grow within the company.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: skream on Aug 26, 2010, 09:04:34 PM
I'm 30.

I could get my company to finance my MBA, but that would require me being tied to them for a certain number of years. I come across a lot of MBA grads in the industry I'm in and they just bore me to death with their textbook waffle - nothing is achieved or executed as a result.

I'm looking into the entry level certificate to the CIMA, that might be useful before launching into the full CIMA ? Could be good to gauge if I can really spend my time and energy on it..
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: ScarletBea on Aug 26, 2010, 09:08:38 PM
Yes, the guy I manage is now in the last year of CIMA, and you need to start with the first level. He has 'after work hours' classes, taking 2 to 3 modules at a time, and manages fine.
You could try one single module at first.

If your company pays for the MBA, they might pay as well for the CIMA then, as it's much cheaper. Are you working in Management Accountancy then?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: skream on Aug 26, 2010, 09:22:27 PM
No, its an auditing firm. I might talk to my boss about this then.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: ScarletBea on Aug 26, 2010, 09:26:27 PM
Eeeeek audit! :o
Come to Management Accounting ASAP!!!! ;D
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: skream on Aug 26, 2010, 09:34:22 PM
It gets worse - auditing digital advertising.. Its more technical then financial though I.e the approach, but yes, eeek !
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: valerie on Sep 07, 2010, 12:19:36 PM
i will always be a student until my last breath
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: betterthanaverage on Sep 21, 2010, 11:06:49 PM
I've got the opportunity to do something different with my life so I'm thinking about studying for a postgraduate degree in journalism so that I have a proven skill I can take anywhere (hopefully)  and then later do an MA course in English ( part-time).

I'd like to work in an art environment and I believe that my experience in sales, marketing and administration will help me to get an internship/work experience. Am I too old for this. Is this a crazy idea?

Just thinking out loud.

Iíve decided that this isnít a crazy idea after all. Iíve missed the deadline for postgraduate courses for this year but that gives me time to save up enough money to pay the fees. The MA course is about £7,000!

A  Creative Writing MA would be wonderful but a traditional English MA gives me more scope to branch out into other fields such as teaching.

For years Iíve had to put up with the myth that Media Studies isnít a proper degree even though I worked bloody hard on that course.

Maybe I need to do this not just to prove to myself that I didnít want waste my time by going to college but also because Iíll enjoy studying.

Iíve been treading water for too long and itís nice to have a plan for the future.
 :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Suze on Sep 22, 2010, 09:39:41 AM
^ I dont see that an MA in English will particularly help you to be a teacher ..  if you want to teach English you'd be better off doing a PGCE in it .. you don't need a degree in English to get on a PGCE course ... my first degree isn't English but I've done the job for years!   Might be harder atm, when the ecomony is squeezed so  it might be more competetive,

So if your real passion is creative writing I would re-consider whether or not you'd be better doing that for its own sake and maybe tackle the teaching "thing" as a thing in its own right ..

From my years in the job, I am sure that stuff you've learnt as a media student would be more likely to help in teaching English in a school than  the elevation of any English MA study!
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: betterthanaverage on Sep 23, 2010, 06:22:06 PM
I didn't realise you could teach English without having a degree in the subject.

You're right, I'm trying to cover two different career paths and my problem is that I  always try to do the 'right' thing rather than what I'd really enjoy.

Thank you Suze.  :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Custardy Fututrix on Sep 23, 2010, 06:43:13 PM
^One of my closest friends has been an English teacher for the last 3 years at secondary level with a degree in... Architecture.

She was working 4 day weeks for the last two years and this summer became the proud winner of a 1st in BSc English.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: betterthanaverage on Sep 23, 2010, 07:00:42 PM
That's interesting.  :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Custardy Fututrix on Sep 23, 2010, 07:01:25 PM
Well, not for most, maybe.  But I'm dead proud of her.  :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: petra on Oct 10, 2010, 02:51:43 AM
This isn't helped by London Met being spectacularly sh*t at giving out information or organising anything.

What sort of infos will you need from MetPolice?
A friend of mine just finished her course and started working so she might be able to help with something..

<---suspects hasn't understood at all well, given the time.

Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lexx on Oct 10, 2010, 10:02:07 AM
^ I think she ment London Met as in the uni not the police. :)

Well I moved in yest and so far on replying to what I will be studying one dude has said "is social work just a posh word for home economics?" Does make me feel a bit shit when you have people around you studying sciences I can't even spell, philosphy, politics etc and I then have to say Social Work. :(
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: ScarletBea on Oct 10, 2010, 11:23:42 AM
^ then they're stupid - don't worry, I think studying Social Work is perfectly valid, and should be mandatory for anyone working in Social Services, as everybody thinks they "know best how to solve society's problems" but it's never like that.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: petra on Oct 11, 2010, 12:54:23 AM
^ I think she ment London Met as in the uni not the police. :)



Thanks for being so delicate in pointing that out.
My misunderstanding skills are just one of the hundreds of very good reasons why I shouldn't be on GB.

(bangs head against wall)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: cubelien on Oct 11, 2010, 03:56:31 PM
^ I think she ment London Met as in the uni not the police. :)

Well I moved in yest and so far on replying to what I will be studying one dude has said "is social work just a posh word for home economics?" Does make me feel a bit shit when you have people around you studying sciences I can't even spell, philosphy, politics etc and I then have to say Social Work. :(

I liked your response to the archaeology guy about the dole queue, I used to be hung up on the 'status' of my degree, then it all went horribly wrong, now I'm looking forward to doing a degree that will lead me into the career I really want. Even though the degree and job are not seen as high profile it's what I am really passionate about doing.

I've also become a mature student this year - doing an Access to HE course to get 'recent assessed academic experience'. The major downside is that while everyone on the course is a mature student, we have to be in a college full of 16-19 year olds - they are a scary breed!
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: redred on Oct 23, 2010, 05:46:35 PM
this semester could be interesting. I'm currently absent because of surgery for cancer and i fought tooth and nail to get the lectures recorded and a note taker in place. I'm not sure how many weeks i'll miss and i'm waiting for my DSA application to be approved (it's been given the thumbs up in theory but i won't believe it until i see it). This will cover me getting a taxi to and from uni once i'm on my feet which i'll have to pay up front but i should get back....it'll be a little while yet til i can do that.

i'm glad this happened this term and not last. I'd've thrown in the towel i think.  I don't have an all clear yet, i have some more tests to come, and once/if i do i think i'll be much more inclined to be focused, get my head down and work. Right now i'm muddle headed with pain killers which i hope to be off next week and then i'll be able to catch up with the missed work and reading.

Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Oct 24, 2010, 08:51:26 AM
I hope it all works out well with your DSA application, redred, and I hope you're able to get back to studying soon.

It's bloody crap you've had to fight to get some fairly basic provision, though. I am glad you've not jacked it in.

Best of luck with everything.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Suzywongster on Oct 24, 2010, 07:30:08 PM
Hope noone minds me jumping in....

my boss has now talked me out of doing the most expensive and time consuming course one could ever do - it wouldn't really help my current career path and i don't think 6/7 years to qualify is something i'm keen to do at this point. i think i'd rather do something to help further my career, in a more specialized way, but looking into other options for 2011.

does anyone have any experience with doing a CIMA qualification ? its just an idea i'm having at the moment.

It's f***ing hard work but a really good qual to have & as long as you're prepare to study can be a good course to do :) I loooked at it but decided I didn't want to be in acccountacy forever so decided against.  I have a few of my friends doing the course part time though and they're really enjoying it :)

@ Monkey - people don't understand social work because it is a vocational degree not solely academic and some look at what's in the news & get confused as to what the degree/job actually pertains too :) How's it going so far though? And where are you studying?

@ Scarlet bea -  anyone working in social services as a social worker does have to do it or have completed what was once the DipSW (still 3 hyears in uni but qual had a different name).

@ Cubevic - what subject?

@ Redred - (((hugs))) and hoping you can get your course stuff sorted soon :)  Also how is/was london met? As i'm planning to go their to do their extended science degree leading into either pharmacology or pharmeceutical sciences but although not that much older than the 18/19 yr olds, I will be a mature student.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: cubelien on Oct 24, 2010, 08:46:21 PM


@ Cubevic - what subject?



Healthcare, with the view to doing OT next year  :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Suzywongster on Oct 24, 2010, 08:48:47 PM
@ Cubevic - what subject?

Healthcare, with the view to doing OT next year  :)

Nice :D How's it going so far?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: cubelien on Oct 24, 2010, 08:51:19 PM
@ Cubevic - what subject?

Healthcare, with the view to doing OT next year  :)

Nice :D How's it going so far?

Mostly I'm just repeating the mantra 'this is a means to an end, it will get you where you want to be'. To be fair, I'm really enjoying the content of the subjects, I find it feels like we're being made to jump through certain assessment hoops rather than actually learning for the sake of learning.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Suzywongster on Oct 24, 2010, 08:56:44 PM
^ Oh that's no fun but I do know what you mean  :-\ I'm hoping my degree doesn't feel like that.  Actually maybe your degree won't either, it's just cause it's purely a means to show you can do whatthey need you to be able to do for uni :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: cubelien on Oct 24, 2010, 09:07:18 PM
^ I'm looking forward to the degree as it has lots of placements so I get do really experience the career I'm aiming for rather than just learning theory. This year we are spread so thinly across many subject areas that just aren't relevant (it feels like doing GCSE again).

I just need to get a place now, UCAS form is just waiting for a reference and then it will be in  :-\
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Suzywongster on Oct 24, 2010, 09:16:34 PM
^ Aww, good luck :) I'm sure you'll be fine - where are you applying to?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: cubelien on Oct 25, 2010, 09:53:08 AM
^ Aww, good luck :) I'm sure you'll be fine - where are you applying to?

Thanks, York St John (where I'd really like to get in), Sheffield Hallam, Bradford, Teesside, and Huddersfield.  :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lexx on Oct 25, 2010, 10:29:56 AM
Hope noone minds me jumping in....

my boss has now talked me out of doing the most expensive and time consuming course one could ever do - it wouldn't really help my current career path and i don't think 6/7 years to qualify is something i'm keen to do at this point. i think i'd rather do something to help further my career, in a more specialized way, but looking into other options for 2011.

does anyone have any experience with doing a CIMA qualification ? its just an idea i'm having at the moment.

It's f***ing hard work but a really good qual to have & as long as you're prepare to study can be a good course to do :) I loooked at it but decided I didn't want to be in acccountacy forever so decided against.  I have a few of my friends doing the course part time though and they're really enjoying it :)

@ Monkey - people don't understand social work because it is a vocational degree not solely academic and some look at what's in the news & get confused as to what the degree/job actually pertains too :) How's it going so far though? And where are you studying?

@ Scarlet bea -  anyone working in social services as a social worker does have to do it or have completed what was once the DipSW (still 3 hyears in uni but qual had a different name).

@ Cubevic - what subject?

@ Redred - (((hugs))) and hoping you can get your course stuff sorted soon :)  Also how is/was london met? As i'm planning to go their to do their extended science degree leading into either pharmacology or pharmeceutical sciences but although not that much older than the 18/19 yr olds, I will be a mature student.

I am really enjoying it so far there are some really boring bits but most of it is good, I go to York uni.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Suzywongster on Oct 25, 2010, 03:22:06 PM
I am really enjoying it so far there are some really boring bits but most of it is good, I go to York uni.

Goody :) when do you go out on your first placement or is it all academic ubtilthe 2nd year?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lexx on Oct 25, 2010, 04:05:25 PM
No York does first placements in the first year In January I start.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Suzywongster on Oct 25, 2010, 06:16:28 PM
Cool :) do you know what sort of placement you'll be looking at doing?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lexx on Oct 25, 2010, 06:59:34 PM
You don't really get much say in the first placement as all the statoury places go to 3rd years, I want to go to the Womens Aid in York but the more I learn about mental health social work the more interested I get in that; however having been a service user I am not sure I can cope emotionally with it and dunno where I would get the support from.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Suzywongster on Oct 25, 2010, 07:14:37 PM
^ Hmm that's why I decided to not go in to social work. Mental health social work is interesting though :) what do you plan to do; adults or children and families?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lexx on Oct 25, 2010, 07:21:11 PM
Grrr sorry a bit of a bug bare of mine there is so much more to social work than just the two groups. I want to work withing forensic social work, women escaping domestic abuse, unaccompanied asylum seeking children or young offenders. I am pretty much an open book.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Suzywongster on Oct 25, 2010, 07:25:30 PM
I only meant in that most uni's I looked at split off into this two 'groups' I do realise there is so much more to the job :)
Wow that's a lot of variants, what is forensic social work though?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: marzipan gnome on Oct 25, 2010, 08:57:25 PM
aww come on,  to be fair social work is generally split into adults or childrens and families Monkey. You know that - or should do by now. Don't be so mean to wongy!   Yes, the work itself doesn't fit those boundaries so neatly but if you join statutory services you will find your role/team is in one dept or the other.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lexx on Oct 25, 2010, 09:28:25 PM
Sorry I was unneasrilly grumpy. At uni it is split into families and children, young people and adults I thought all unis did that now due to the different complications of working with young people.

Forensic social work is working with service users who have entered the mental health system through offending, is the best way I can explain it.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Suzywongster on Oct 25, 2010, 10:02:49 PM
@ Marzipan gnome - Thanks :)

@ Monkey - they haven't where I've been looking; maybe they do but haven't got round to publicising it so much yet? Also that seems like a difficult option, it's like dealing with two major problems but all at once :-\ (I know that's what SW is generally but intentionally mixing the two would be quite stressful I should think)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lexx on Oct 25, 2010, 10:20:58 PM
I think it depends on where you look I know York, Lancaster, Queens and Sheffield do, which are at the top of the legue tabels to maybe it's linked? I don't know but I like it as it seems a lot more focoused on the challenges that each life stage presents.

I guess it is stressful but if SW's (and society in general) avoided things that were stressful then the issues wouldn't get solved and people would just be left to rot.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Suzywongster on Oct 25, 2010, 10:29:25 PM
Hmm that explains the amount of rot in society then...

Also quite probably, I was looking at specific areas rather than who was necessarily the best or worst.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lexx on Oct 25, 2010, 10:57:36 PM
Ahh I was lucky and could go where ever I wanted, tecnically there shouldn't really be much difference in the courses anyway.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Suzywongster on Oct 25, 2010, 11:17:57 PM
Yeah I wanted to be in London... :-\ They probably aren't just the info they give is :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: redred on Nov 01, 2010, 10:10:07 AM
i'm starting back on thursday *takes deep breath*
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Suzywongster on Nov 01, 2010, 12:30:48 PM
i'm starting back on thursday *takes deep breath*

Aww good luck!! I hope it goes well for you :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: cubelien on Nov 01, 2010, 01:12:32 PM
Good luck redred  :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lexx on Nov 01, 2010, 03:59:38 PM
Hope it goes well Reddred.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Batfink on Nov 01, 2010, 07:32:36 PM
i'm starting back on thursday *takes deep breath*

That's great to hear, redred. I wish you all the very best with it.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: redred on Nov 02, 2010, 05:20:43 PM
of the 7 of a total 8 lectures i've missed they appear to have been able to record 2.5 of them. I'm so hacked off. Yes, i have notes and PP overheads but it's not the same. Who do i complain to? the disabilites and dyslexia dept phone number is permanently engaged. Is there recourse since it's because of having a cancer diagnosis and surgery and that's why i'm missing stuff? i assume that would come under mitigating circs, right?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: marzipan gnome on Nov 02, 2010, 05:39:53 PM
of the 7 of a total 8 lectures i've missed they appear to have been able to record 2.5 of them. I'm so hacked off. Yes, i have notes and PP overheads but it's not the same. Who do i complain to? the disabilites and dyslexia dept phone number is permanently engaged. Is there recourse since it's because of having a cancer diagnosis and surgery and that's why i'm missing stuff? i assume that would come under mitigating circs, right?

ahh london met eh!  That is crap but how much do you need the info from those lectures? For ex have you a compulsory essay to do based on them?  Focus energies on positives not negatives - I have no doubt the london met complaints process will be onerous and be of little worth if it just saps energy when a chat with your tutor and some info about how to put in a claim for mitigating circumstances against any relevant piece of work is more productive and positive.  x
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: redred on Nov 02, 2010, 06:07:49 PM
of the 7 of a total 8 lectures i've missed they appear to have been able to record 2.5 of them. I'm so hacked off. Yes, i have notes and PP overheads but it's not the same. Who do i complain to? the disabilites and dyslexia dept phone number is permanently engaged. Is there recourse since it's because of having a cancer diagnosis and surgery and that's why i'm missing stuff? i assume that would come under mitigating circs, right?

ahh london met eh!  That is crap but how much do you need the info from those lectures? For ex have you a compulsory essay to do based on them?  Focus energies on positives not negatives - I have no doubt the london met complaints process will be onerous and be of little worth if it just saps energy when a chat with your tutor and some info about how to put in a claim for mitigating circumstances against any relevant piece of work is more productive and positive.  x

*wry laugh*

i don't have a fucking tutor. Yes, in a word, there are compulsory essays for both modules and an exam for one.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: marzipan gnome on Nov 02, 2010, 06:29:36 PM
wow. so royally shite then.   :-\

A friend from my course last year is working her way thru appeals processes and I believe she has support from student union bods. I could ask her who if it might help.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: redred on Nov 02, 2010, 06:37:24 PM
yes please
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: skream on Nov 25, 2010, 02:42:22 PM
has anyone on here studied and/or completed any of the CIM qualifications, namely the diploma or postgraduate certifications ??
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Rosie on Nov 25, 2010, 07:14:42 PM
has anyone on here studied and/or completed any of the CIM qualifications, namely the diploma or postgraduate certifications ??

I have done the diploma and been an examiner on the diploma and what uised to be called the advanced certificate. If you have any questions, let me know.

<----- Chartered Marketer, FCIM
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: skream on Nov 26, 2010, 09:37:34 PM
Thanks Rosie. I do have a few questions, but writing this from my phone. Will respond later :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Charlotte Mew on Nov 26, 2010, 09:54:59 PM


Maybe I need to do this not just to prove to myself that I didnít want waste my time by going to college but also because Iíll enjoy studying.

Iíve been treading water for too long and itís nice to have a plan for the future.
 :)

BTA I did my MA in a field that I would really enjoy (literary studies) and not in one that was related to my work (which was in social policy/older people/campaigning). 

I decided that I was going to do it for myself and not for career advancement and yet it helped me enormously, in the ways Catbus has described on another thread.   Not that I got any qualification that helped me though.  Rather that the intellectual stimulation improved my life and helped me to think more clearly and critically.   But I think if you are paying for it and working hard extra to your paid work you should think of the enjoyment.   Mind you I probably would do the English rather than the Creative Writing so you do have more strings to your bow.  Though you might be able to teach Creative Writing possibly funding for adult courses is constantly being cut.  But you should be able to do a course that combines the two I would have thought.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: skream on Nov 29, 2010, 12:07:07 PM
rosie - a few questions:

how has working through the various CIM certifications aided your career ? was it fun ?

i'm in more of a B2B role - in terms of professional development i'm thinking that studying towards a diploma would be wise, in order to work at a more strategic and/or management level - your thoughts ?

i'm also thinking of starting the professional certification in the first half of next year, on a part-time basis (one evening per week) - will this take up alot of my time ?

i'm looking at the london school of marketing @ imperial college or the CIM academy itself - as an examiner, would you be in a position to recommend a suitable organization for study ?

thanks  :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Rosie on Nov 29, 2010, 07:09:37 PM
Gaining the CIM qualifications hasn't really helped my career as such as I work as an academic but I felt a duty of obligation to pass them myself as I was teaching the programmes to students at the time.

I do believe they can help your marketing career however, and it is quite often the case that job adverts mention 'Chartered Marketer' or CIM qualifications.

I think you're probably right about using the Diploma to get to a more strategic level; there is also the possibility of transferring on to a Master's degree at a later stage on the back of your CIM dip.

I don't personally have any experience of the professional certification programme so I can't comment on that, I'm afraid.

All institutions which offer CIM courses are regularly vetted by the CIM and standards are carefully, monitored (I believe). It should therefore be fine to choose whichever course suits you in terms of convenience, location, mode of delivery etc. The quality sould be generally of the same standard.

good luck
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: redred on Nov 29, 2010, 09:41:29 PM
i finally have a dissertation supervisor!
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: skream on Nov 30, 2010, 10:44:17 AM
^ nice one !

@rosie - thanks for this.

i'll probably be asking you for advice when i start the course ;D
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: betterthanaverage on Dec 02, 2010, 04:58:11 AM


Maybe I need to do this not just to prove to myself that I didnít want waste my time by going to college but also because Iíll enjoy studying.

Iíve been treading water for too long and itís nice to have a plan for the future.
 :)

BTA I did my MA in a field that I would really enjoy (literary studies) and not in one that was related to my work (which was in social policy/older people/campaigning). 

I decided that I was going to do it for myself and not for career advancement and yet it helped me enormously, in the ways Catbus has described on another thread.   Not that I got any qualification that helped me though.  Rather that the intellectual stimulation improved my life and helped me to think more clearly and critically.   But I think if you are paying for it and working hard extra to your paid work you should think of the enjoyment.   Mind you I probably would do the English rather than the Creative Writing so you do have more strings to your bow.  Though you might be able to teach Creative Writing possibly funding for adult courses is constantly being cut.  But you should be able to do a course that combines the two I would have thought.

Thank you.  :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Starbuck on Dec 12, 2010, 09:36:11 PM
I'm going back to college in October to finally start my MA in Applied Linguistics. At the moment, I'm applying for what few grants are available, but whatever happens I'm likely to be studying part-time and working full-time. Like the poster above, my MA will have nothing to do with the work I'm doing now but really it's much more for my own interest, so I'm sure I'll find ways to apply it (or just wind up doing a PhD and being an unemployed academic!).

Any tips on writing grant applications much appreciated. At the moment, I'm trying to think of a 'creative' way to sum up my academic achievements which isn't boring as hell. I know what to include, just not how to make it stand out.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Rosie on Dec 13, 2010, 09:36:21 PM
^ Vitae is a website largely geared towards PhD students and staff researchers but it has loads of advice and ideas and useful links; some of which you might find handy. It's free to register and much of the site is public access anyway:

http://www.vitae.ac.uk/researchers/ (http://www.vitae.ac.uk/researchers/)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Jett on Dec 14, 2010, 02:53:56 PM
Hope you're getting on ok, Redred, well done for getting back into education  :)

How's the 'dissertation supervisor'? Any use?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: redred on Dec 15, 2010, 06:19:53 AM
yes, she is. I was taught a module by her both semesters and she's a really interesting and interested person.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: pars on Jan 10, 2011, 06:29:17 PM
(or just wind up doing a PhD and being an unemployed academic!).


This is exactly my career plan.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Starbuck on Jan 12, 2011, 11:36:40 PM
There are surely worse plans, Pars. Any excuse to wear tweed and read all day.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Commander Clayp ool on Jan 12, 2011, 11:42:14 PM
I just had to acquiesce to that new annoying FB profile update thing and noticed that I put, a long time ago, under career aspirations: To be a third rate, drink dependent academic.

Now even that's out of reach (well, the first part). Jeez.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Starbuck on Jan 12, 2011, 11:54:47 PM
What, it's out of your reach to be 'third-rate'? Are you absolutely sure?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Fabulous FireHorse on Jan 15, 2011, 05:35:13 PM
I'm part way through my 1st year as a mature student studying Fine Art.

The first term was hard as I'd hoped to make new friends quickly but a combination of living outside the area and being older meant that I found it hard to bond with anyone, even other mature students, and i was feeeling isolated. There's another gay woman in the class, but our age and attitude differences means we don't attract the same friends. However, I was getting good 'formative' grades so at least academic success seemed to be ok.

This term, in my first week back, having rested over Xmas and given up on chasing friendships I've felt much more relaxed. I think I'm starting to find my own 'voice' and enthusiasm to communicate this with the tutors and have a bit more fun with the work. I expect that I'll find friends from people that enjoy my work if i'm patient. :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: skream on Jul 20, 2011, 06:29:44 PM
i've resurrected this thread as i'm soon to become a mature student and now scaring myself at the thought of doing what i did for a level maths and stats again.

how do people stay motivated, when studying whilst working ?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Jul 20, 2011, 06:39:41 PM
how do people stay motivated, when studying whilst working ?

For me ? Sheer love for what I'm studying hasn't really failed me so far - maybe I'm incredibly lucky, though, and I still have two years in which that 'love' could very easily do an about-turn ..

The evenings when I really couldn't otherwise be arsed, simply wanting to turn up and have a fifteen minute laugh with my uni boys in between classes was what got me there. I went into studying not expecting or wanting it to be a social experience, but god, I'm so happy it turned out that way.

I think there's a tangible, and very positive, atmosphere that comes from studying with people who work. Or there has been for me. A sort of collective exhausted excitement, a kind of buzz in the air. There's very little apathy in my classes, which is really nice.

And sometimes, when the days are short and the hours are long and the particular area of study feels tedious ? I bitch and I moan and I keep my eyes firmly on the finish line.  :-\

I love the balance of working and studying, though. I do moan (a lot !), but I wouldn't do it any other way.

What're you going to do, skream ? I think I remember you posting before about considering an MBA. Is that the plan now, or something else ?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: skream on Jul 20, 2011, 08:41:07 PM
that's still the plan but i'm starting off with studying part time for a bsc business degree first. it's a flexible course in that after the first year or so i can pretty much choose to study modules across some interesting subjects - sociology, psychology, economic policy, environmental development etc. the plan is to complete an MBA in one year, full time, and I might do it abroad. will see as have options.

will be interesting to see how i manage to fit this around work, but I think i'm going to enjoy this as the course overall seems a good fit to what i'm passionate about.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Jul 21, 2011, 10:48:47 AM
Oh, cool, all sounds good. Where you doing it ?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: skream on Jul 21, 2011, 02:23:32 PM
i'm doing it through LSE's external study program - online, distance, and might support it with tuition if needed as well.

you ?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Jul 21, 2011, 03:58:51 PM
Oh, nice one. I'm always impressed by people with the discipline for distance learning.

Me ? BSc Economics at Birkbeck. Two years down, two years to go.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: skream on Jul 21, 2011, 04:06:47 PM
it definitely helps if you love what you're studying eh ?
nice - i was looking into birkbeck's part time degrees as well.
i think the LSE degrees have alot of crossover in the first year - so you can transfer to economics, mathematics, business or management degrees, which i like.

Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: largelushlass on Jul 21, 2011, 10:16:10 PM
I will be starting my Social Work BA in oct, I am really not sure how it is going to be, but I am excited new challenge etc. I am worried how I will be seen by the rest of the class and may be the only mature student.

Sorry not really helped with your problems.
[/quote

I am qualified just over 2 years as Social Worker and on hand for any help Monkey. You will find with Social Work it tends to be mature students. This is my second degree as my first is in Psychosocial Studies, the Social Work was extremely tough for me.

For me personally academia is very hard. I barely attended school as a child  so my English is not the best and trying to get what I want to say on paper is a challenge and a half for me. You can probably gaged that from some of my posts often not good at getting my point across in text.

I still have all my work and if I can be of any help do not hesitate to ask. ;D
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lexx on Jul 21, 2011, 11:18:49 PM
I will be starting my Social Work BA in oct, I am really not sure how it is going to be, but I am excited new challenge etc. I am worried how I will be seen by the rest of the class and may be the only mature student.

Sorry not really helped with your problems.
[/quote

I am qualified just over 2 years as Social Worker and on hand for any help Monkey. You will find with Social Work it tends to be mature students. This is my second degree as my first is in Psychosocial Studies, the Social Work was extremely tough for me.

For me personally academia is very hard. I barely attended school as a child  so my English is not the best and trying to get what I want to say on paper is a challenge and a half for me. You can probably gaged that from some of my posts often not good at getting my point across in text.

I still have all my work and if I can be of any help do not hesitate to ask. ;D

Thanks! I have just finishe my first year with a 1st.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: skream on Jul 21, 2011, 11:28:20 PM
Quote
why are you guys writing like this ??

 ;D
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lexx on Jul 22, 2011, 12:00:31 AM
I have no idea I deffinly wrote out side her qoute
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: eliza jane on Jul 26, 2011, 08:36:38 AM


 Ah , its great to find this thread :D. I am a mature student and guess what , coming out at the same time, but I must get on with this summer reading and stop trying to fall in love. Or maybe I can balance the two . Glad to hear someone talk about the summer flight of students . I expected to feel exhillarated at all the time off . ( four months ) but I have found myself lonely. I truly did not expect this at all. I should not be lonely as all and sundry want me to get together with them but I feel I cant as the days are rapidly moving on and I havent started one book ???. Because of my situation re coming out I have ventured for some councelling so that is taking up a lot of my thoughts. But I know i will manage this . I am pleased to be going into the second year without resits and have got to tackle the mountain of books a day at a time. i am studying English and Drama. thank you for starting the thread.
x
Eliza
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: pars on Jul 26, 2011, 12:17:43 PM


 Ah , its great to find this thread :D. I am a mature student and guess what , coming out at the same time, but I must get on with this summer reading and stop trying to fall in love. Or maybe I can balance the two . Glad to hear someone talk about the summer flight of students . I expected to feel exhillarated at all the time off . ( four months ) but I have found myself lonely. I truly did not expect this at all. I should not be lonely as all and sundry want me to get together with them but I feel I cant as the days are rapidly moving on and I havent started one book ???. Because of my situation re coming out I have ventured for some councelling so that is taking up a lot of my thoughts. But I know i will manage this . I am pleased to be going into the second year without resits and have got to tackle the mountain of books a day at a time. i am studying English and Drama. thank you for starting the thread.
x
Eliza

You could come along to the next Southbank Surfing in August... It's full of perennial students.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: valerie on Jul 26, 2011, 02:06:32 PM
i am a perennial student and highly attracted to perennial students.

cannot believe that i missed the first SB surfing because i was in England & out of town, then in July, on a plane over the Atlantic :'(
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Uncle Pants on Jul 28, 2011, 08:40:49 PM
How about perineum students
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Schwarz The Deathstar on Jul 29, 2011, 12:23:39 PM
i'd like to go back to being a perennial student but have been making do with perineum studies instead. it makes the time go quickly & is probably as useful.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Old Brock on Jul 29, 2011, 12:27:53 PM
It's kind of limiting though. It might be better to extend to vulva and perineum. Maybe more, depending on your particular fancies.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: KerfuffleGoblin on Jul 29, 2011, 01:00:23 PM
i'm mostly doing history/literature-based courses, so i'm relying on my dual abilities as a blagger and bullshitter to stand me in good stead. it's not failed me so far.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Old Brock on Jul 29, 2011, 01:03:29 PM
Maybe I should make a sensible post. My last one was quite ridiculous. I'm doing a very p/t MA in Fine Art through distance learning. It's quite exciting because it's the first distance learning MA in Fine Art, and I really like the institution. It also has a respected institution accrediting.

I'm not really expecting it to further my career. Unless I become an educator. It's more about developing my practice.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Jul 29, 2011, 01:26:40 PM


 Ah , its great to find this thread :D. I am a mature student and guess what , coming out at the same time, but I must get on with this summer reading and stop trying to fall in love. Or maybe I can balance the two . Glad to hear someone talk about the summer flight of students . I expected to feel exhillarated at all the time off . ( four months ) but I have found myself lonely. I truly did not expect this at all. I should not be lonely as all and sundry want me to get together with them but I feel I cant as the days are rapidly moving on and I havent started one book ???. Because of my situation re coming out I have ventured for some councelling so that is taking up a lot of my thoughts. But I know i will manage this . I am pleased to be going into the second year without resits and have got to tackle the mountain of books a day at a time. i am studying English and Drama. thank you for starting the thread.
x
Eliza

:D Double congratulations on your successful first year, and on coming out, then !

Is it appropriate to offer congratulations on coming out ? It seems appropriate enough to me.



In other news, I'm excitedly starting to read in preparation for my third-year stuff. I'm not actually back til the end of September, but this isn't putting me off. I am geek. I'm having module disappointment, though - I already know exactly what I'm doing next year, I need to do a pretty straight economics degree to get onto the kinds of master's courses I want to do - I just want to do all the other stuff too. :( There's some really interesting looking geography modules I "can't" do.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Custardy Fututrix on Jul 29, 2011, 01:41:28 PM
^can you not just 'sit in' on the modules you're interested in, but not take the exams? It's not encouraged at my place, but I know students who do out of interest or to maximise their marks (they take the exam in the course they find easiest).
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Jul 29, 2011, 01:47:30 PM
^ There is one module I'm very much considering asking to do that in, but it's not offered next year, so I'd be looking to do that the following year. It's a thought, but tbh, three evenings a week is already a sizeable commitment - I don't think I could manage it without it ultimately being a trade-off against the modules I am actually studying and need to know inside out.  :-\

Thanks, though.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Custardy Fututrix on Jul 29, 2011, 01:49:51 PM
It's certainly a balancing act as a part time student. I hope you become happier with your choices once you're in the thick of it.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Uncle Pants on Jul 29, 2011, 01:53:54 PM
When I was an undergraduate, I used to enjoy crashing other people's lectures occasionally to find out what other people were learning about.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: KerfuffleGoblin on Jul 29, 2011, 01:57:29 PM
I'm OU-open-degreeing it, so i can do mini-courses in whatever i fancy pretty much.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: skream on Jul 29, 2011, 01:59:50 PM
hehe good to see others did this too.

i crashed ethnomusicology classes at university, instead of attending c++ programming..

animalnitrate - i'm so going to be asking you for help on my economics modules !
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Old Brock on Jul 29, 2011, 02:00:25 PM
I'm OU-open-degreeing it, so i can do mini-courses in whatever i fancy pretty much.

I did that. My degree isn't all that useful though...
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: KerfuffleGoblin on Jul 29, 2011, 02:02:12 PM
I'm OU-open-degreeing it, so i can do mini-courses in whatever i fancy pretty much.
I did that. My degree isn't all that useful though...
well, i'm into arts, history and english so it probably wouldn't be that useful to have a "straight" degree in any of them career-wise.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Uncle Pants on Jul 29, 2011, 02:03:47 PM
 I still do it when I can get away with it. I went to a statistics for engineers lunchtime lecture a while ago, and I was delighted to find it was all about cake! And when I went to America to visit my friend in Portland, he took me to a Masters lecture on operating systems development. I didn't fill in the spot quiz paper though.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: KerfuffleGoblin on Jul 29, 2011, 02:07:43 PM
Engineer-cake, was that all how to make fancy shapes without them collapsing? because i would love to attend that.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Uncle Pants on Jul 29, 2011, 02:09:28 PM
I think they were talking about statistical methods of calculating optimal sizes/angles/speeds etc for commercial cake mixing apparatus.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: KerfuffleGoblin on Jul 29, 2011, 02:12:04 PM
less exciting, but still worthy.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: skream on Jul 29, 2011, 02:20:58 PM
I think they were talking about statistical methods of calculating optimal sizes/angles/speeds etc for commercial cake mixing apparatus.

http://www.cookingforengineers.com/

i learnt alot from this site.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Uncle Pants on Jul 29, 2011, 02:27:13 PM
Looks like an interesting site - I will explore it later.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Aug 02, 2011, 09:04:59 PM
animalnitrate - i'm so going to be asking you for help on my economics modules !

 :D

less exciting, but still worthy.

Cake is very worthy.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: skream on Aug 03, 2011, 11:25:33 AM
i'm now having thoughts of postponing my degree for another year...
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Aug 03, 2011, 12:43:57 PM
^ Hey, how come ?



I'm beginning to seriously worry (already) (for a change). I feel so shattered at the minute, so completely and inexplicably drained. I should be rejoicing in all that excess spare time at the minute, I should feel rested. I have no idea how I'm going to cope with uni on top of feeling like this. I really hope it shifts before term starts. :(
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: skream on Aug 03, 2011, 12:48:10 PM
i think i might be taking on too much - with starting a new job this month, moving, and then my course material is going to arrive.. not sure, but needs alot of thought in the next few weeks.

i take it you're working as well, animalnitrate ? how are you resting ? perhaps look at new approaches to down time ?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Aug 03, 2011, 12:57:15 PM
Ahh. That makes sense. How d'you feel about postponing ? Is there no way you can postpone by less-than-a-year ? Agreed, it does sound like an awful lot to be taking on all at once ..

I am working, yeah. How am I resting ? Not enough, is probably the only answer at the minute. I guess I need to rethink that, but I don't really have any better ideas. Urrrggghhh.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: skream on Aug 03, 2011, 01:03:56 PM
give yourself a break ? maybe 6 months or something, to get a little work/study/life balance ?

Ahh. That makes sense. How d'you feel about postponing ? Is there no way you can postpone by less-than-a-year ? Agreed, it does sound like an awful lot to be taking on all at once ..

I am working, yeah. How am I resting ? Not enough, is probably the only answer at the minute. I guess I need to rethink that, but I don't really have any better ideas. Urrrggghhh.

i would have liked to start in say 6 months, but LSE or royal holloway on the external system only start around sept-oct. i am still thinking about it - alot can happen in the next few weeks. i just need to gauge work-load in my new job first.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Sep 14, 2011, 03:16:33 PM
^ Have you made a decision ?

I'm still feeling less than refreshed, but grim determination is winning out - I'm actually quite excited about the new term, and I'm hoping that'll get me through the first few weeks until habit kicks in again. I have my sort-of first lecture next week ! :D .. and I've totally forgotten that that means I can't work late next Weds. Bugger.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: skream on Sep 15, 2011, 06:17:45 PM
i have :)

i'm going to start in 2012, which means i have a year to now decide between the LSE or royal holloway distance programme i.e. no weekly classes, or birkbeck which offers a taught programme.

good luck with the new term. final year ?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Sep 15, 2011, 06:50:48 PM
Good for you - good to have plenty of time to decide that too, I imagine. Which is the exact programme you're looking at doing, if Birkbeck, btw ? I'm curious cos I shared some lectures with the BSc Economics & Business students last year ..

Thanks for the good luck. Not quite final year, sadly. It'll be my third, of four.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: pars on Sep 15, 2011, 07:35:50 PM
I think they were talking about statistical methods of calculating optimal sizes/angles/speeds etc for commercial cake mixing apparatus.

http://www.cookingforengineers.com/

i learnt alot from this site.

Oh. I am a bit disappointed. I thought that it might be discussion on the structural efficiency of certain foodstuffs.

Incidently, I think dried scrambled egg is as good as concrete.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: skream on Sep 16, 2011, 04:48:41 PM
^ i think it is more procedural in it's approach to cooking how an engineer would. i tried the tiramisu once !

Good for you - good to have plenty of time to decide that too, I imagine. Which is the exact programme you're looking at doing, if Birkbeck, btw ? I'm curious cos I shared some lectures with the BSc Economics & Business students last year ..

Thanks for the good luck. Not quite final year, sadly. It'll be my third, of four.

bsc business - but not sure i can give up 3 evenings a week. alot will have to change.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Obťlix on Sep 16, 2011, 09:19:51 PM
I'm very pleased Ive found this thread. I'm going to go back to university 20 years after dropping out, to start a full-time BA in history this autumn. I've been self-employed all my life since (I dropped out because an internship turned into freelance, paid work, and I never looked back - well, until now) and
feeling very nervous now about the very idea of going back into... dunno, a structured, official, institutional environment.
I'm also really looking forward to learning stuff, but worried how it's all going to be. I'm going to continue my freelance work alongside the degree, and reading through posts on here makes me think that I ought to sit down & look at time and work and organise my days a bit more.

Did you do something like that when you went back? (And did it bear any resemblance to what actually happened...?)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Sep 18, 2011, 09:08:27 PM
^ I've held off replying to this, cos I'm aware that studying part-time is probably very different and therefore my thoughts will be largely irrelevant. But, in short, yes. Long hard looks at how I spend my time.

Stuff had to give - that was the first hurdle, working out what just had to not happen any more because I needed to reappropriate the time. I don't read non-uni stuff in term-time. I don't watch TV either. I skip social engagements (sometimes), I skip the gym (sometimes), I study over breakfast, on the bus to work, and during my lunch break at work - this was the easiest bit, cos it was 'dead time', but it makes me much more tired by evening.

Do I stick to it ? First year, pretty much. Second year, not so much - partly due to other stuff (relationship breakdown, moving) and partly laziness and irritation - and wound up playing catch-up all year. It near enough killed me. Never again. I'm so, so sticking to schedule this term.

Good luck with your BA ! I'm sure it'll all be brilliant, and you'll make your other commitments work around it. :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Obťlix on Sep 19, 2011, 11:07:59 AM
^ All that's exceedingly useful, thank you. :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Charlotte Mew on Sep 23, 2011, 03:18:46 PM
Hey Obelix that is fab news!

I did an MA (Literature, Representation and Modernity) part time in my fifties.   I adored it.  I was working full time and it took me four years (London Metropolitan let me take two years to do the course work and two years to do the dissertation).   It was the best thing I have done for ages.   

How I kept going - well I was intoxicated with the material really.   I am sure you will be Obelix because it is History.    I was more confident than I was when I was an undergraduate (and got a distinction whereas I got an Upper Second for my BA, I think because of my maturity).   So I think being a mature student is fab.

When I applied for the course I talked on the phone to the head of the course and she said, when she heard I did my degree in 1966-69: 'Oh don't think you'd really be able to manage it if you have never read Derrida'.   £$%&#!  What about that for ageism and elitism?  Well I did do it and got the distinction and in fact never read Derrida at all and he was fairly irrelevent to the courses I took.  (Read lots of Dead White French Pomo Greats though).   I referred to that convo one night in the pub talking to her and she had the grace to look really embarassed.

I'm rambling.  But what I really wanted to say was:

I also read books on the way to work and the way home. I didn't read anything that wasn't relevant. I went into the British Library and studied from the books I didn't have nearly every evening from 5.30 til it closed.   I didn't actually use the college library as it was further away, I was lucky to work in Euston.

My gf was doing a PhD so we were quite compatible and used to spend Sundays working on our laptops companionably in her flat. This was lucky.

I really gave up doing things that were not connected to my course work or my job.   

I managed to write the dissertation eventually (after much procrastination and extra reading I felt was necessary) because I became 'possessed' and wanted to do it all the time, would rush home from a meeting and work on it from 9pm to 1 am.   I was in love with it. But that is the only way I really ever get anything done.  Infatuation and possession.  And I think you are very like me Obelix.   History and literature tend to fit well with that style, but I am interested to know if business studies or social work or economics can be as 'possessing'. 
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Suzywongster on Sep 23, 2011, 03:39:00 PM
^ I hope I can work like that! I will try and I want to get a first but am scared by the fact when I was in school I was the kid that never revised and since then the stuff I did in the army was easy in comparison. I also loved it so it was a pleasure whereas I disliked school..

Maybe that's the crux of it. If you do it because you love it or are passionate then you won't mind about putting the time in whereas if you aren't passionate you'll struggle to accept the hours and effort needed for the course. :-\
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Sep 23, 2011, 08:58:54 PM
I was in love with it. But that is the only way I really ever get anything done.  Infatuation and possession.  And I think you are very like me Obelix.   History and literature tend to fit well with that style, but I am interested to know if business studies or social work or economics can be as 'possessing'.

Yes.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Sep 23, 2011, 09:02:50 PM
@Wongy, yes I think you're right that it's passion that gets you to work hard (although I'll admit to the occasional moment of grim determination too). But tbh, if you never had to apply yourself at school, in my experience I don't think your first year is really going to tax you. I suppose it may depend how much you've changed since school, and how far removed from your previous experience your course content will be, though. Whatcha doing ? (Apols if you've already said and I've missed it.)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Uncle Pants on Sep 23, 2011, 09:05:58 PM
My first year at university was my hardest. After that I got caught up in it, and started to feel like I knew what I was doing.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Suzywongster on Sep 24, 2011, 12:36:44 AM
@Wongy, yes I think you're right that it's passion that gets you to work hard (although I'll admit to the occasional moment of grim determination too). But tbh, if you never had to apply yourself at school, in my experience I don't think your first year is really going to tax you. I suppose it may depend how much you've changed since school, and how far removed from your previous experience your course content will be, though. Whatcha doing ? (Apols if you've already said and I've missed it.)

I did a mix of maths, psychology, sociology, french, english literature, IT, intelligence and HR/business management & administration in the last 7 years. However I'm going into an extended sciences degree that starts with biology, chemistry and maths then it'll be pharmaceutical sciences with a neurological focus.

Changed wise - I put more effort in these days than I ever did in school ;D
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Custardy Fututrix on Sep 24, 2011, 02:02:07 AM
My first year at university was my hardest. After that I got caught up in it, and started to feel like I knew what I was doing.


My first year was a shock to the system (I'd coasted previously, even in the adult environment of an FE college), the 2nd year was intolerably hard in terms of volume and content. After I'd got through that without quitting or failing (unlike 20% of the cohort), it was far easier.

It depends on lots and lots of things, the course, your engagement and motivation, the institution...
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Sep 24, 2011, 10:07:07 AM
Mm, I don't disagree (and in any case am endlessly awed by anyone who can happily cope with hard sciences at a serious level), but I think it's a fairly reasonable implicit assumption that, at institutions like mine and Wongy's with such a heavy emphasis on widening participation, the first year is so deliberately gentle. That was the experience of loads of students I know, but all of them are social scientists, so that may skew the data. (Also the fact that we were having those conversations in the first place may skew the data.) And a reasonable enough level of difficulty, I guess, though I found it hard to engage with at times. I'm hoping for something a bit more challenging this year.

Maybe all coasters hit that :o moment at a different point, though. I hope I'm never again thrown as badly by anything as I was by my French A level. The story I tell myself is that there was a massive gulf between GCSE and A level, and almost to a student the rest of the class had French as their first language, but maybe the more honest version of events would be that I ran away in terror long before anybody else had a chance to notice I was struggling. ::) I was a pretty moronic 16yo. I'm still pretty moronic, but I don't generally run away any more.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Uncle Pants on Sep 24, 2011, 10:19:37 AM
I think there's a lot more support in place. I know I do a lot of support in teaching people how to write university essays and things. I guess it's hard to compare - "in my day" ( ::)) there was little support and you had to sink or swim and guess what you had to do a lot of the time. And like Custard, I'd cruised through everything that came before and never done any homework. I got to university after several years working, so I was motivated, but I had no study skills to speak of. In the first year I had to learn the rules of engagement, and learn how to knuckle down and concentrate on reading and writing.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Suzywongster on Sep 24, 2011, 10:50:35 AM
^ gulp :-\ That sounds like me (save I don't know what I'm gonna be like at uni!)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Mirror on Sep 24, 2011, 10:32:29 PM
How did people decide what course they want to take and what they want to study?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Old Brock on Sep 25, 2011, 12:09:37 AM
How did people decide what course they want to take and what they want to study?

I knew it had to be art. Only bits of my first degree are in art, because I was being pragmatic, but I really regretted not just doing a degree in art. I didn't want to do another degree from the start (the fees are even higher when you have an equivalent or lower qualification already). So it had to be post-grad.

I started an MA in Fine Art which turned out to be very conceptual, with tutors that I really felt I couldn't learn from, even though I tried incredibly hard. Then I did an adult ed illustration course for a bit, partly for pleasure and partly to see if illustration was a route I wanted to go down. Although I like making work that can be seen as having an 'illustrative' or 'narrative' feel, I wanted the freedom of Fine Art.

So I looked for another MA. I really wanted distance learning - I'm not so keen on people generally, and it needed to fit around other commitments. Luckily the OCA had just started one, but I had missed the deadline and the course was about to start. Luckily they accepted my very late application and I am so impressed with it so far. So how did I choose? A bit of trial and error and a bit of luck I think.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: kiawe on Sep 25, 2011, 01:36:42 AM
From the other side of the desk: I love having mature (or as we say "non-traditional") students in my classes. They tend to know why they are there, what they want out of it, in a way that's not possible for a lot of 18-23 year olds.

I once had a retired older (late 60s, early 70s) gentleman in my course on Islamic civilization. He was great leavening in a crowd of very young women. Everything more than 10-15 years ago is ancient history for young people. Even for me, the 70s are my childhood. So it was great to be able to talk about, say, the Suez Crisis with someone who remembered it.

 
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Sal@mander on Sep 25, 2011, 02:09:58 AM
I'm rambling.  But what I really wanted to say was:

I also read books on the way to work and the way home. I didn't read anything that wasn't relevant. I went into the British Library and studied from the books I didn't have nearly every evening from 5.30 til it closed.   I didn't actually use the college library as it was further away, I was lucky to work in Euston.

My gf was doing a PhD so we were quite compatible and used to spend Sundays working on our laptops companionably in her flat. This was lucky.

I really gave up doing things that were not connected to my course work or my job.   

I managed to write the dissertation eventually (after much procrastination and extra reading I felt was necessary) because I became 'possessed' and wanted to do it all the time, would rush home from a meeting and work on it from 9pm to 1 am.   I was in love with it. But that is the only way I really ever get anything done.  Infatuation and possession.  And I think you are very like me Obelix.   History and literature tend to fit well with that style, but I am interested to know if business studies or social work or economics can be as 'possessing'.

I should find that out next year. I'm intending to (subject to being offered a place which I haven't yet applied for) do a social work degree. I know I could become infatuated with literature, but I'm not at all sure if social work will enthral me. I can imagine being challenged and stimulated and getting pleasure out of that part of it, but passion? I don't think so. I'm also apprehensive that the prescription drugs I take cause brain fog, and I don't know how easy it will be for me to retain what I need to, to do well enough. It's been a long time since I studied and I only did the subjects that were easy for me. There are different motivations for me to study social work (having work available at the end of the degree).

My plan this year is to get as fit and healthy as I can because I have no stamina and right now couldn't sustain regular attendance even over a few weeks. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I might best spend any free time this year to prepare myself after I'm doing that? Would it be worth getting hold of the first year reading list for instance? (Once I have an offer of a place, I mean.)

I am hoping it will be possible for me to fit in going to the gym regularly as well as study - so I find it encouraging that animal nitrate managed to fit it in. I don't mind if everything else goes out of the window as long as I can see my nieces occasionally - and my parents, who are just starting to show their age. I'm sure it wouldn't hurt me to spend less time here on GB, although hopefully I will be in a position to get to the occasional GB meet just so's I remember I'm a lezzer. And I'd be quite happy to miss 75% of what I watch on TV - I only watch so much because I'm not working and it's entertainment I've already paid for.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: skream on Sep 25, 2011, 08:28:25 PM
I was in love with it. But that is the only way I really ever get anything done.  Infatuation and possession.  And I think you are very like me Obelix.   History and literature tend to fit well with that style, but I am interested to know if business studies or social work or economics can be as 'possessing'.

Yes.

i think it can be.

i studied business at A level - and i've been working in a business and media environment for several years now. i love reading books on various related topics, as well as magazines. it sure does possess me, enough to want to gain another degree. i know it's going to be challenging, especially with the mathematical and financial aspect of the course content - but i can't wait to study something that not only will help further my career, enable me to apply at work, but also to do something i actually love.

i'm hoping that upon completing this degree i'll be in a good position to take a year out and study for an MBA - hopefully in china. i don't think something could posses me more, to be honest.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: cariad1 on Sep 25, 2011, 11:09:43 PM
You can absolutely do it Sal, if I can take on a BSc Hons Nat sci alongside working full time in a high-stress job and dealing with my disability, then anyone can do it.

I think you would regret not taking the opportunity, and will be pleasantly surprised at what you CAN do, once those awards on the way start adding up.

x
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Uncle Pants on Sep 25, 2011, 11:23:46 PM
I was so clueless when I made decisions about what to study, and I've pretty much stumbled into an academic career. I decided I wanted something more challenging than hairdressing, which is what I was doing, and I picked a primary teaching course (at a teachers' college) because I thought the variety of the curriculum would keep me interested and because I thought I wasn't clever enough for a proper university course. Then once enrolled I got talked into doing a couple of university modules, and that got me interested in the theoretical side of education, and eventually someone suggested I do a postgraduate degree, and then someone gave me some research work, and then someone else asked me to teach a research methods course and etc.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Obťlix on Sep 26, 2011, 01:43:00 AM
How did people decide what course they want to take and what they want to study?

The first time round twnety-odd years ago, I didnt have a clue. I picked English & German because I'd been good at them at school, & Celtic Studies because I thought it sounded interesting. I had no idea what I wanted to do, apart from a vague idea that I'd like to write stuff. I got incredibly lucky, landed a work experience in a radio station a couple of years later, dropped out of university & became a freelance journalist. And wrote stuff. Only I cant quite make a living from it, & I havent got any qualifications.
In the meanwhile, I discovered a strong bent for history; Ive been writing lots of scripts for radio documentaries on cultural & social historical topics, & more recently have become something of an ancient history geek & am telling everybody who stands still long enough all about chariot racing or cooking or slavery in ancient Rome and stuff.  :-[
So I thought in order not to lose all my friends I might as well channel the urge and make money from it, by becoming a history teacher. Hence, BA in history, & then a PGCE.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: valerie on Sep 26, 2011, 11:48:47 AM
How did people decide what course they want to take and what they want to study?
i studied what i liked and figured that was in line with my potential & it would lead me somewhere. I believe that acquiring knowledge that interests you helps you to detect what you can be.  I liked English and although i only minored in it & have no grad degrees in English, it honed my analysis skills, improved my vocab, and enhanced my writing skills. Thus, I have taught Advanced Placement Literature, a course for college credit if the person passes the exam, written speeches for political figures and travel write.
               The Convent placed me in advanced degrees in Theology because of my unique way of teaching religion. I am a college Theology professor.
                I will definitely quit working,again, in this state, but, i have been fascinated with coffee in the past 5 years & I may go work part time at a Starbucks or some facsimile.
I have also been fascinated by the emotional odyssey that I have been through with break-ups & even wrote an unpublished book entitledDiary of an X[/i
I have always wanted to help people get through break ups. There are stages that can lead one to a healing.  My interests lead me from one area to another & i believe this will happen until my last breath.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Sep 26, 2011, 08:43:44 PM
Nearly four years after applying, I've pretty much forgotten why I chose to study economics. I can't imagine I knew much about it - I feel I'm even less able to define it now !

On a less grand level, my main motivation in picking out modules is to do the ones furthest from my comfort zone, and I wonder whether there was an element of that in choosing my whole course : a balance of things which I'm familiar with, and things I want to challenge. I think I probably only chose economics because I suspected that politics or sociology would frustrate me. (This may not have been the case, had I tried, but I'm delighted with how that decision has worked out for me.)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Rala Rwdins on Sep 26, 2011, 09:36:47 PM
How did people decide what course they want to take and what they want to study?

I had (and still have) a very specific career goal in mind. I can't do that career unless I do the post-grad. And I can't do the post-grad unless I complete the degree I'm studying for...

Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Suzywongster on Sep 27, 2011, 02:49:58 PM
^ Yeah that's the dame for my specific degree choice :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Sal@mander on Sep 27, 2011, 06:10:10 PM
You can absolutely do it Sal, if I can take on a BSc Hons Nat sci alongside working full time in a high-stress job and dealing with my disability, then anyone can do it.

I think you would regret not taking the opportunity, and will be pleasantly surprised at what you CAN do, once those awards on the way start adding up.

x

Thank you, cariad.  :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Chablis on Sep 27, 2011, 08:44:58 PM
Well done, we all get what we want if we wait for it ;D
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: ouragan on Sep 27, 2011, 10:25:36 PM
Well done, we all get what we want if we wait for it ;D
  :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Suzywongster on Sep 27, 2011, 11:42:15 PM
I just got my offer and I will be studying what I have always wanted to study - a natural science. I had 15 years to think about it and I am finally doing it. It'll be my third degree after 2 literature degrees and I have my hopes up that this is the right field for me and a future career. I am anxious and wildly excited.

Yahooooooooiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeee!!!!!
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Jett on Sep 28, 2011, 12:17:55 AM
Good luck, Ouragan  :-*




I have now officially started my degree! I've been nothing but happily surprised at how fab my uni, the resources, and the tutors are so far. My first day nerves were horrendous, and i'm absolutely exhausted, but full of adrenalin now we're under way- just want to get through this bastard induction week which is all 'ice breakers' and 'team games' and get onto the actual course next week now! I have a class of 70 and I think about 90% of them are 18 year olds in halls, but i've met 3 other mature students and so we've got our own little niche, which is life saving.

Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: lykopis on Sep 29, 2011, 12:21:54 PM
I start back at uni next week and I can't wait. Its going to be a different term to last one, mainly because I've now got a much better sense of what I am doing and what I need to do, plus I'll be in classes with new starters which will be interesting as I'll feel much less out of place I think.

Its taken me this summer to realise that quitting the job and going to uni was exactly the right thing for me to do. Partly because I have missed it but if I'm being honest, it was mostly recieving my results and realising that I did as well as I hoped (in some cases) and much better (in others) and that I am up to this. I also sheepishly realised that I am extremely competitive and would have been gutted with anything less than an A or first in each module.

I never did that well at school, despite having the ability which I think was partly due to academic high achieving older brothers and my schools expecting the same from me. Deciding to study at my age, has been awesome because I have no one to live up to and its been a fantastic experience. Its felt a little selfish but I am coming to terms with that.

The thing I think I have struggled with mostly, wasn't the sudden loss of income or the adjustment of my day to day living but the long summer without a day to day routine spent looking for work which was a lot harder than I thought it would be. But things are looking up now and I have the obligatory studenty part time bar job so now at least there is some structure to my week.

Really though, I would say to anyone that fancies the idea of studying to go for it, its not always easy and I know I have the luxury of not having to fit studies around a full time job but its still been the best thing I've done for years.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: ouragan on Sep 29, 2011, 03:33:47 PM
Its taken me this summer to realise that quitting the job and going to uni was exactly the right thing for me to do. Partly because I have missed it but if I'm being honest, it was mostly recieving my results and realising that I did as well as I hoped (in some cases) and much better (in others) and that I am up to this. I also sheepishly realised that I am extremely competitive and would have been gutted with anything less than an A or first in each module.

^ I like this, Lyko, and identify with it. I also want to thank people who have encouraged me and wished me well. I wish the same for all of you. :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: valerie on Sep 29, 2011, 03:51:51 PM
I just got my offer and I will be studying what I have always wanted to study - a natural science. I had 15 years to think about it and I am finally doing it. It'll be my third degree after 2 literature degrees and I have my hopes up that this is the right field for me and a future career. I am anxious and wildly excited.

Yahooooooooiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeee!!!!!
i join Wongy in an onamotopeic congratulations,O. :-* 8) ;D
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Charlotte Mew on Sep 30, 2011, 12:48:25 PM
Really happy for everyone!  Doing my MA was a fab time for me. One little question though from people who know universities better. I had a bit of a hard time sometimes as there seemed to be a bit of a backlash to feminism.  At Birkbeck where I did a certicate in Women's Studies I was taught by someone 20 years younger than me that 'seventies feminists' were all white amd middle class. I protested as I'd been there - the lecturer hadn't. Half my friends were working class and half of them had no higher ed, and a few friends were not white.  I then got seen as an apologist for the non-inclusivenes of 70s feminism in spite of me saying there was important stuff that had to be challenged. I think the response to me was partly ageism - not listening to what I said and projecting I was 'old guard'  :(   At London Met I had chosen the course because of feminist inclined modules _in the brochure_. I was later told they weren't running any more and though there was some feminism on the course (French theorists) there was an instance of if not homophobia, misinformation about lesbians.   A guy asked a question of why we had to study feminists at all because weren't they all man-haters?  The lecturer who was a feminist, said 'No, that is not feminists. It is only Lesbian Feminists'. I objected strongly to this and explained at length that Lesbian Feminism had not been a single philosophy of gender relations but a very loose term encompassing lesbians with widely divergent views onn men annd masculinity. And that any way to characterise any subsection of lesbian feminists as 'man haters' was lazy and not academically acceptable to me.  I got respect from students and the lecturer looked scared. I think she thought I waa going to make a complaint.

I didn't. I am not keen on complaining. I certainly didn't want it turned into 'an incident of homophobia has occurred and been logged'. But I would have liked better representation of lesbian feminist varieties of thought, for sure.

Since this time a couple of people have said I should have complained and that could improve the teaching. I am not sure. I thought it was just likely to make me an enemy.  What do you think?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Suzywongster on Sep 30, 2011, 12:59:22 PM
I think you should have said something. It would have improved the teaching experience for others even if not for yourself directly.

As far as LGBT and London met though- they don't seem to be at grips with it so I'm organising a presentation/debate about what is LGBT and how does it affect others. It'll be open to all students and staff. So hopefully it'll prevent some of the stereotypes (maybe)...
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Uncle Pants on Sep 30, 2011, 01:41:36 PM
There's always the option to comment on this sort of think on end of course feedback surveys, but the focus for feedback from students is usually on how they experience the course rather than the content.

I think raising the point in class as you did is a good way to challenge the content and lecturers. If I had specific expertise, and I thought there was something missing or wrong with content, I'd try offering relevant sources/information and pointing it out, and they'd be silly not to take you up on it - I would always listen to a student who clearly has some relevant knowledge/experience I'm missing, and in fact I make sure there are opportunities for people to contribute their knowledge. In teaching education you often get part time students working in the field, maybe in specialised youth services or something like that, and of course they're going to have more intimate knowledge with the day to day experience in those areas. 
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Charlotte Mew on Sep 30, 2011, 03:35:42 PM
Indeed you wouldn't have said the thing re Lesbian Feminists Uncle P. I think it was more there than the lecturer lacking information. It was a glib and silly thing to say about lesbian feminism. Anyone with sense would have been more careful and wary of ascribing 'man hating' to any group because it is such a stupid and emotive term.  Valerie Solanas or anyone that actually claims man-hating OK. But generally it is a slur worthy of the Daily Mail. 
I don't think in this case it is paralleled by Youth Workers having more coal face info than the lecturer. I expect better than that.

With the Birkbeck lecturer she missed a great opportunity with me. She could have said 'That's really interesting CM. I formed my opinion based on the 70s feminists that got published. Which flags up the issues of power and publishing and the way published authors did not reflect grass roots feminism well.  We need oral histories where you and your peers can talk about their experience'.

Instead of this she was just saying I was wrong, defensively. But if she'd said something like the above I would have agreed about who got published, esp in the UK.  But I'd have pointed out Angela Davies and Audre Lorde did get published in the US and UK and were widely influential in the 70s (tho Lorde more in the 80s).

I realise I may be quite an intimidating person to teach though, on my areas of expertise. Lecturers are bound to get some things wrong but avoiding stupid unsubstantiated generalisations is a good place to start and then listening and not being defensive is a good way to carry on.

Incidentally someone else complained about the birkbeck lecturer on a different issue and a member of faculty came and sat in and then the lecturer was removed!  In fact we students then felt dumped until they got us a much better one. Who was a lesbian and knew lots about queer theory and up to date gender writings like Judith Butler.  So complaining worked there, tho it was not me that complained.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Uncle Pants on Sep 30, 2011, 03:58:51 PM
If it's a matter of incompetence, then yes - it does need to go through the channels I think. In that case it sounds like the teacher doesn't know her subject very well and is floundering. It seems pretty weird to make a statement like that, and I wonder whether she'd been made to fill a gap in an area outside of her competence.

I once had a student who had a senior role in a government agency which meant she was experienced at writing policy documents. She wrote a very good second year sociological essay, which still had some room for improvement, and I graded it A- (so in English UG marks, maybe around 75%?). The student was furious, and thought she should get the maximum possible marks because she wrote reports for a living. I asked another tutor to blind mark it, and she got the same result. I wonder, though, whether she continued to think her mark was due to our incompetence/lack of recognition of her performance.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Charlotte Mew on Sep 30, 2011, 06:00:52 PM
I think you are right about the Birbeck lecturer who made the white and middle class generalisation and who was subsequently removed, I think it was outside her competence. It was a trans woman who complained about her teaching of some gender issues in fact.   The London Met one who slurred Lesbian Feminists was tenured faculty and well dug in, I didn't want to take it on. I'd made my point.   I did love seeing how she looked scared though which is probably not very nice of me.  :-\
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Uncle Pants on Sep 30, 2011, 07:31:45 PM
Well, she must have realised she'd said something stupid. Most of us have done it at some point, I should think. There was one time I recall when someone asked me a question in a tutorial which could have stimulated an excellent conversation, and I'd given a rather insipid test book sort of answer, and I kicked myself later. I wasn't thinking fast enough.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Fabulous FireHorse on Oct 01, 2011, 12:18:53 AM
.. Which flags up the issues of power and publishing and the way published authors did not reflect grass roots feminism well.  We need oral histories where you and your peers can talk about their experience'.

In industry I find the same attitude persists, in that someone with credentials from outside an organisation is given more credence than the experienced staff within in. Just this week I had a speaker say that publishing a book gives your ideas status, so CM and other feminists who want to set the record straight, it seems you need to be published for your experiences to become part of accepted history. Are you interested in the challenge?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Suzywongster on Oct 04, 2011, 09:57:08 PM
^ hugs xx

Mine is in the student bar drinking coke ;D I think I'm having it too easy!!
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: lykopis on Oct 04, 2011, 10:43:17 PM
I am back at uni tomorrow. I am remarkably excited about this.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Starbuck on Nov 04, 2011, 01:46:09 PM
After years of procrastinating, I finally started my MA at the beginning of October, and I must say, I'm loving every minute. It's a shame I'm only part-time, as I would prefer to immerse myself in it more, but even so.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Nov 24, 2011, 11:46:55 AM
Some days I really wonder whether I'm actually doing the right degree at all.  :-\

Is that just completely normal ? There feels like so much at the minute that's simply counter-intuitive to how my brain wants to work, and maybe if I did something more 'suited' to me it wouldn't feel like swimming against the tide so much of the time.

Meh.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: PushingThru on Dec 09, 2011, 01:16:21 AM
I'm really struggling with this
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: skream on Dec 12, 2011, 11:21:30 AM
with so much going back and forth this year - i think i've come to a conclusion on where, what and when to study.

4/5 months in - the work-load in this job is a perfect balance for me and i've decided to take on a degree mostly by distance learning, so i can do it in my own time and will be going to talk to the institution in question in a couple of weeks, to discuss registration and starting in 2012.

Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: valerie on Dec 22, 2011, 07:49:28 PM
nice going,skream.  no need to rush. time passes quickly.enjoy the process
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Fabulous FireHorse on Dec 23, 2011, 07:31:38 PM
Halfway through my 2nd year, I find I am still trying to get my head round the academic tickbox assessement process.

I've just had a formative assessment and, even with preperation, I'm wondering how I assess for myself whether I've done a 'good' job for my degree work. My last paid job was very stressful and every student assessment seems to bring back my concerns that I'm once again trying to impress someone completely unreasonable.

Maybe that's partly because i'm studying a creative subject where definitions of 'good' artistic expression and academic success seem to me to be highly subjective and partly that I keep comparing student work with 'real' work and know that the two aren't the same. Also the ability to create 'commericial' work and mark success by sales or reviews doesn't seem appropriate at the moment.

I never had these concerns when i studied a technical subject years ago. Ideally I'd like to place greater trust in my gut instinct but i'm still rattled by the idea that I may have misunderstood how to explain myself to my tutors.

Any advice on how i can approach this more calmly in 2012?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Melody on Dec 26, 2011, 03:58:09 PM
Hi Festive Fire Horse
 I recently graduated from art school and I found it very challenging - many ways similar to what youve described. I found it difficult and didnt enjoy the course. I didnt find the work hard but for me, it was the people that make up the institution that baffled me and caused me the most stress. At then end of the day, I had to come to terms that I and the institution works differently and from what I understand, believe in different approaches. It really depends on what kind of creative subject you are doing whether it is fine art or design. I was of the design school and I am believe in practicality and aesthetics working together rather than creating whimisical lines and shapes that has little application to the real world, outside that of the art world that the artist creates. My advice to you would be to be more vocal. Take some time out and think what it is you believe and practice and out that into succinct eloquent words. Also, seek other assistance outside that of your lecturers. For example, my student service counsellor was really good, as was my careers officer and dissertation lecturer. They understood my view point and accepted it, wereas my studio lecturers were more scathing. I also researched alot about my interests and being able to back it up with testimonials from established artists/designers and or notable persons really does help your case because lecturers are less likely to question you if you have done your research. So, in a nutshell, be vocal and do your homework. But above all, stand your ground and be confident. Remember, it is YOUR education.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: skream on Jan 09, 2012, 12:21:14 PM
my meeting with the university went well last week - i walked away with a couple of study guides and had my first weekend of home study :)

i've managed to put a little work schedule together, and will reflect on it regularly to see if it works well with work, gym, life.... how do others manage time ?

Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: valerie on Jan 18, 2012, 05:02:22 PM
When i finally retire, i am going to return to studying languages,specifically, Spanish, Italian, French und German
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Rala Rwdins on Jan 20, 2012, 02:10:11 PM
I'm finding it quite difficult to motivate myself to study at the moment. Usually I'm pretty good at sitting down and focusing on my studies but lately I've felt "meh" about it all. I probably need someone to stand over me with a big stick.

Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: valerie on Jan 20, 2012, 05:08:50 PM
I'm finding it quite difficult to motivate myself to study at the moment. Usually I'm pretty good at sitting down and focusing on my studies but lately I've felt "meh" about it all. I probably need someone to stand over me with a big stick.
packing stick & flying over. actually, i am not violent. I will bring ove a peacock feather
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Jan 20, 2012, 05:24:53 PM
I'm finding it quite difficult to motivate myself to study at the moment. Usually I'm pretty good at sitting down and focusing on my studies but lately I've felt "meh" about it all. I probably need someone to stand over me with a big stick.

You have plenty of other stuff going on right now too though, don't you ? Go easy on yourself ..
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Jan 20, 2012, 06:33:25 PM
I've had a mixed few months of uni. I've started the most brilliant module, it's been very .. it's basically been the module for why I'm doing this degree. Love the stuff it covers, love the lecturer, love his own research interests, love the course structure. So that's all good.

Otoh, I've just got the worst exam result I've ever managed for the module I hate. That exam doesn't have to count for anything, but it's still a sorry state of affairs and I need to fix up before my final exam in April. I hate that module, did I mention ?

And my motivation .. is missing. I have even less motivation than I have spare time, which hasn't really happened before. I just want to spend every spare minute gazing listlessly into space.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Rala Rwdins on Jan 22, 2012, 10:53:10 AM
I'm finding it quite difficult to motivate myself to study at the moment. Usually I'm pretty good at sitting down and focusing on my studies but lately I've felt "meh" about it all. I probably need someone to stand over me with a big stick.
packing stick & flying over. actually, i am not violent. I will bring over a peacock feather

Well, I wasn't expecting anyone to actually use the stick, valerie.

Going off on a tangent, I love peacocks.

I'm finding it quite difficult to motivate myself to study at the moment. Usually I'm pretty good at sitting down and focusing on my studies but lately I've felt "meh" about it all. I probably need someone to stand over me with a big stick.

You have plenty of other stuff going on right now too though, don't you ? Go easy on yourself ..

This is true. Good job that I've got the choice to complete this particular course in two months or five months. I was going to try for the two months deadline but I now realise that'd be ever-so-slightly over-ambitious.

Like you said, your result for your hated module doesn't have to count for anything. I'm sure that you'll still get a good grade overall.
I hope that your motivation makes a re-appearance soon.

Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Fabulous FireHorse on Feb 17, 2012, 06:33:01 PM
I'm finding it quite difficult to motivate myself to study at the moment. Usually I'm pretty good at sitting down and focusing on my studies but lately I've felt "meh" about it all. I probably need someone to stand over me with a big stick.

You have plenty of other stuff going on right now too though, don't you ? Go easy on yourself ..

This is true. Good job that I've got the choice to complete this particular course in two months or five months. I was going to try for the two months deadline but I now realise that'd be ever-so-slightly over-ambitious.

My motivation has dipped in my 2nd year but I've accepted now that this is because I've been ambitious and I've been feeling very run down. Now that I'm getting some more rest in, I can feel my enthusiasm for studies and life in general returning, so hopefully dealing with whatever life stuff is bothering you will help both of you find your motivation for studies again.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Feb 17, 2012, 06:41:22 PM
Ta, FF. Wise words.

I'm still really struggling with getting up the will to study. Impending deadlines should by rights be sharpening my focus, but I fall deeper into a hormonal stupor every day. I feel really stupid for thinking I'd be able to manage all this, and I resent the sound of my own self-pity cos I did this with my eyes wide open, I'm the only person responsible. ::)

I'm glad your mojo is coming back though. :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Mar 15, 2012, 10:25:49 PM
^ I still largely feel like this. ::) Mixed, though. Have had some really really good conversations this week, inside and outside of classes, but have also picked up another less-than-brilliant result and basically need to pull something more impressive out for my exams. And I'm not sure whether I can.

The good conversations should be more important than the mediocre results. But they don't feel that way atm.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: pars on May 15, 2012, 09:57:38 AM
I don't know if it will help to share my thoughts, as everybody is different..

But I have found the transition back into studying is often really difficult. Even more so when the course is not every day. Even after a year out placement in work, returning to do the next part of the course was tough. I spent until Easter drifting around with an ever more haunted expression on my face saying to people "This is terrible .. I am producing less work than I did in degree!"
But finally after an extreme two-week intense project, I got into it, got some momentum. (this was a project that required us to be in and present in the college every day from 10 until 10)

It's not so much the case with what I am doing now, and that is much more self directed and is one very long project.... And again, it's taken time to get into...

The way I describe it is like getting a huge square boulder rolling. Uphill. It takes a lot of energy to get it going. You push, and then it stops, push and then it stops. But after repeatedly pushing pushing, consistently, the edges wear off and it kind of starts going smoothly.

I have slightly overwrung that metaphor.. So in plain English .. I have found that, personally, I just need to keep sitting at my desk, and being on time and present for every seminar. And my motivation,  momentum  and project have now, finally, got going.


On the upside, I did find that in a year of unemployment, I am bloody good at churning out 1000-2000 words quickly... From having to do very quick and many job applications... So all that annoying self assessment tick boxing that one has to do these days is easy peasy.

Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Novela on May 15, 2012, 09:15:29 PM
I'm about half-way through the second term of a full-time degree (BA); & working alongside it to feed myself & pay the bills & stuff. I dont think Ive ever been so tired in my life. Everything else about it, I love. I love the studying and the learning & having my brain stretched until it creaks and binging on knowledge and finding out stuff. I even enjoy doing Latin.

There's obv. stuff I struggle with; not having time enogh to read as much as I need (and would like); and I find going back into an institution really hard after half a lifetime (20 years) spent being very consciously self-emplyoed & freelance and pretty much free-wheeling. I get anxiety attacks every time I have to log into the system & put my name down for stuff. ::)
And I struggle a bit with the fact that I'm 44 and the concept of a mature student doesnt really exist in Germany. Virtually all the other students are about 20, & give me really puzzled looks & address me formally cos I'm this strange old lady who comes in sits in their classes. *sigh*
I have a couple of lecturers who are younger than me, too, & one of them is totally unconcerned & great fun ot be around; while the other really doesnt handle it well. I have to walk around on eggshells around him a bit cos he seems to feel threatened in his authority. ::) 

BUT other than that, I havent had so much fun in my life. (Not counting bashing someone with a sword. That is even more fun.) I'll just have to think of something for the tiredness.

This is a bit of a pointless post. :D Very tired. Tuesdays I have classes from 8.00 AM - 6.00 PM.

/ramble
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: pars on May 15, 2012, 11:08:42 PM
Hm, I have the problem where I still look like I am 23, but am the same age as my tutors. They know this but pretend not to.

I wish I had more time to read too. It's impossible, I've always been quite slow with that.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Novela on May 16, 2012, 07:13:15 AM
Hm, I have the problem where I still look like I am 23,

I would like to have your problem. :D

Don't worry. It will eventually sort itself out.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: pars on May 16, 2012, 10:07:25 AM
You say that, but then would you really like to be ID'd for rice wine vinegar in the supermarket?  :'(
 

Mind you, it could be worse. There is a guy on my course who has the head of a baby.


Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Novela on May 16, 2012, 10:58:18 AM
I do kinda of feel your pain. Ive always looked younger than I am, infuriatingly so. But I have finally arrived at a point in time where I appreciate it; and, hanging around 20-year-olds a lot ATM, I sometimes do wish I didnt visually stick out quite so much.
Altho what I'd really like is more mature students about, and awareness of the phenomenon.

Ah well. Could be worse.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Stealth Elf on May 24, 2012, 11:50:19 AM
I'm due to start a nursing degree in September and I'm a little worried about keeping motivated to do the work that is required in my own time. Especially as in the first year about 50% of the time is home study and reading. I'm currently studying in the evenings and finding it very hard to get motivated to do the work I have. I finish this course in 6 weeks and still have 5 assignments left to do.....I can't work out if I'm just really fed up and tired, being that I'm working full-time too or if I'm just sick of it. Having said that, I've always found it a bit difficult to motivate myself  :-\

I'm hoping that once I stop working and start studying properly I'll get into the swing of it and be more disciplined with myself....how do you guys keep yourself motivated and on the ball?

Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: pars on May 24, 2012, 12:38:00 PM
Are you on an access course?  My sister has been an access course this year, and then starts her nursing degree in September.  I think the course was quite a shock, constant assignments, deadlines, lots of different modules. My feeling is she will find the degree quite a relief, but you are right about the self-study and getting motivated.

I reckon it's partly about routine, habit and a simple thing of physical presence... This is my theory (it could be wrong but, I've spent a lot of time in education and seen my own habits and other people's and this is where I am at with my thoughts...) if you can get yourself into the habit of physically sitting with your books and establishing a space and time for study, even if for the first couple of months (because I think it can take that amount of time or longer to get some momentum going) you are really unproductive and it doesn't seem to be working.. I would suggest to stick at it until it clicks.

There was a girl on my course who would come in to the studio, switch on her computer, sit for five minutes and say "Oh, I don't have my ...suchandsuch... I have to go home" or "I'm not being productive here" and leave. I kept saying to her, I think it's worth trying to be in the studio for a couple of weeks, try to settle in, make it your space... it doesn't happen at once, because it's like there is this internal demon who constantly wants to distract us (often with very apparently legitimate distractions... banking, bills, sisters in crisis).  Anyway, she never did. She did okay that year, but not as well as she could have done. The next year the tutors read her the riot act and said she had to be present at her desk. It's something I've seen a lot with the students (over about six years). The ones who are physically present, are much more succesful than those who are transient, come in occasionally, have no routine.

Obviously your desk will not be in a studio, but I don't know - that's my technique - make a place that's yours and just for work, if at all possible. Then chain yourself to it!!!! Some days will be productive, others won't.

Hopefully when you are doing it in the daytime it will be much much better, I have often started evening courses with great intentions, and just lost motivation. Anyway, you have been motivated to put yourself up for the course, and are almost at the end of the course you're on (which if it is the access course, is no mean feat... it's hardcore!)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Stealth Elf on May 24, 2012, 01:22:03 PM
Yes, it's an evening Access to Nursing course. Which, in itself isn't difficult work-wise, but is time consuming and bloody hard to keep up with when you're working full-time as well. There are huge amounts of assignments and deadlines to meet, which makes it quite a juggling act....which I think is where part of my problem lays...I'm just...tired.

I have, this last week tried to set out specific times to study so that I can get these last few assignments done, which I think is definitely how I'm gonna have to do it when I start Uni. Plan and block out times when it's all about the study and nothing else or I'll never do it. Having said that, I'm a marvellous procrastinator and I can see myself in the girl you described. This week, I sat in a class workshop (most actual classes are finished now so we can use the time to work on assignments) and wrote about four lines in an hour and a half. Not exactly a meaningful use of time.  ::)

I'm sure, when it comes down to it I'll be fine, but there is a teeny part of me that wonders if I have what it takes to qualify. I think, that's part of the problem too - my own self doubt.  :-\

Thank you for your encouragement though and of course, your advice!
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: pars on May 26, 2012, 09:41:45 AM
Isn't everybody a procrastinator? Gosh, I am.  I am getting better. I don't know, I see things like degrees and so on as not just about learning the stuff you need to learn, but learning how to learn and how one gets their work done.

I used to be the person who never handed in on time... You know the type, always had an unforseeable catastrophe right before the deadline. How could I change that if it was things like my printer breaking at the last minute, or my file getting corrupted? And yet, somehow I really had to get a handle of that, and finally in the third year of degree I did it. Handed everything on time.

Of course, then in the final year of MA, after no technical disasters, or family meltdowns, or anything... I was on track and the afternoon before the exam, my final file got corrupted.. Of course, I had backed up my work daily... I lost a days work. That final push work... Which I had to redo. And it meant that at the time I was supposed to be printing out, I was still redrawing. It was horrible. And my tutors moved my exam day.. They were disappointed in me... And it felt pretty awful. I did pass though, and that matters, but I guess I had thought that my MA would be perfect, it would be my best work and the result of all the years of hard work - it would all fall into place. In fact, still, right at the end of it I am still just the beginning of learning, really.

Is that too depressing? It's not meant to be. I think I am trying to say, as mature students, I think we can often have this idea that we should walk into these degrees already with the skills in place to be the perfect student... And when at first we find that we are not the perfect student, we too can be unmotivated, disorganised, and so on ... We can feel very down about the whole thing.

A friend of mine said an excellent thing, she was a textiles technician, where she had expertise of her field. She decided to do a research degree on her subject. But to suddenly switch from being in a position of expertise to the beginning of an academic program, she found it so difficult to adjust to being the student... The beginner.. not knowing anything and not having what she felt were the basic academic skills. She often questioned "why am I doing this? I don't know how to write an academic text. Perhaps I should go back to my practice, which is what I was good at".

She hasn't, thank goodness, because I think she's great.. And will do super research.

Lots of luck with the rest of your course. I'd day, don't worry about the doubts, they will come up, but that doesn't mean that they are true. 
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: kesstrel on May 27, 2012, 12:17:03 AM
I have realised recently that one of the things I find hard about being a mature student is that I have expectations about how I will be treated by the college, and when those expectations aren't met it completely throws me.

For example, I'm older than most of my tutors. I am up to date with all of my work, to the extent that I've taken on extra recording engineer roles in the college helping the performing musician students with their sessioning projects. I'm learning tons, and working really hard. I'm not what you'd call immature or a slacker but sometimes, a member of staff will talk to me like I'm barely 18, and it leaves me completely shocked.

Or, some admin error will occur that when I was a 17 year old I would barely have noticed. Now however, it stands out like a sore thumb because before I did this course, I ran my own successful tuition business, so I have 15 years of teaching experience, plus all the admin experience of running a business, and I'm horrified at some of the incompetencies that occur.

It's really odd and leaves me feeling like I'm back at school again but with more awareness of the things that go wrong, which is disconcerting.

Other than that though I have no regrets about doing this. Distinctions all round and year 1 nearly done.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Bewilderbeast on May 31, 2012, 10:27:53 AM
I think procrastination and motivation is almost always about doubt, (at least it is for me). The distraction or the remembered thing that must be done before starting the work are all just escape routes from sitting there and confronting the awesome fear that you might not be able to do it, it wonít be good enough, it has to be perfect etc.

All of which are real mature student issues I think and for good reason, as has been mentioned itís really hard to go form being an adult in the world who has achieved things or whatever to being in the position of being a learner, itís like that jump from primary school to secondary.... What I have found odd was how much being back in the role of a student, which is a bit like being a child, made me act out like a child. Tears of frustration over essays worries etc.

For me at any rate the procrastination/motivation thing is helped by settling in the space and just staying there, as was said before, but also by cottoning onto the fear/doubt thing and recognising it - ďa-ha! Itís you, you filthy swine!Ē (actually I abuse it in a manner not remotely work safe or suitable for these boards..).  Then not engaging with it but just chucking it away. (visualising it on leaf going down a stream, blasting it with a gun,whatever). Many times if needs be. The moment I start trying to think it out and reason with it  all is lost. I can do that later but not when in the moment.

I want to get on with the work, after all it is something I have chosen to do AND someone has accepted me onto the course so someone thinks I can do it. What I want is to chuck away the bit of me that is freaking out and stopping me, so why not?

Iím making it sound easy but of course itís not, especially when tired and short of time (working while studying is really really hard). But I when I started forgiving myself for being freaked out, and got better at dealing with it quickly and moving on, I freaked out less. Iíve not got it sorted by any means but I have got a strategy. In the MA most of my assignments have been on time as opposed the BA where there were a lot of late submission sheets due to major essay freak outs....

Now I am sitting here trying not to pee my pants because in 4 hours I will be being interviewed for a PhD...eeeeeeeeekkk!!!!!!!

Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: ScarletBea on May 31, 2012, 01:12:40 PM
Procrastination:

I read this article recently and thought of all of you:
http://www.structuredprocrastination.com/ (http://www.structuredprocrastination.com/)

 :D
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: minty on Jun 05, 2012, 01:25:20 AM
I am not a full time mature student, but I still find that I have to juggle studies around other things that I would normally be doing as well as doing a full time job with somewhat longish hours.   I have already had to forgoe one social activity that clashed with my studies, but it was my choice.  Nobody forced me to study and I find it keeps the brain healthy.   My kind of study is perpetually ongoing and I only give it up when I want to, so it goes on year after year after year
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: unhamburger on Jun 05, 2012, 01:59:36 PM
I've been hit with utter apathy and procrastination. Why do I always leave things to the very last minute?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Jett on Jun 19, 2012, 10:44:09 AM
I did an Access course two years ago and have now just finished my first year of a BA. Honestly, the access course was MUCH harder than my first year  ;D the work is harder and of a higher level here- however is much less of it than on the access.

I've no regrets about coming to uni. I have found a niche of friends just like me- mostly mature students, but all real hard workers, which is definitely the best part.. we study together and encourage each other. The one bit of advice i've got is to get into a routine straight away. They don't start piling the work on until christmas and then it's BAM! Spread it out, little and often. I got into the habit by my second semester of treating my degree like a job- two days a week when I had no lectures I forced myself to go into uni any from 9-2 and studied or read or researched in the LRC. I can't study at home. I get too distracted and procrastinate like nobodys business. I also have a baby so juggling him and housework etc means I can't switch off. So coming to the LRC is the only way I get reading done. I just passed my first year with a first, so it's paid off  :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Apr 25, 2013, 10:12:59 PM
*bump*

I'm struggling with it all atm. I'm almost at the end now - four (well, 3.5 I guess) years of part-time study and I'll graduate this summer. And I'm just more and more entrenched in this 'do the bare minimum and get it out of the way' approach, which I know is only pragmatic but I really don't like. I went into my first year exams feeling I could pretty much have a bash at any questions on the paper. Second year, I had clear preferences. This year, I feel like I'm completely gambling on questions. I know, too, that a lot of stuff I'm simply sticking in my short-term memory (or, more accurately, scrawling on post-its all over my flat, since I don't have much short-term memory atm) in order to regurgitate it for exams.

None of this is my vision of learning. I really like what I'm studying. I enjoy it. I hate that it's become so much a means to an end. That whole attitude has spilled over into the rest of my life - waiting, waiting, getting through this, getting through that, holding my breath. Ugh. I feel disillusioned.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Wongy on Apr 26, 2013, 02:24:38 AM
Hugs xx I know the feeling and I'm only in year 1! I don't know what to say except try and structure your learning a bit more. As bizarre as this may sound; could you read your text to your baby rather than stories and relax them that way? (seen as it's your voice not the words that soothe them)
Or something I saw on house that does kinda work is the letter link. When you get spare thinking time or when you first wake up; say a word then link the next one to the last letter, and so on, to help remember and shift it into your conscious and unconscious at the same time rather than just relying on post-its?

Also take an entire day or evening where you worry about absolutely nothing. Have friends round and eat, watch a movie or just sit and chat over a tea/coffee. No focus on studying or anything else in your life that's stressing you at the moment though. Everything will still be there the next day but the break may just relieve some of the mental tension and disillusionment. Alternatively visit a guest lecture on a subject linked to your studying and be there for fun not because it'll be in an exam. Might make you feel a bit more invigorated about the wider subject again.

Anyhow; good luck and fingers crossed for you x
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Apr 26, 2013, 11:27:41 AM
Ah, thanks, Wongy. :) For the practical suggestions and for the supportive words.

The reading textbooks to baby thing isn't bizarre at all - I've definitely read other people online saying it's worked for them, but I gave it a go and I just can't do it - find myself just reading the words but taking nothing in. I haven't yet found a convincing way of being with him and thinking about anything else at the same time. (What I could definitely work on, though, is not wasting his naps playing on the internet. :-X)

The letter link thing sounds an excellent idea and I'm going to give it a go !

The 'do something else instead' thing has worked really well in previous years, but I've never tried it so close to exam time or when coming from so far behind. However, I'd not really thought of there being other opportunities to forget about it and de-stress, without them coming at the cost of potential study-time. But they are. And, now I think about it, the evening I was most academically productive this week was the evening after I'd spent the afternoon drinking tea at a friend's house. Which makes a lot of sense, really. So, thanks again - for a fresh perspective. :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Mental Elf on Apr 26, 2013, 11:43:19 AM
I think it's very easy to feel like your learning is becoming a chore, even when it's a subject you enjoy. I feel very much the same way and I'm only in the first year of my degree - I struggle to muster the energy or motivation to do my work and even more so now that I know I have to catch up in my summer holidays rather than enjoying a break. I've been thinking about it rather a lot over the last few weeks (procrastination) and I think it's to do with deadlines and pressure to achieve a certain level, rather than just doing it because you want to. It sucks all the enjoyment and pleasure out of it.

I've no practical ideas to contribute, other than take the pressure of yourself. Allow yourself time to just do what you want to do. I realised that feeling like I should be doing work all the time made the pressure even worse and therefore made me want to avoid it altogether. This morning I woke up and thought "I'm not gonna rush, I'm gonna relax, watch a bit of tv in bed and take my time getting up. Then I will work". And for the first time all week I am actually sitting at the computer ready to get on with it. (After I've finished on gb obvs!  ;) )

I dunno, I think we're very good at feeling that we should be doing all the time and that we should be achieving and that the pressure of that just destroys the fun in learning.

I Have trouble remember the stuff I read, like you AN it leaves as swiftly as it went it and as yet I haven't come up with a way to make it stick other than trying to paraphrase all the relevant bits I read. That still doesn't work brilliantly. I do find that writing notes and then typing them up helps a little, but it takes time to do the repetition way of learning.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Wongy on Apr 26, 2013, 02:55:09 PM
Hope it works out ok for both of you :) x
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Apr 27, 2013, 08:58:02 PM
^ Thanks, and likewise. :-*

Elf - I nodded at so much of your post. God, I don't remember learning feeling this tough when I was at school. I really feel so aware of my brain's v limited capacity to understand and - especially - to retain new stuff, these days. I can practically hear it creaking under the strain as I try ..

The module I'm particularly behind on seems to be sharply divided into "stuff I know already" (yawn yawn boring boring, can hardly bring myself to revisit for 5 minutes) and "stuff I cannot even begin to comprehend" (and therefore I quickly give up in despair).

Ugh.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: spanky @ass on Apr 28, 2013, 12:33:28 PM
I'm about to become a middle aged student. I turn middle aged in summer and proceed to course in Autumn.

I have fears around my ability to learn and fears around being amongst young ones. There was a man much older than me interviewing for the course too. I hope he gets a place. Then I'll be mid age range   :D
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Fabulous FireHorse on Apr 29, 2013, 10:52:07 PM
OOO - age is no barrier to learning. Mature students seem to apply themselves in a more focussed way than the ones straight out of school, probably because they already have a work ethic and they value the chance to go into higher ed rather than taking it for granted that it should be available.

However, I have noticed that middle-aged mature students have some issues that young students may not, as I've seen them deal with the death of a parent, divorce and severe illness whilst also coping with raising children or caring for others.


Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Fabulous FireHorse on Apr 29, 2013, 10:59:37 PM
I'm struggling with it all atm. I'm almost at the end now - four (well, 3.5 I guess) years of part-time study and I'll graduate this summer. And I'm just more and more entrenched in this 'do the bare minimum and get it out of the way' approach, which I know is only pragmatic but I really don't like.

None of this is my vision of learning. I really like what I'm studying. I enjoy it. I hate that it's become so much a means to an end. That whole attitude has spilled over into the rest of my life - waiting, waiting, getting through this, getting through that, holding my breath. Ugh. I feel disillusioned.

So know how you feel. Feeling quite jet-lagged in my final year ..
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Apr 30, 2013, 11:02:13 AM
It's reassuring to know that it's all normal, at least. :)

I feel so strange about coming to the end of my course. I can't believe it will actually be over. I was rushing around college yesterday - from computer room to department office to library - without having to stop and think about directions (it is an odd building, and the department office is in a particularly inaccessible location) and it really struck me that soon I'll be gone.
If things work out (which is far from guaranteed), I'll only be moving round the corner to do my Masters, so perhaps that thought is making it seem less like the end. Or perhaps it's because, because of weird-but-necessary timetabling, I'm actually still in lectures in what would otherwise just be the revision period. Or perhaps it's simply that I've obviously got loads to do before I actually do finish. ::)

oOo, I can only echo what FFH has already said. Also, I love your precision about turning middle-aged in the summer. :D What's your course ?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: spanky @ass on Apr 30, 2013, 12:04:16 PM
Thanks ff and an.

I'm just getting it over with and determining myself middle aged when I turn 40.  :D

I'm doing an art course. Hopefully I will be able to pick up some new tricks.

Congrats an on completing this part of your studies!
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: sherbert on May 05, 2013, 08:16:13 PM
I am not a full time student but spend a lot of spare time studying.    I am a perfectionist and spend a lot of time studying when I would usually be doing other things.   This cannot be healthy right?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on May 05, 2013, 08:39:20 PM
Thanks, oOo ! I hope your course is interesting and enjoyable.

Sherbert, I dunno, does it make you happy ? I think it sounds healthy enough to me. When your perfectionism stops you from eating, washing up and going to work, maybe then it's time to worry .. Until then, what else is spare time for ?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: sherbert on May 05, 2013, 08:44:18 PM
Thanks, oOo ! I hope your course is interesting and enjoyable.

Sherbert, I dunno, does it make you happy ? I think it sounds healthy enough to me. When your perfectionism stops you from eating, washing up and going to work, maybe then it's time to worry .. Until then, what else is spare time for ?

Yes it does make me happy, but when a friend phoned me recently to ask to meet up to go to the park with her and her kids I turned her down in favour of study.   I was told that I should not keep doing that because you also need quality time with friends.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: MzB on May 05, 2013, 08:49:46 PM
^ Quality time off can make your studying more efficient when you get back to it though, sherbert. If you're a perfectionist this may be all the motivation you need.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: sherbert on May 05, 2013, 09:14:57 PM
true
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Iona on Jun 05, 2013, 07:54:12 AM
Ho hum....it's a balance...sometimes when we are studying breaking off can mean losing the thread..and then can take forever to get back...I try and keep a sort of pattern of time where when possible I study/compose in the mornings ..keep that time sacred and then see people and do other things...hard to keep to sometimes....
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Iona on Jun 05, 2013, 08:14:34 AM
Thanks for your words....especially the dichotomy between learnt stuff and new stuff...it's grasping the concepts of new stuff that seems to be a challenge...ho hum....and bothered if I understand the hole marking thing. is it just me or do different tutors seem to mark in their own sweet ways ?..you just think you are getting somewhere and then another tutor seems to focus on from some other angle..you had no idea that THIS was the important stuff.....mmmmm never mind the learning is happening despite all of this.....

Elf - I nodded at so much of your post. God, I don't remember learning feeling this tough when I was at school. I really feel so aware of my brain's v limited capacity to understand and - especially - to retain new stuff, these days. I can practically hear it creaking under the strain as I try ..

The module I'm particularly behind on seems to be sharply divided into "stuff I know already" (yawn yawn boring boring, can hardly bring myself to revisit for 5 minutes) and "stuff I cannot even begin to comprehend" (and therefore I quickly give up in despair).

Ugh.
[/quote]
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: flora poste on Jun 05, 2013, 11:40:44 AM
oh gosh, I start my MA in three and a half months  :o

I still don't know if I've got any funding, and won't find out til later this month or into July. There are several scholarships and bursaries attached to my course, which I'm automatically considered for, but I think I need to hedge my bets. I remember that a few months back I started looking for other prizes, bursaries etc, but now I actually have a place and need to get down to it, I'm a bit prize-blinded. Anybody know of a good site that lists all the MA money available?

...otherwise, it's a career development loan. Any tips on that one?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Jun 05, 2013, 11:53:32 AM
^ I'm in exact same position. :D

I've consciously decided to avoid doing much research into it until scholarships decisions are made (or at least, until I finish this degree - next week :o) so I'm afraid I'm no use to you. Apart from the Charities Digest is supposed to be the place to start. (I think that's what it's called ? The big book with all the grant-making bodies listed in it?)

What / where are you going to study ?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: flora poste on Jun 05, 2013, 12:32:00 PM
I'm going to UEA to do the prose Creative Writing MA. Literally my dream course... but the logistics are getting scarier and scarier. I've gone from thinking, oh it'll be fine, to suddenly realising the hugeness of it. Not just financially, but the financial side is huge.

I will wing it somehow, I know: what worries me more is that getting a loan involves promising not to wing it for years to come. I probably have to take responsibility for punctually repaying this one, unlike my undergrad loan which I have totally ignored since the day I got it and nobody seems to mind.

I just called up the National Careers Service, who I thought were just a number you rang to get the paperwork for a career development loan, but they were quite useful actually! I haven't looked at these websites yet, but he told me to have a look at:

studentcashpoint.co.uk
scholarship-search.org.uk
prospects.ac.uk
family-action.org.uk

- might be helpful to you too?

EDIT: I checked them out. Mostly useless, or information I already know. But others might get something from it. I've found that www.postgraduatestudentships.co.uk is a pretty exhaustive rundown of everything out there. If you are a female aged between 27 and 42 from within the Commonwealth, with a background in entomology, and you are applying to Keele University to do a PhD in 1960s performance art, and you will write your dissertation in cuneiform, and MUST reside on an Alaskan whaling station for a period of at least three years after graduating from the course... well, they might just have the exact grant for you.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Bizoute on Jun 05, 2013, 01:10:14 PM
No words of wisdom, but how exciting, FP. Happy studying!
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: flora poste on Jun 05, 2013, 01:26:28 PM
thank you  :D
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Jun 05, 2013, 01:44:26 PM
what worries me more is that getting a loan involves promising not to wing it for years to come

Yes, that's exactly it. I had a quick look at the numbers, and I'm looking at paying back about 200 a month, forever, if that's what I end up doing.

Thanks for websites - a couple of them I've looked at previously, and found much the same thing as you. I'll check out the others, though. I think - though I appreciate perhaps this varies across different fields - that any actual pots of designated funding tend to get signposted by the college websites etc, so all that's left is to write begging letters to other random potential funders.

I hope you get some of the money you're already in the running for, then this will all just be academic.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: flora poste on Jun 05, 2013, 01:56:29 PM
I hope you get some of the money you're already in the running for, then this will all just be academic.

oh god, I hope so too. Just spotted it no longer has AHRC-funded places, so that's two fewer options than I'd hoped for  :(

I hope you get yours too. You're doing something economics-y aren't you?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Jun 05, 2013, 02:13:11 PM
Oh, bum. Thanks, yeah, Economics with reference to Africa, at SOAS. There are only two funded places across the whole department (unless you are from a particular country and born within a particular fortnight and writing a dissertation on something spectacularly obscure, etc), so very slim odds for me. Still, not putting lots of effort into plan b until I need to. I'll hear by the end of the month.

Far too many commas in that post.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Fabulous FireHorse on Jun 05, 2013, 03:03:18 PM
I've found that www.postgraduatestudentships.co.uk is a pretty exhaustive rundown of everything out there. If you are a female aged between 27 and 42 from within the Commonwealth, with a background in entomology, and you are applying to Keele University to do a PhD in 1960s performance art, and you will write your dissertation in cuneiform, and MUST reside on an Alaskan whaling station for a period of at least three years after graduating from the course... well, they might just have the exact grant for you.

:)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Jun 21, 2013, 09:10:47 PM
Mehhhh. Today I have total scholarship dread. They will notify by the end of the month, so with every day that passes my already miniscule chance grows slimmer.

Obviously once this passes, I can focus my feelings of pre-emptive disappointment on my degree results.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Bewilderbeast on Jun 22, 2013, 09:59:42 AM
I found it really hard to get funding for my MA which was in philosophy. My department didn't have any funding from the appropriate research council to be able to offer studentships, they only had this for PhD level. The big handbook of charitable grant making trusts was no good because they are almost all not for funding education. 

So realising I had to do it myself I delayed my plans for a year to save up. I ended up borrowing bits of the fees from family members and doing the course part-time over two years. I paid the rent at the university through working for  their student employment scheme but only just.

In my second year the work dried up and things looked really dire. However I managed to get an emergency grant from Funds For Women Graduates:
http://ffwg.org.uk/

Unfortunately they don't do non-emergency Masters level funding but if you go the patchwork funding yourself through it route and something unpredictable happens which means you can no longer support yourself and the course is threatened, then this could be a life line.





Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Jun 26, 2013, 08:19:31 AM
Ooh, very useful to bear in mind. Thanks, Bewilderbeast.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Jul 10, 2013, 07:42:10 PM
They will now notify by the end of this month. ::) It isn't over til it's over, etc, but I am now cringing a little to think of my application. I only wrote it a few months ago but already I know I could now write a much better one (one whole new crucial module later, plus a bit better sleep, plus a bit of thinking space since finishing my degree which I'm going to spam the economics thread with in due course).

The practicalities are not coming along so well : I've only just phoned up for the CDL application pack ; worse, I've just today realised that I didn't actually change my address for electoral purposes when I moved last November, so although I've gone and done that today, it won't be updated til 1st Aug. I'm basically addressless til then. Short of closing down every bank account I have, I don't think I could have better planned to spoil my credit-worthiness. Childcare isn't looking much more promising - I need to lean on someone at the nursery I want J to go to when I see her next week, to try to find out if it's still worth hoping, otherwise I'm going to have to start urgently seeking a childminder. And the nice liaison research student at SOAS still hasn't replied to my email, so I'm guessing I need to find someone in the department to annoy with my quesrions about timetabling and childcare support. I am annoyed at my own inefficiency. I'm not sure whether I'm going to pull this off.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Old Brock on Jul 10, 2013, 07:49:29 PM
^ It does sound as though that will be a huge disappointment, but I just wanted to say it doesn't rule out the Masters forever... I'm still doing mine now, and I'm much older than you (I think), and by the time I finish, it will have taken me 4 years (it's very part time). So, I guess I'm trying to say - good luck and I hope everything does come together, but if it doesn't happen this year, there's still next year (and many more after that)  ::)

<--- has been studying forever, it seems.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Jul 10, 2013, 09:08:17 PM
Thanks, Brock. That helps a lot - reassurance, perspective etc. In some ways, another year at home would be very welcome, and going back to work wouldn't be the end of the world, either. Thinking about it, that's a remarkably agreeable position to be in.

Good luck with the remainder of your Masters. It must have taken a lot of determination to keep with it over an extended period.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Old Brock on Jul 11, 2013, 07:27:55 PM
Thanks :)

Good luck with pulling everything together.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Aug 29, 2013, 09:01:43 PM
I hate being new.

I feel surprisingly nervous, suddenly. I feel like this is my first time going to a 'normal' university, and I will be wearing the wrong clothes and saying the wrong things and I will have nothing to say for myself.

I don't remember feeling like this before I started my undergrad. :-\

I start in less than a fortnight.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Wongy on Aug 29, 2013, 11:46:00 PM
((((AN)))) You'll be ok and I'm sure you'll do swimmingly. Don't fret about stuff you can't control. Focus on what you can do something about like looking after yourself, your little one and your own studying x
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Aug 30, 2013, 08:54:19 AM
Thanks, Wongy. :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Old Brock on Aug 30, 2013, 09:18:43 AM
It can feel really intimidating at the start, though. I felt terrified when I started because I was doing an MA in fine art and hadn't even been to art college, and my degree wasn't even in art. But actually, although it took a long time for me to find my confidence (and I'm sure that won't necessarily be the case for you AN - I just really felt the lack of an art school education, which I think was largely in my head), it has been one of the best things I've ever done. I hope you lose your trepidation soon and really enjoy it  :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Aug 30, 2013, 01:35:15 PM
Thanks, Brock. The "but I haven't been to art school" thing sounds v v similar to how I feel about not having been to a 'normal' uni. I also really feel like it was only into my third (penultimate) year that I started feeling properly comfortable at Birkbeck - and obviously I don't have anything like as long to get used to SOAS. I'm not very good at getting out of the starting blocks quickly.

I hope I really enjoy it, too - and I'm very glad you have done.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Arig on Aug 30, 2013, 02:23:56 PM
Thanks, Brock. The "but I haven't been to art school" thing sounds v v similar to how I feel about not having been to a 'normal' uni. I also really feel like it was only into my third (penultimate) year that I started feeling properly comfortable at Birkbeck - and obviously I don't have anything like as long to get used to SOAS. I'm not very good at getting out of the starting blocks quickly.

I hope I really enjoy it, too - and I'm very glad have done.


OH My God, you lucky lucky thing, even with trepidation and with all your anxiety, I envy you, to study at that lovely lovely school with that amazing library and those brilliant teachers many of who I have read their books, wow!!!

No one care what you are wearing, I have been around the SOAS library for a couple a years and the pupils are sooo diverse. It is an amazing library, with books in all languages that makes you want to weep for reading only four languages, not enough... Not nearly enough. It is wonderful to be somewhere that makes you crave more knowledge and drives you to look and search and get all you can get out of the experience, enjoy!

So lucky, I hope you manage to get over anxiety and get excited and seriously thrilled!
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Aug 30, 2013, 09:10:56 PM
Oh, that has really made me grin. Thank you.
 I hope it is as brilliant as it promises to be.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: flora poste on Aug 31, 2013, 01:38:47 AM
It so will be.

I know what you mean about not being fast off the starting blocks re settling in. I keep staring at my course stuff thinking, 'they want me to do all THAT?  in under a YEAR? I'll have barely acclimatised myself...' - but it'll be what it is, right? Also, I don't know whether anybody notices those changes happening as they happen - you see it after the dust has settled.

OR, if you prefer to look at it from another angle, perhaps that huge change doesn't happen. You know, these things are so mystificatory, you're supposed to come out of an MA somehow more of a Proper person. Probably in fact nothing changes, you just muddle through it. It amazes me, sometimes, the things I manage to do whilst still being the same person. Somehow fudge through very complicated/creative/frustrating/grown-up stuff without feeling that I've become any of those things.

In terms of wearing the wrong clothes/blah blah blah - do you really think the people at SOAS give a toss? You won the place just as you are. I bet they're all weirdos  :D

^ I've been turning all this over in my head a lot lately. I cannot imagine what my own coming year will be like.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Old Brock on Aug 31, 2013, 03:29:09 AM
Anyway, you can't get clothes more wrong than me. I win the wrong clothes prize. Tonight, everyone was Hoxton cool. Except me. I was... I don't even know what I was. I've come to the conclusion I totally never know what to wear. From now on I'm going back to wearing all black at all times.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Aug 31, 2013, 08:50:00 PM
Is there really such thing as properly wrong clothes, or is it in fact just a manifestation of imposter syndrome ?

Probably in fact nothing changes, you just muddle through it. It amazes me, sometimes, the things I manage to do whilst still being the same person. Somehow fudge through very complicated/creative/frustrating/grown-up stuff without feeling that I've become any of those things.

Mm, I like this. It hadn't occurred to me, but it makes sense.

I'm very stuck in "what, all of THAT in ONE YEAR?" territory atm. It's reassuring to think that's fairly normal. I'm supposedly looking at applying to a PhD after - but for entry next Sept, I'd have to start writing my application in JANUARY. That's mad. I can't imagine I'll even know what I want to write my MSc thesis on that soon, much less what I want to spend bloody years working on. But I suppose this is a particularly rubbish moment to try gazing into the future from.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Old Brock on Aug 31, 2013, 09:01:29 PM
That does seem a lot - it feels really luxurious to have 4 years for my MA! And it gives time to think and for things to simmer.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Aug 31, 2013, 09:24:11 PM
And it gives time to think and for things to simmer.

Yes - that sounds really, really good. More meaning, more thoroughness, less (no?) cut corners.

I'd envisaged doing mine part-time (over 2, poss 3 years) mainly for that reason (and also because I would have felt more comfortable about putting J into nursery for fewer hours), but I was offered funding conditional on doing it full-time, and it would just be mad to turn that down.
I am seriously contemplating not applying for 2014 PhD entry and taking a year out with J instead, but of course there are pros and cons to either option. I hope I'll be in a more informed / decisive position by Christmas.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Old Brock on Aug 31, 2013, 09:30:41 PM
And it gives time to think and for things to simmer.

Yes - that sounds really, really good. More meaning, more thoroughness, less (no?) cut corners.

I'd envisaged doing mine part-time (over 2, poss 3 years) mainly for that reason (and also because I would have felt more comfortable about putting J into nursery for fewer hours), but I was offered funding conditional on doing it full-time, and it would just be mad to turn that down.
I am seriously contemplating not applying for 2014 PhD entry and taking a year out with J instead, but of course there are pros and cons to either option. I hope I'll be in a more informed / decisive position by Christmas.

Yes, deeper meaning can emerge. But then, I guess you will be more thoroughly immersed than I have been able to be... My studying has had to fit around the edges of other things, so it's diluted. So maybe the overall level will be the same. I mean, people do do Masters in a year - all the time - so it must work or they would adopt a different model, no?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: flora poste on Sep 01, 2013, 01:04:48 AM
I'm quite excited to have a year of immersion. that feels like the luxury to me - I've lived a half-life for so long. A year in which I'm encouraged - nay, expected! - to do something I love sounds like such a treat. At this point, anyway. Ask me again in six months  ::)

Mind you, AN, I don't have your responsibilities. I feel weird about this MA because I doubt I'd be doing it if I'd had a baby. It feels almost like a trade-off: one amazing life-path instead of another. Their weight feels about the same to me.

I'm feeling far more relaxed now. I've sorted a house (signed, sealed, etc); and in fact being rejected for career devpt loan was a really positive thing in that it's made me realise I can't coast through this. I've somehow rustled up nearly a year's rent - I'm hoping that the sale of most of my personal effects will see to the rest. I'll have to work through the year to feed myself, but that's OK. It doesn't feel like a burden, weirdly: I realise the debt was the bit that was really frightening me. I'd rather slog for a year than come out of it with a weight of debt that limits what I'm able to do. I chose to do an MA to free me up, not tie me down.

Is it really Pollyanna-ish? To see no loan as a blessing? I might be being hopelessly naive, but I'm hoping it's really pragmatism. Hard to tell.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Sep 01, 2013, 08:18:08 PM
I don't think it sounds pollyanna-ish. I'm very very impressed at your pragmatism - nearly the whole year's rent sorted already, bloody well done you - and yes, finishing without the CDL millstone does sound very, very preferable.

I often think of the guy in All My Sons who says that his best time ever was when he ran away and lived off bananas and studied tropical diseases. There is something very romantic about a minimalist (monastic?) scholarly existence. I imagine it's not sustainable for years and years, but for a short-term I bet it can be amazing.

I do feel aware that I pretty much fall between the two stools of total immersion and a more manageable (maximisable) pace. (Obviously this was my own doing and I can't / shan't moan about it.) But then, I never have had that immersion thing - I worked full-time through my BSc (and near enough full-time through my A levels, now I think about it) ; I know the 'normal' undergrad experience is not to eat, breathe, sleep your subject in the way that postgrad often is, but I think the experience of having to fit study around life, rather than life around study, is pretty much the key difference. So I'm at least fairly used to it. And there is something about the compartmentalisation of it that excites me - switch off economics, switch on motherhood ; switch off motherhood, switch on economics. I don't think I'll manage to do it so neatly, but having permission to do it feels nice.

I'm rambling. It's all about the trade-offs, isn't it, one way or another.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: flora poste on Sep 01, 2013, 09:33:13 PM
It's all about the trade-offs, isn't it, one way or another.

yeah. I was talking to somebody a few weeks ago about how I'd always wanted to study osteoarchaeology postgrad, except that the expense and the complications and the workload and the rarity of decent jobs at the end of it had put me off. He pointed out that I was about to go into an MA with *all* the same problems. I'd never really seen that before. I guess it's about the trade-off: I want this one badly enough that the problems aren't really problems.

I am being pollyanna-ish in that I know this pure ascetic existence would be far more achievable if I wasn't leaving my relationship in London. We are both students, both skint, and both pretty committed to finding the time and money to see one another regularly. I haven't the slightest doubt that we will make it, but I am aware it is an extra faff that in an ideal world I'd do without. Still, I know it's better to immerse myself in study in Norwich than to commute from London, which would be stressful and expensive and a bit isolating. A year's not so long really.

My car boot sale today raised all of £85 net profit. But I have acquired a wool blanket, curtains, bowls, and a few stupid trinkets for new home. Still feeling optimistic.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Underdog on Sep 01, 2013, 10:45:23 PM
I start an MA soon (part time) and have relocated from a secure office job in London to living in Leeds and trying to even get a bar job (to be fair, I have a work trial next week and am starting to get interviews).

The isolation doesn't worry me too much, it's the not being able to get a job which is starting to annoy me. So many better looking, younger and louder people competing for bar and shop work (had a nightmare group interview where everyone was loud and tried to be funny... I just wanted it to end! :/). Still... Head high and all that.

Another concern is crappy student services, as my dissertation support in my undergrad ditched me and it was had to get disability support (don't even get me started on DSA and PCDL people I've dealt with so far; had to bite my tongue being told my course doesn't exist)... Though Leeds seems better than my previous uni for this. Mrrrrrr I'm gonna keep positive and be in the moment and try to do things step by step.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Sep 02, 2013, 08:40:22 PM
Fp : hmm, that sounds tough. But I'm sure you'll make it work. A year isn't so long, especially if you're *both* students.

Underdog : I'm glad you're doing your (apparently non-existent..) MA - I've seen your posts before about wanting to do it. Good luck with the job hunt - sounds like you'll have that sorted v soon. And god, group interviews sound hellish.
A couple of my friends from my BSc made use of the disability support people and only had the highest of praise for them. I guess it must vary hugely. :-\
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Wongy on Sep 03, 2013, 02:42:40 AM
@underdog: can hook you up with the Leeds uni disability people from the SU if you have any problems. Plus Hannah Paterson the current NUS DSO is always happy to give advice (as is the rest of us on committee). Here's the group if you want to ask any questions or message me and I can ask on your behalf more anonymously if you'd rather.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/disabled.students.4.postive.change/

Equally you could just ask me and I'd be happy to chase the info for you :) I'm this years LGBT disability committee member in NUS if you do have any issues at all.

@FP - If you haven't already I recommend signing up to the rail network emails for the east of London as they have really great offers for London to norwich (and other stations around there too) travel fairly regularly that you could take advantage of rather than forking out for the usually horrendously priced normal tickets.

Other than that, good luck to all of you! At least we can always come on here to chat when we need :) xx
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: flora poste on Sep 09, 2013, 04:08:05 PM
@FP - If you haven't already I recommend signing up to the rail network emails for the east of London as they have really great offers for London to norwich (and other stations around there too) travel fairly regularly that you could take advantage of rather than forking out for the usually horrendously priced normal tickets.

Will do! thank you. I've been amazed at how reasonable the trains have been when you book in advance actually - I thought it would be crippling, but with my young person's railcard (which I renewed two weeks before my 26th birthday, shhh!) if you book a month in advance it's £10.60 return. Outrageous!

I'm feeling partly much more relaxed and partly even more terrified. I've shelled out SO much money on house, van, etc etc etc, which makes me feel default guilty and tense even though that was exactly what I was meant to spend it on. Doesn't help that my old job have just told me that HR have removed me from the payroll so I'll have to re-apply which is SUCH a pain. I allowed myself to go into a complete tailspin when I first found out but feel a lot better now. I think I'm going to try to find a bit of freelance work instead, which will hopefully mean flexible hours and better pay. Does anybody need a copywriter?

I also feel better since I've found out my timetable and put it all into my diary. Managing my time looks a lot less daunting now.

It is coming together. There seems to be a lot less to be afraid of. Just need to get down to business.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Wongy on Sep 09, 2013, 04:36:04 PM
Fingers crossed :) Good luck!
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: flora poste on Sep 09, 2013, 05:29:36 PM
Thank you!
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Sep 09, 2013, 08:12:30 PM
I have had my first class. :D

It was fine. I wasn't dressed wrong. It felt soothing and comfortable, which for what is basically revision (pre-sessional maths) is just as it should be.
And they're all the same age as me, which was a bit - huh ? It's odd to not be the youngest by miles. I keep running up against that these days, though, so I think it is actually my age as much as the cohort (although of course the two are not unrelated!).
I do feel a bit different. I'm trying not to dwell on that because it's probably not helpful and it's probably not true either. But I was listening to two women chatting in front of me and they're living in halls, they're talking about where they did their undergrads, they're new to London and excited, and I just felt like I'd landed from a completely different planet.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Quack on Sep 09, 2013, 08:31:03 PM
But I was listening to two women chatting in front of me and they're living in halls, they're talking about where they did their undergrads, they're new to London and excited, and I just felt like I'd landed from a completely different planet.

^ I was on crutches for a while when I was doing my masters and one of my classmates asked if I lived at home (so did I have someone to look after me).  I looked at her blankly thinking 'Of course I live at home. Where else would I live?' ??? It took me a few moments to realise that what she was actually asking was did I live with my parents which I hadn't done for over 10 years.

I'm glad it all went well today.  :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Sep 09, 2013, 09:07:10 PM
Heh. A different planet indeed.

Thanks. :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Wongy on Sep 10, 2013, 02:03:11 AM
I'm on the other side of that fence - not the youngest, not living with family and also not the oldest or living with children! We're all from different places and that's what makes adult education beautiful! I hope you find someone who feels like they're on the same planet as you and you can be there for each other over the next year :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Mental Elf on Sep 10, 2013, 11:14:01 AM
I'm really looking forward to starting Uni again - two weeks to go!  :D This year will be great, I get to focus on the field I'm interested in and the placements are long enough to get your teeth into. It will be hard, it will be knackering but I know what to expect now and how to handle the workload now.

I can't wait!
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Sep 12, 2013, 09:41:18 AM
^ Sounds great.

Wongy - thanks. :-* I need to remember that just because my classmates all *look* very samey, doesn't mean they actually are. I suppose my last class was just more visibly diverse, is all.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Bewilderbeast on Sep 12, 2013, 12:55:15 PM
I think by Masters level there is no typical student. Administratively speaking mature student just means a student over the age of 21 when they begin a BA so technically no-one (or everyone?) is a mature student on an MA but I always felt that label suited me... The MA I finished last year had everyone from those who had done a BA straight from school and gone straight onto a Masters (and some of whom still seemed like kids) and those who hadnít been in education for years and were adults with commitments like houses, partners and kids. I was somewhere in the middle, as I began my BA at the age of 33 and then took a year out before doing a 2 year part time MA while working full-time but both courses were at the same university so there was a flow to it all.  I definitely related more to those who had a slightly alternative route to and to education like I had and had spent some time working, I felt like we were the mature students if you know what I mean. The mix was what made it though.

The immerse yourself route is wonderful if you can do that, my part-time was the hardest thing Iíve ever done. The ideas come quicker when there are less gaps between studying, the thing with the MA was that even once I had scraped some precious time I had to use a horribly large amount of it just thinking myself back to where I was before. But now I am doing a PhD and am funded so can work full-time itís the different challenge of being responsible for that time ( My PhD is has no taught elements so it is entirely up to me how I organise my time). My solution has been to put some structure in otherwise I start to feel like Iím going mad. I do the PhD like a job, Monday to Friday 9 to 5 and my base is not my home but my study space at the university where I keep all my texts and notebooks. Sometimes I work elsewhere like the library or sometimes at home but in that case I just take what I need for that task, I donít move the whole office again. Monday is catchup/correspondence/admin day/plan the week day and I donít expect to get to thesis work until the afternoon and sometimes not at all. The remaining days are thesis work and things like conference abstract or paper writing or what have you and are scheduled week by week around meetings with supervisors and other course related commitments. Everything is provisional and can all be re-arranged (and frequently is) but if I leave it completely open itís somehow terrifying and paralysing. Keeping the regular pattern of having two days where I donít have to think about the thesis is essential, I just canít do the thing where work time and off-work time are indistinct otherwise I feel guilty the whole time, it also means Iím on the same pattern as my partner.  However if a deadline looms I have a protected pocket of time I can choose to use. I am a big believer about putting in some limits in order to gain some freedomÖ
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: flora poste on Sep 12, 2013, 07:20:20 PM
very pleased to hear about everybody's first classes  :D

as for me: worry worry worry worry worry. I'm packing up my stuff tonight to take to the new house tomorrow, and I feel so sick and panicky. I'm convinced there'll be a problem with the van, or that everything won't fit, or that I'll test somebody's patience. I'm embarrassed by the amount of stuff I'm taking up, but there's not alternative: the house is unfurnished and my new housemates are international students and don't have many possessions at all.

It will all be OK, I know. But right now I just want to run away.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Sep 12, 2013, 08:32:32 PM
^ It *will* be OK. But hearing / knowing that makes no odds, you just have to get tomorrow over with and then you can kick back and relax (however briefly).
Also, I don't think you should be embarrassed by taking lots of stuff. I think it's a marker of proper adulthood, if you're moving with furniture and stuff rather than just clothes and books. (I have not achieved this yet, can you tell from my awe and envy?)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: flora poste on Sep 15, 2013, 11:32:21 PM
Oh, I think it's just pretending at adulthood. My mistake about Stuff is that if I have the right things, then things will be right. Sometimes that's true, but sometimes all the pasta machines and Orla Kiely mugs in the world won't make things OK. Also  am more confident in my ability to make a lovely house than to consistently hold a meaningful conversation. Socially, a decent meal or a good book is something I know I'm able to offer. In this case I'm hoping that we've made a home to complement our course, with a big table for group dinners and work. I'm really happy about that. Nests upstairs, social space downstairs, I think it'll be OK.

See, it's not more adult. It's mildly neurotic. At least I am largely unsentimental about holding onto crap: it's all either useful or beautiful. I've inherited a lot from my grandparents, but fortunately it's a more or less rational time to take it on.

Anyway, it all fitted in the van! Including two freecycled sofas, three desks, and the aforementioned big table. The van didn't crash not even once. We spent all yesterday morning collecting extra furniture from charity shops and Gumtree - the people of Norfolk are lovely - and now the place looks so nearly like a home.

I'm back at my mum's for the night. The new place is lovely, it really is, I just can't quite assimilate the fact I live there yet. Silly, I know, but I feel like I never ever did on the first day of school. When I was four I was so utterly disdainful of the children who cried and wouldn't let their parents leave. Now I just don't want to be dropped off, not yet. Of course, I won't even be dropped off: I shall be going there all by myself.

It's weird not having a home in London any more. I'm going to be nomadic for the week, and then I think I'll just about be ready to go up there and get on with it all.

Sorry this is so navel-gazing. I suppose it's a huge change for me. Living in London was really tough for me - even without considering the massive things that have gone on in my personal circumstances while I've been here - and I know that this move will improve my life in so many ways. I just wasn't aware of how hard I'd find the transition.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: flora poste on Sep 15, 2013, 11:38:57 PM
I should say: the new place is LOVELY. I will be living near some dear old friends and making new ones. I am good enough to be on the course and I love Norwich. I'm so happy and grateful, I'm just a bit frightened at the same time.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Wongy on Sep 16, 2013, 02:03:47 AM
I'm due back in once freshers is over in two weeks. I am now beginning to be terrified! I feel like I scraped through last year on luck and very patient university staff! This year I have to knuckle down, do better than last year in my results, not get life threateningly ill again, not have a drop in CRPS symptoms, keep training for parasport, turn up for work for all my SU receptionist shifts and be a good LGBT rep for the NUS disabled students campaign.

I know I can do it and am just being nervous because I feel like life matters these days. However that I've figured is the terrifying bit; when what I do matters I don't want to then mess up or fail myself. That and there are so many fantastic people who are supporting me either emotionally or physically and I don't want to let them down either.

Gah! I just wish I could fast forward a few weeks and get through the next month to prove to myself that I can manage it without failing anyone or myself.


I also know I should take my own advice but I've always found it easier to give advice, stress for a few days and then take my own advice + others. This is my stressy phase so should be over soon enough I hope!
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Sep 17, 2013, 07:45:21 PM
Fp : I hope the nerves settle a bit soon. Or turn into more enjoyable butterflies, or something. I'm sure they will. The house set-up (nests + social space) sounds completely perfect. :D

Wongy : sounds like you've got a busy year ahead. I hope all the plates keep spinning. :)

Me, I have found a Proper Grownup in my class to be my friend. She doesn't have a child, but she does have a husband, which is sort of similar. We are taking quite a few modules in common. It appears I have one module to choose and I'm a bit dithery : there is the one I'm most drawn to ; the one which would be most relevant to the dissertation I don't particularly want to write but might be committed to because of my funding ; and the one which is sort of relevant to dissertation and sort of appealing, but not the most relevant nor the most appealing. And then there's the one with the big-name slight-idol professor.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Wongy on Sep 17, 2013, 07:47:55 PM
Thanks AN, one shift in and sorted out my unis module fail so feeling a lot more optimistic now! Fingers cross you choose the right module x
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Oct 18, 2013, 08:25:01 AM
^ Thanks. I went for sort-of-relevant-sort-of-appealing and it's actually one of my favourites now, so definitely the right decision. (I also had a browse at the course materials for big-name-slight-idol professor one online and am very OK about not doing that one, too.)

I am kind of overwhelmed atm. A year seems *so* short. I am doing FIVE modules this term. Five ! I'm used to doing three in a YEAR. I felt like having done the work + evening school thing should have trained me in keeping many many balls in the air, but bloody hell, it feels like such a lot of stuff to think about. And I am struggling to find my feet in seminars and I just feel quite dim atm, to be honest. Tired and sluggish. So I have been making the most of my excellent gift of making myself invisible and pretending to be coping. I so much hate being new. And a year is no time to do away with newness.

I had been flirting with the idea of applying for PhD to start next Sept, but there's no way that's going to happen now. I don't have time to read or think enough about it, and I wouldn't have any meaningful referees. That's not the end of the world at all, I'll apply next year, but I still feel a bit meh and lost.

Finally (sorry, me me whinge whinge), I'm unexpectedly feeling a bit disappointed at the Stuff In The Evenings Which I Can't Do. Not the drinky stuff, but the department seminars, and there's a book launch next week I'd love to go to but can't. Atm I have one evening seminar a week as part of my actual course (why would you do that?), so I'm hoping that next term I'll be able to do some of that stuff once my timetable is all daytime.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Wongy on Oct 19, 2013, 04:19:27 PM
hugs x I know the feeling, since term, work and training started I've lost much of what my life was before. I certainly don't get as much time to see friends or go out and do ''other stuff''. However I keep going by reminding myself it'll all be worth it in the end!

/warning rant/

Even if one of my module tutors are a complete and utter horrid person who has the audacity to tell me I'm not focused on doing well in my degree because I'm ''too busy''. I said I was involved with 8 organisations and she immediately presumed I worked hours with each one without checking what I meant. I actually hate her but don't know whether it's petty to ask my course leader to change my tutor group because I know I won't attend those seminars for as long as I have that witch...!

She also always takes up the wheelchair desk as if a single desk is automatically for stuck up silly cows who don't or won't talk respectfully to younger white students (the people her age and skin colour seem to get on fabulously which also truly pisses me off).

That particular issue and overture of racism notwithstanding I'm really not liking her. Fed up of being treated like shit by people who don't take the time to actually talk to me because of some prior notion that I'm obviously not going to try - going by what I have no idea though!

Also fed up of people thinking I'm 19 or 20 just because I don't look like I've actually lived a life before starting uni or heaven forbid have a life that means I'm not a straight woman studying to support my future family and husband! >:(

The continued heteronormic and homophobic behaviour on my course still terrifies me and makes me not want to be there now. However there are some nice people who make being there worthwhile so I'm not on the point of leaving uni just yet (but have a feeling it won't take much to push me over the edge).

/rant over/
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Fabulous FireHorse on Oct 25, 2013, 12:06:20 AM
hugs x I know the feeling, since term, work and training started I've lost much of what my life was before. I certainly don't get as much time to see friends or go out and do ''other stuff''. However I keep going by reminding myself it'll all be worth it in the end!

/warning rant/

I don't know what year you're in but if it's your final year then hang on in there.

In my final year I was feeling a bit fed up but I gave up everything unrelated to my course to get the most out of it. Even then things didn't go smoothly, but I kept my tutors informed of what I was up to and made it through to the other side with a good grade, so it was 'worth it' as you said. Then there's the question of what you do after the degree ...
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Oct 25, 2013, 08:55:46 AM
Thanks, Wongy. I'm not so much bothered about missing truly extracurricular stuff (I anticipated that), more a bit surprised at how vague the boundaries are for some of these things. Eg the book launch I've just missed - I'm very interested in the book and will eventually read it, but it would have primarily been a fantastic networking opportunity and I sorely need a few of those.

I'm mostly feeling a bit better, largely because I got some very (unexpected) positive feedback on a presentation I gave this week - dependent on external validation, me ? ::) - the key point of which was : you're doing alright, trust your own judgments more. Yeah, right. One day. But that's massively shifted the whole experience for me. Term proper is only four weeks in, but four weeks was quite a long time to believe I was floundering. So that's nice.
It would be even nicer if my personal tutor would reply to my email request to meet non-urgently, though. :-\ How long do I leave it before checking she actually got the email ? Any ideas v welcome. I do not want to harass, I'm sure she's busy. I am kicking myself for the inclusion of 'non urgent'. But she also might not have received it, or forgotten about it.

I hope you can sort things out with your module tutor, Wongy. How big a deal is it if your relationship with her doesn't work ?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Wongy on Oct 26, 2013, 07:13:09 AM
Fingers crossed you get a reply soon! Might be worth messaging again and asking whether you could see her within a specific timeframe?

Not much as my course leader allowed me to change classes. However it's just a bummer that there's an entire class of people that don't particularly get on with me and a tutor that seems to think I can't be bothered. Then again I can't be happy about everything in my life at any one time can I?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Miaow on Dec 14, 2013, 09:01:43 AM

Is 49/50 too old to start an MPhil-PhD? and still be on track for a career as a lecturer/senior lecturer in HE?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Dec 14, 2013, 01:19:06 PM
I would imagine it varies enormously by institution and subject. My mum has just this year got her first job as a lecturer, at 51 and without having even started her PhD. But she's teaching the job she has 30 years' experience of.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Didymus on Jan 14, 2014, 09:48:52 PM
I've realised I'm not learning effectively, I can't work out how to make the best use of my time to study, how to decide what is relevant and what isn't and how to make it all stick.

If anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them...
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Kirin on Jan 14, 2014, 11:32:07 PM
Hey Mental Elf
No specific tips I'm afraid but there's a plethora of online guides on university websites and most unis run study skills sessions. Here's a couple to get you started
http://www.brad.ac.uk/management/els/elsbooklets/
http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/studyadvice/StudyResources/sta-index.aspx
Google study skills resources ac.uk for more. Best of luck and stick with it!
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Musette on Jan 15, 2014, 03:13:11 PM
I've realised I'm not learning effectively, I can't work out how to make the best use of my time to study, how to decide what is relevant and what isn't and how to make it all stick.

If anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them...

The answer is simple: you need to set it all to music :D

I suspect Kirin's advice may be more practical... :-\ :-*
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: valerie on Jan 15, 2014, 03:26:27 PM
I find creating schedules help
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Underdog on Jan 15, 2014, 09:33:42 PM
I'm finding this tough because I'm 30 and have been out of education for so long. I'm trying my best though... Doing an MA and I got 68% on my first essay so I hope to push it up a few points.

Being broke I'm used to, having lived in London five years... Though most people are a lot younger than me and I'm used to having friends mostly in their fourties and fifties... It's a lot to adjust to.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Didymus on Jan 15, 2014, 10:28:32 PM
Thanks all, I have scheduled what I'm going to do and when for the forthcoming week and I have a study skills book which I have revisited. It just seems like so much to remember!

Ach, I'm sure I'll get there in the end!

Underdog, like you I was in my 30's when I started my degree (first proper studying since mt GCSE's!) And it took quite a while to get into the routine. As for being older than others in your class...I'm in a similar position. I go to class and come home. I don't socialise with my peers mainly as many are into drinking and clubbing etc, which I'm not! But in class time, I accept them for what they are and we mainly get on ok. I have to keep reminding myself what I was like when I was 20!
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Dizz on Jan 16, 2014, 08:33:49 AM
Thanks all, I have scheduled what I'm going to do and when for the forthcoming week and I have a study skills book which I have revisited. It just seems like so much to remember!

Ach, I'm sure I'll get there in the end!


You will!  :D
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Apr 05, 2014, 09:02:18 PM
I started this course in September and have been struggling with motivation to get stuff done, but with every hand-in cycle of deadlines it seems to be getting better.  Still frustrating that I am on here now rather than finishing that one damned thing that's been needing doing for months... :(

And the house is no longer a tip but a pit.

But my grades are good :D ::)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Apr 05, 2014, 09:27:04 PM
And the house is no longer a tip but a pit.

Oh, god. I hear you.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Apr 08, 2014, 12:24:01 PM
I seem to have water retention, in a week where I have slept far too little.  My ankles and feet are puffy and I'm heavier than I would expect to be considering how much I have eaten and (not) exercised lately - same as usual, but I am heavier.  This may seem to be an odd place to post this, but I am putting it in here as I strongly suspect it is linked to the deadline-related sleep deprivation. 

Anyone else have any words of warning or advice on this? 

I WANT to work more efficiently/effectively, but apparently not quite enough to stop this kind of behaviour (hiding from the work until the last minute then staying up all night, getting it finished, by hook or by crook, and  - perhaps unfortunately - usually getting a good grade for it as well.  And I am happily exhausted, euphoric even, after handing in a paper/taking an  exam. 

I managed to hand something in 2 eays before the deadline last week, but the way I managed this was not with "normal people's planning" but by accepting that I had to move the deadline forward in order to meet another one as well.  So I still did the staying up all night thing, exactly the same.  I did feel a bit of extra something about it being early though - maybe I can work on that aspect....
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on May 01, 2014, 04:43:04 PM
^ I feel as though I should have something useful to say to this, sleep deprivation and deadlines (usually separately, in my case) being my specialist subjects. But I don't, sorry. I am exactly the same with deadlines, really. - I appear not to be, I'm usually finished noticeably before the official deadline, but that's only because the rocket up my arse is from other external deadlines - multiple deadlines, childcare, etc. Many sympathies.



Well. I had my last (ever?) lecture today. Which feels odd.

I mainly feel weirdly homesick for my old uni. I have, on separate occasions, walked past three lecturers from my old department in the last month or so. My current uni is great in many ways, but I don't feel the same kind of attachment at all.

I am somewhat vague as to how to best divide my time and energy between the seven fairly disparate topics I will be examined on this month. I don't know how many different themes I can hold in my head at any given time - I don't think it's many. I also don't think I can meaningfully revise a whole exam in the 1.5 days between them, so clearly the answer is somewhere between these extremes. (Thoughts on this kind of balancing v v welcome - I think the childcare issue and the brainfog of exhaustion may make me a bit of an atypical case, but in *any* circumstances, I only have experience of three modules per year, so the whole business of this level of compartmentalising is v new to me. I think I must have used some kind of relevant skills when I was an admin in "a multi-project environment", but that was far more reactive than I need to be now.)

I am not panicked, not today anyway. It will be what it will be. I am slowly learning how to navigate compromises. I have been very, very close to walking away on more than one occasion this year. I am extremely pleased not to have done so.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on May 05, 2014, 12:49:45 AM
Hi AN, you did at least make me smile by calling them your 'specialist subjects" ;D

I don't know if you still have time to try this but one of the best tips I have had while studying this time round, well, it wasn't exactly a tip it was a study skill that we were instructed to practice and it really worked:  to squeeze all the really vital facts and figures onto one side of one A4.  A meta-summary of the whole topic.  Obviously you do the real learning in the making of it, in the deciding what you should be trying to remember.  Then when you look at the sheet again the next day or so, you add a bit more detail to the bits where you see a label or abbreviation and think wtf?  The first time I did this we were instructed to take it with us into the exam and hand it in - because the whole point was to make sure we made one in the first place.  It meant I also had a handy crib sheet for last minute revision (erm, no, I'm lying, I mean I ws still adding to it until 5 mins before the exam, but in theory it would have been :)).  Anyway, during the exam I only looked at it twice, because by then I knew what was on it.

But it seems to me that this would be a good way to minimalise the problem of having to hold too many topics in your head at one time.  In the one and a half days before each exam you would be able to revisit your crib sheet and spot the bits that no longer make enough sense, and know that that's what you need to go over a bit better.

Good luck! 

And I am a tad jealous of your 7 exams.  I have about that many pieces of bloody coursework.  I hate coursework :( sigh...

PS. My ankle puffiness went down before I got around to making a doctor's appointment, but I am still after any useful tips from fellow "bad students" as to how you overcame yourself as your own worst enemy :D 
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on May 05, 2014, 08:14:34 AM
Ha. I also had seven pieces of coursework, across the year. You are welcome to the exams!

Thanks very much for your reply. Coincidentally, that's exactly what I'd hit on as being the only viable option, so it is v reassuring to hear that it is a proper, officially sanctioned, method - and that you would recommend it. Hurrah.

I think a lot of the 'own worst enemy' stuff is about perfectionism. I sometimes get so caught up in the perfect essay I want to write, I struggle to begin the actual essay - need to read more and more first, think more and more, write more and more elaborate plans. The best cure I've found for myopia is a total lack of time to indulge it, but that's really no different to a last-minute essay, just a different expression of it.

I'm glad your ankles are sorted.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: flora poste on May 05, 2014, 12:29:57 PM
I think a lot of the 'own worst enemy' stuff is about perfectionism. I sometimes get so caught up in the perfect essay I want to write, I struggle to begin the actual essay - need to read more and more first, think more and more, write more and more elaborate plans. The best cure I've found for myopia is a total lack of time to indulge it, but that's really no different to a last-minute essay, just a different expression of it.

My perfectionism is awful, and I do exactly this perfect-essay thinking-reading-planning-oh-god-it's-due-tomorrow. I have a week til deadline and I have a 2,400-word essay plan and an A4-page list of books I haven't read yet. Some of which I will be unable to obtain anyway.

Heaven help me.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on May 05, 2014, 07:52:16 PM
yup, I agree it's perfectionism-related. 

AN, it's not a comparison in the sense that your course is at a higher level than mine, but in terms of how I approach coursework (what was that we were saying about perfectionism?!) then the 9 pieces of coursework I've handed in so far were pretty much the bane of my life.  Before the summer I am kidding myself that I will finish another 8.  The five exams are no real worry to me at this point ;D 

One of my study modules is a complete p*sstake though:  for ONE measley EC I have to hand in a dossier, video myself in class AND do a written exam.  There are only two other modules that are examined in more than one way, and they are worth 3 study points each and "only" use two examining methods each.  For everything else it's usually either an exam or coursework.

I do want to push myself to get this lot cleared before the summer though - I'm trying to get all the college-based stuff out of the way from the second and third year this year to leave me room to concentrate on my work experience.  I want to cram two or three years' worth of that into one year after the summer.  I've been telling myself all year that 6 out of 10 is good enough, but despite racking up the volume I find it really difficult to cut corners with the blooming coursework. 

I've just remembered that I have achieved quite a lot the last week.  I was sinking into despair at all the stuff I didn't manage in my week "off" but actually I finished something not for college as well, that's been hanging over me for over a year.  Sigh.  Onwards and upwards.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on May 17, 2014, 10:56:55 PM
Ugh, I hate (the idea of) all that non-standard style assessment. The video bit especially fills me with horror!

You were right, btw: so far I am finding exams much less stressy than coursework. I can't properly explain or justify this, but I am grateful for it. They feel much more self-contained, somehow. Or perhaps its simply that I underestimated the demands of coursework, and haven't underestimated exams. Who knows. They're not in any way easy, and I have been briefly and intermittently plagued with 'shit, why did I forget to include xyz' after each of them, but they still feel far more manageable. I suppose there is no way to get intimidated by Perfect Unwritten Essay when you've only got 60 minutes to write the far-less-perfect version. Either way, this is tentatively good.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Jun 26, 2014, 12:08:10 PM
Y'know, I feel more like an IMmature student at times, sigh.  I still have two vital things to hand in by Tuesday.  Aaaargh :(

But I had a fab time yesterday at a symposium plus inauguration speech of the guy who oversees my final year research in principle.  I may get to talk to him about it for real I think, which would be great.  But first these two pieces of 1st year coursework or I'll be chucked off, despite all the extra stuff I've done.

Toodle pip!

Have you finished for this year AN? And does that mean you've finished altogether? How are you?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Jun 26, 2014, 09:22:47 PM
Yeah, there's something I find very disappointing every time I have to separate 'need to' from 'want to' in that way. But also, how nice to have had such a good time at the symposium thingy, that's the perfect start for a week which involves two deadlines. :)

I am three weeks post exams. It seems to have taken me most of these three weeks to recover - I really felt very very hungover for quite a long time, and realised how much I'd been running on adrenalin (and caffeine, and sugar) for the whole month of May. If not longer. But now I am feeling much recovered and am starting on my dissertation, which is just as well - having now consulted the nursery closure dates I realise I really only have 6-8 weeks in which to do it. I feel very lucky that I'm not having to combine it with any paid work, so it's not anywhere near an impossible task, but it is still going to be rather substantial I suppose.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Jun 27, 2014, 11:21:39 AM
Recovery will be necessary here too I think.  Though I keep forgetting that when I am through these grueling weeks my recovery is already planned!  We are getting two weeks child free, woohoo!  I need to do a lot of reading while I'm on holiday but will stick to the English lit books rather than course books.  I have a cunning plan for how to keep my kindle out of the heat in the south of France, haha ;D

So is your dissertation the last thing you have to do for...is it an MSc you're doing?  And is it a bad question to ask if you're going to keep studying after that? ;D.

I have two bits of good news here: I handed in one of the two files I have to hand in yesterday, solo relieved, and now I am about to get started on phase two of the second one.  The deadline is Tuesday but I hope to get it in "early". 

And my younger son has passed the year and will be allowed to do his school leaving exams next year after all.  He has been working his socks off to undo the damage done by inertia throughout this year, and it finally paid off  ;D

So it's just me and older son still hard at it, hopefully within 5 days we'll all be celebrating.  Son the younger is proudly phoning grandparents AND he thought of this himself :D. Proud mum on two counts!

But I am procrastinating again.  Ooh! I read something VERY interesting about academic procrastination the other day, it's Dutch research but written up in English.  I'll IM you, AN.  If anyone else wants to know more, IM me.

So AFTER IM-ing you I 'll crack on :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Cailleach on Jun 27, 2014, 11:40:15 AM
Ooh, can I have the academic procrastination research?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Jun 27, 2014, 12:48:30 PM
I only know how to email it to you.  Send me your email address by IM and I'll send it to you.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Cailleach on Jun 27, 2014, 12:56:30 PM
Thank you - done :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Jun 27, 2014, 02:43:22 PM
That's especially brilliant news about your younger son - for the result, and also for the maturity and determination to come back from behind like that. So congrats to you on the one piece of your own work handed in (ahead of schedule?) and on impressive child-raising (raising-of-impressive-child), and good luck with the last bits for you and your eldest.

Yes, just the dissertation then my MSc is done. I hand in the final draft mid-Sept. I would absolutely love to go onto a PhD... But, barring a small miracle, I'm probably looking at preparing an application this autumn for entry autumn 2015. I could only do it on full funding so it may well turn out to be a bit of a pipe dream, but it's a pipe dream worth exploring before I throw myself into any plan b, I reckon.

Your planned recovery sounds perfect. As well as well earned. :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Cailleach on Jun 27, 2014, 02:48:21 PM
That's especially brilliant news about your younger son - for the result, and also for the maturity and determination to come back from behind like that. So congrats to you on the one piece of your own work handed in (ahead of schedule?) and on impressive child-raising (raising-of-impressive-child), and good luck with the last bits for you and your eldest.

[...]

Your planned recovery sounds perfect. As well as well earned. :)

Do you know, sometimes, I read someone's post and think, yes, that's what I was meant to write. Instead of just 'can I have that?'  :-[
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: animalnitrate on Jun 27, 2014, 02:52:14 PM
That's especially brilliant news about your younger son - for the result, and also for the maturity and determination to come back from behind like that. So congrats to you on the one piece of your own work handed in (ahead of schedule?) and on impressive child-raising (raising-of-impressive-child), and good luck with the last bits for you and your eldest.

[...]

Your planned recovery sounds perfect. As well as well earned. :)

Do you know, sometimes, I read someone's post and think, yes, that's what I was meant to write. Instead of just 'can I have that?'  :-[

Heh. But of course, I had first replied to lfl's IM saying 'ooh yes please, gimme gimme gimme!' too. :-[
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Cailleach on Jun 27, 2014, 02:53:58 PM
^ At least you rectified....
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Jul 23, 2014, 10:07:30 PM
Sorry I didn't come back here earlier, I did manage to get everything in "on time" ... Actually things are much more flexible here than I was used to during my first degree (in the UK), and they actually accepted a final version from me that I finished two hours after handing in something horribly unfinished in time for the official deadline.  I find it quite disturbing that I sailed so/too close to the wind on this one, but this phase is behind me now and I hope that there's no similar situation in the coming year.  I had put myself in a strange all or nothing/ double or quit situation: everything was hanging on one last first year piece of coursework- fail it and leave, effectively with nothing, or pass it and all my marks would be valid - a total of 147 ECs (don't know if you use ECs but 60 ECs is one full year).  Scary that I came so close to messing up so much hard work :(

Son the elder has also been given a possible reprieve... If he manages to spend the summer revising and passes two exams on the first day of term, he'll be allowed to do his final school leaving exams at his current school. 

And the holiday was bloody marvellous!

Btw Hag, your posts made me laugh, don't beat yourself up :). And I think I could have done that too, which is probably why I found them funny  :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: valerie on Aug 20, 2014, 08:28:51 PM
we never stop learning. I learned some cool salsa steps which is of paramount importance in south Florida
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Aug 25, 2014, 05:48:17 PM
Whooooooooooooooh, sitting here at college preparing to sort out my locker problem (I stuffed my bag in and it only just fitted and now the electronic release is stuck.... ::). And then I'll be wrapping up against the rain and setting off for home.  It's been a long day but term has now really started and that feels good. :)

Only managed to hand in one of the two extra essays I wanted to get out of the way, but that's ok.  It means I'm already firing on all cylinders from the word go, even if I didn't manage that during the holidays.  And I taught my first lesson at my new work placement school today, and that went worse than I had hoped but better than my supervisor was prepared for based on previous starters.  So that's rather good. And I did phase 1 of sorting out the school "library" which is now in a slightly less sorry state.

And tomorrow my sister's coming to visit, yay  :D. Happy exhausted now.  Stayed up all night trying to get motivated to finish the thing I handed in today.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: sherb.. on Sep 03, 2014, 01:01:30 PM
I go back to school tonight ready for new things
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Didymus on Sep 08, 2014, 12:28:25 PM
I can't wait to go back to Uni and the start of my final year. It will be tough but I am looking forward to really getting to grips and developing ready for being let loose on the unsuspecting public!  :D
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Dizz on Sep 08, 2014, 12:37:21 PM
Your last year will fly. And then the public will be at your mercy.  ;)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Didymus on Sep 08, 2014, 03:41:49 PM
^ Poor public. I feel a bit sorry for them actually...  ;)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: InMyHoodie on Sep 09, 2014, 01:20:36 PM
 :'( failed two modules, re-took them this summer and i flopped one module. bad times :'(

have a meeting on Thursday, for my other module hopefully i pass that one.

and it's my final year.  :'(

so so so LONG!!

Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Nov 04, 2014, 11:52:28 AM
How's it going now, Inmyhoodie?

I has deadlines, hence on GB ::)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: flora poste on Nov 04, 2014, 01:17:13 PM
I need to show off that my mature-student partner has graduated with first-class honours and two prizes. What a star.

Myself, just-graduated: urrrrgggghhhh. The working world is just as I left it. Suddenly regretting having wished my dissertation period away. My tutor has told me I'll be very pleased with my dissertation mark, though. And I have 5 potential agents to choose from - unless, of course, after seeing my final book they un-choose me.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Nov 04, 2014, 02:47:14 PM
Hey, congratulations both!

Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: flora poste on Nov 04, 2014, 02:51:36 PM
I am delighted  :D apart from the being unemployed bit, which is miserable. Theoretically it should give me time to finish my project, but I am working for free too... I'm on the right track though.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Didymus on Nov 19, 2014, 01:13:54 PM
Congrats Fora Poste! :)

I need to have a moan. I am struggling with my dissertation. I feel totally overwhelmed with the sheer volume of reading and deciding what is and isn't relevant. I have tried breaking it down so it's more manageable but I still feel like I am getting nowhere fast - plus, I'm worried that I won't be able to find enough relevant studies to use, as most of what I've got I think it's relevant.

Gawd!
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Nov 23, 2014, 05:35:37 PM
Congrats Fora Poste! :)

I need to have a moan. I am struggling with my dissertation. I feel totally overwhelmed with the sheer volume of reading and deciding what is and isn't relevant. I have tried breaking it down so it's more manageable but I still feel like I am getting nowhere fast - plus, I'm worried that I won't be able to find enough relevant studies to use, as most of what I've got I think it's relevant.

Gawd!

Moan away, that's what we're here for ;D

And possibly for dishing out not-quite requested advice?

The course I'm on is big on study skills.  For writing up literature research we get told to start with making notes in a grid:

What is your main question?  Are there any sub-questions?  Then per question you might have a couple of relevant themes.  Your questions and/or themes go down the left hand side.  Along the top you have the sources you're using.  In BRIEF you note what each source has to say about each theme/topic.  Obviously not all your sources will say things about everything.

The advantages of the grid are (at least) threefold:
1: you have a master plan of what's going on in your head research so far.
2: you can see if your reading is in line with what you thought you were researching.  If there's no box to write important stuff in you bung that in a list at the bottom called "possibly also useful/interesting".  If you have too many empty boxes you need to find more sources.  Still too many empty boxes and a growing list of possibly useful, maybe you should consider changing the focus of your thesis, if that's still allowed.  In any case, you have something quite clear to take to a discussion with your supervisor.
3: when it comes to writing stuff up, you can use your grid as an essay plan for the bit where you explain how you approached your research.


(Sorry if my terminology is crap, I learned this in Dutch and last time I studied in the UK the best advice I got used high-tech terms like "linked boxes", aka paragraphs...)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Cailleach on Nov 23, 2014, 05:47:16 PM
That ^ sounds very useful.

I am no longer a student. And if I want to do a PhD next year, it looks as though I have about a week to put an application together. Hmm.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Nov 23, 2014, 07:30:52 PM
Pleased to be of (possible) assistance, Hag.

And,

What are you waiting for?  Get on with it!! ;D

Of course, not all roads lead to Rome by the same route.... Alternative methods, anyone?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Scully on Nov 23, 2014, 07:33:31 PM
Did you get your distinction, Hag?

A student at school said there's a really useful app called RefMe for referencing.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Nov 23, 2014, 07:52:27 PM

A student at school said there's a really useful app called RefMe for referencing.

Later versions of word have a built-in referencing tool, it's fab.  It needs keeping in line a little bit, but that's nothing compared with all the careful typing of full stops and commas in the right places I used to have to do. 
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Cailleach on Nov 23, 2014, 08:18:58 PM
I don't get my results 'til next week. Thanks for asking.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Didymus on Nov 23, 2014, 09:28:56 PM
Yes, thank you LfL - I shall give it a try!

How on earth do you fit it all on one page though?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Scully on Nov 23, 2014, 09:55:49 PM
Did your exhibition go well?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Cailleach on Nov 23, 2014, 10:07:03 PM
Yes thank you.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Scully on Nov 23, 2014, 10:07:46 PM
Good, glad to hear it.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Nov 24, 2014, 07:25:58 AM
Yes, thank you LfL - I shall give it a try!

How on earth do you fit it all on one page though?

Excel 8). Or flip chart paper if you prefer to work by hand.  Or keep adding more paper with sellotape ;D.  If you work in excel and print it out, you'll need to stick the pages together or make the print so tiny you'll need a magnifying glass.

We've been practicing with things that only have 5-10 sources.  I wonder if for The Big One it would make more sense to have the questions/themes along the top and the sources down the side.  It'll end up looking like Santa's list, how appropriate for an Elf :D

What other methods have you tried?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Didymus on Nov 24, 2014, 07:51:10 PM
Heh, yes it's definitely going to be a long one!

Previously I tried just making notes in the margin of the studies - useless for referring back to unless you want to trawl through lots of paper. Then I used separate bits of paper for each theme and made notes according to the theme, again, lots of bits of paper.

I am trying your suggestion and so far I think it is the best option I have tried! I have themes along the top and authors along the side. Have filled out info for seven studies so far and it does make it much easier to see what I have :)

So thank you very much for the suggestion!
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Cailleach on Nov 25, 2014, 06:51:09 PM
*coughdistinctioncough*
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Scully on Nov 25, 2014, 07:37:51 PM
Well done.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Vagabond on Nov 25, 2014, 07:42:20 PM
*coughdistinctioncough*

CONGRATULATIONS
[/color]
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Quack on Nov 25, 2014, 07:46:15 PM
*coughdistinctioncough*

 ;D
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: dukovearl on Nov 25, 2014, 07:46:33 PM
Congratulations Haglet  :D
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: flora poste on Nov 25, 2014, 07:53:48 PM
ERM WOW!

Congratulations! That is fantastic and wonderful news.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Cailleach on Nov 25, 2014, 07:59:27 PM
:D  ;D  :D  ;D  :D  ;D  :D  ;D
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Amaury on Nov 26, 2014, 07:49:36 AM
Well done !
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Nov 26, 2014, 02:37:23 PM
Wow, Hag, that's brilliant!
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Cailleach on Nov 26, 2014, 07:16:46 PM
Thank you :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: PearlD1va on Nov 29, 2014, 03:02:01 PM
Congrats Hag, and to everyone who has achieved their goal. :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Bizoute on Nov 29, 2014, 07:07:10 PM
Mazal tov, Hag and FP. Amazing!

I have a question: does anyone have experience of doing an M.A/Msc without having done a B.A first? Years ago I started and didn't complete a B.A. I'm now considering applying for either an M.A or an Msc in the future. I'm not in a hurry, not least because one course I'm interested in no longer has options for applying for funding; the other would involve taking out a business loan. (Yeuch).

I've liaised with the convenors of the two courses I'm considering  and they were open to considering me, even though I'm without a B.A, so that much is good. My main concern is that my academic muscles might be awfully rusty and that it might be quite a big jump to a Master's qualification. So...yeah. Any experiences of this are welcome.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Scully on Nov 30, 2014, 11:02:56 PM
Hag does. I'm sure she'll help.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Dec 01, 2014, 09:01:16 AM
Bizoute,

I'm having to do a B Ed before I can do an MA so it's not the same, but I also dropped out of my first BA course and finished it with the OU about 7 years later. 

If part of the reason for dropping out was in an way study skills related I can highly recommend the OU as a way back in.  Sounds like you have some time before starting the MA, so a BA level course on a topic  that interests you (and is relevant to the MA/MSc area you are considering?) might be a good way to "limber up".

I agree that 0-MA in 60 seconds might be tricky if you don't get your hand in first with something else, not so much from the brain power side of things (you know a lot more about all sorts than when you were a student before) but from the organisation/expressing yourself in extended and academic writing side.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Bizoute on Dec 01, 2014, 12:54:08 PM
That's food for thought, thank you.

I suspect there wouldn't be an OU course overly relevant to the Master's courses I'm considering (they're both in therapeutic disciplines). I'll think about that idea, though.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Willa on Dec 01, 2014, 01:31:35 PM
 I don't have experience of this either but in the past I've helped healthcare workers find resources for course assignments; they've had a wealth of practical work experience but were lost when it came to researching topics, finding books, articles etc. I second Lust for Life's suggestion to try to do a degree level short course, also to just get into student mentality, read current journals in the field and tackle a few sample topics, actually writing down your answers. I know people who have done a Masters in a year whilst working part-time and they found it very tough in terms of time-management. But if the convenors are open to accepting you, that's a good sign, exciting stuff  :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Dec 01, 2014, 02:22:37 PM
Bizoute, I think " is interesting"  is more important than " is relevant to your MA" in any case :)

Willa, does your board name have anything to do with Willa Cather? :D
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Bizoute on Dec 01, 2014, 03:48:04 PM
Aha, this is good advice. I'll definitely consider an OU short course.

To some degree, I'm used to writing and research (I'm a freelance writer). However, I feel so, so out of the habit of writing several thousand word essays and so on.

Both courses are three year M.As, so a big commitment (and I'd be working at the same time). I feel like I have a lot of life experience related to both courses (in terms of work I've done, courses I've taken and so on) ... which is why they are willing to consider me, I think.  However, the other aspects make me feel nervous. I don't want to jump in out my depth.

So...I'll think on it. I like having them around as possibilities for now. For one of the courses I still need to obtain a counselling qualification first, anyway.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Willa on Dec 01, 2014, 08:49:51 PM
Willa, does your board name have anything to do with Willa Cather? :D

Yes  :) her novels aren't the cheeriest but I love her writing.

I think you'll be fine Bizoute but hopefully someone who's done something similar will come on to give you encouragement  :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Cailleach on Dec 02, 2014, 12:52:26 PM
Hag does. I'm sure she'll help.

I did a BA first. I'm pretty sure you know that.

Bizoute, my MA is in a different subject to my BA... And there were aspects that were probably a steeper learning curve because of that, but still doable. I think you do lots of writing anyway? So probably you would manage, but if you are worried, maybe ask to speak to the tutors about your concerns? You could ask to see an example assignment or something?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Bizoute on Dec 02, 2014, 05:55:09 PM
^These are good ideas, thanks.

Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Scully on Dec 02, 2014, 08:26:36 PM
Hag does. I'm sure she'll help.

I did a BA first. I'm pretty sure you know that.

I thought you'd not finished it. It must have been another masters you didn't finish. I'd forgotten. Apologies.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Dec 03, 2014, 02:27:24 PM
Willa, does your board name have anything to do with Willa Cather? :D

Yes  :) her novels aren't the cheeriest but I love her writing.


Cool  :D  I only "discovered" her books in the last year or two but have been recommending them to all and sundry ever since!
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Dec 03, 2014, 04:34:14 PM
Procrastination:

I read this article recently and thought of all of you:
http://www.structuredprocrastination.com/ (http://www.structuredprocrastination.com/)

 :D

Omg, thank you, Scarlet Bea, for posting this way back when!  I am really struggling to get motivated and am getting knotted up with stress (not that I expect you to personally relate to this, SB ;D ).  I read this and felt the stress just flow away.   

I am now going to make a to-do list instead of finishing my Big Important Thing To Hand In.  In fact, the to-do list is so important, vital, in fact, that I may just tinker with the essay thing first....
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Porridge on Dec 07, 2014, 05:57:44 PM
*coughdistinctioncough*

I'm not a mature student, so I generally skip this thread.  I'd have missed this if I hadn't peeked in.

Huge congratulations!   :D  Very well done indeed!
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lodjur on Dec 08, 2014, 03:09:51 PM
I'm thinking about joining the ranks of mature students... and you have told a lot of amazing personal experiences!  :D

Now, I will always be a full time worker so I would like to ask you how employers deals with skipping a few days of work because of exams. I wonder if it's something like "you have already your holidays and you also disappear X days in a row from time to time".

I think that one has to study if she likes to, especially because we all have our busy lives, but how a degree, in itself, change your job prospects? Did you find any difference? It is true only for specific degrees like the ones that are a must if you want to a given profession?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Cailleach on Dec 08, 2014, 11:57:23 PM
My degrees are entirely useless.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Dec 09, 2014, 05:14:36 PM
I'm thinking about joining the ranks of mature students... and you have told a lot of amazing personal experiences!  :D

Now, I will always be a full time worker so I would like to ask you how employers deals with skipping a few days of work because of exams. I wonder if it's something like "you have already your holidays and you also disappear X days in a row from time to time".

I think that one has to study if she likes to, especially because we all have our busy lives, but how a degree, in itself, change your job prospects? Did you find any difference? It is true only for specific degrees like the ones that are a must if you want to a given profession?

I am doing a part-time vocational degree.  I cut my hours by choice to allow myself the time to do this.  It will definitely help my job prospects (teaching).  Other fellow students manage to work a lot more hours than I do, but they are taking longer ofer the course than I am.  it's swings and roundabouts.

My wife did an MBA which has helped her to get further in her career  - although she still says this is because of the proof she did it, not because she actually learned stuff that made her better at what she does.  Except for discovering a useful button in Word ::).

She worked full-time, and did it through a combination of self-study and residential blocks - 6 x 1 week each year, I think.  It cost her all her holiday allowance plus some unpaid leave (because no-one in the UK gets 6 weeks' holiday from a regular job, do they?).  We had lots of lovely weekends away in those years, to make up for her never having a block of time off for herself.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Vagabond on Dec 09, 2014, 08:42:12 PM
^

I like your planning and approach to this.  Well done and good luck!
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lodjur on Dec 09, 2014, 11:27:53 PM
Iguanas & wife, very good planning!  8)

Btw, is anyone saying that having a degree in itself is useful but the contents of the degree are just to further personal culture? Wit the exception of vocational courses, I mean...
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Dec 14, 2014, 04:22:11 PM
I think both of these statements can be true.  A vocational degree may not add much to your personal development at all, in your head, but will help further your career.

Other degrees may not further your career at all, but be great for your personal growth.

I suspect that Hag's latest was more of the latter.  My wife is the "proud" owner of the former.  Seriously, you know that picture of a wallpaper brush in Microsoft word? She "discovered" that on her MBA course ( this was 9 years ago, I hasten to add, her computer skills are not that bad).  And to this day she is convinced it's the most useful thing she learned on the course.

My vocational course is actually combination of the two types.  It will open doors for me and I am learning some useful stuff too.  And improving some important skills, like planning, dealing with my procrastination, and crowd control aka classroom management).    Hmmmm, on the other hand, my progress in those areas is rather slow :(
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lodjur on Dec 14, 2014, 05:11:28 PM
Thank you Iguanas for the insight!

Lol about the Microsoft word thing, it takes some good natured humour to think of an MBA that way. ^^

I would like to ask you a serious and respectful question: if what you learn in your degree is "just" for your personal growth, why don't you study the topic on your own? I have access to a lot of lists of exams materials (list of subjects, bibliography, etc) from many university sites, if I want a reliable choice of books and a check-up list of the important things to know. Why did you decided to invest a lot of money and put yourself under the stress of an exam with grades given? Does "the title" means something in itself even if your bosses will not care? Is it for the sense of achievement, it has a social implication, or something else?

I honestly wonder about what it means in real life to be good at what you do... is there such a scenario when you are in your 40s and the boss says: "she is so good but she just has her high school diploma, so her career stops here"?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: marzipan gnome on Dec 14, 2014, 07:13:55 PM
Does "the title" means something in itself even if your bosses will not care? Is it for the sense of achievement, it has a social implication, or something else?

I honestly wonder about what it means in real life to be good at what you do... is there such a scenario when you are in your 40s and the boss says: "she is so good but she just has her high school diploma, so her career stops here"?

For me it was an achievement. I was the first in my family to do uni and get a degree.  I also had a real interest in the subject and wanted to study it formally. Reading up on it would not have given me the knowledge and insight I was seeking.

And for many careers you do need a degree - the Govt are making more and more public sector professions accessible only via a degree.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Bizoute on Dec 14, 2014, 07:44:07 PM
At least a Bachelor's degree and ideally a Master's is also very helpful and frequently essential if one ever fancies the idea of teaching English abroad. (The regulations have really tightened up on that, so almost everywhere now requires at least an undergrad degree for that if you want to work legally, and a few countries - the best paid ones - a Master's).
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: marzipan gnome on Dec 14, 2014, 10:33:10 PM
Depends on the degree subject!  With a philosophy degree there is possibly a route or two into teaching, or you may start a different career that require a degree...any subject, they just want a person who has studied to that level.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: pars on Dec 19, 2014, 10:19:05 PM
I think the direct question of translating x degree into y job is a red herring.

For instance, before doing my MA there were jobs and ways of working I had no idea about. I learned how to really push my work, not just come up with idea but learn ways of making it happen, finishing it, and then understanding the process.

It also meant I met totally different people from really different backgrounds.

And the path since then has been up and down. Some nice jobs, some unemployment. No guarantees.

Truth is, I'm not from some dynasty of designers, nobody's dad is going to give me a job, and I'm crap at networking - and so many jobs in my field are awarded on privilege. The MA didn't change that... But I have found some routes I can take, and am somehow, still hanging on doing somehow doing what I want to do.


I think education can open up possibilities, show new routes, change how you perceive, develop those things, and that comes from the interaction with your tutors, other students and others you meet and work with.

Of course you can gain information through self study, and there's a lot to be said for that when you want to know how to do something, learn a topic.

But I feel being there and participating is valuable, but then I need a class to do yoga otherwise I just won't do it.

Is it worth the debt? I don't know.

It's certainly worth spending two or three weeks going through the Higher Education funding guide and several days on each funding application.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Riggas on Dec 22, 2014, 08:04:09 PM
Hello everyone  :)

I'm new here and I just wanted to say hello to this thread because I'm a mature student (design, RCA) and maybe once I've settled in a bit I might have useful stuff to say.

For now, though, I completely agree with pars. I don't think it's the letters after your name or the certificate that's important, it's the knowledge (not all of it taught) and contacts you gain. What you use them for is entirely down to you, but IMO mat students have a bit of an advantage over the kiddies here. Life experience can really help when it comes to recognising opportunities, especially the ones off to one side that others haven't spotted yet.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lodjur on Jan 01, 2015, 03:36:34 PM
Is it impossible to move to the UK without a degree, because you will only find manual jobs?
I'll get my degree anyway but I'm not ok with waiting years before moving.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: marzipan gnome on Jan 01, 2015, 04:28:21 PM
what type of work do you want to do in the UK?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lodjur on Jan 01, 2015, 08:04:58 PM
I'm a college dropout so I have a bit of college education, and so far I've worked 7 years, mostly as an administrative assistant before switching recently to customer relations.

I want to sort out things and create tailor made solutions for customers from different cultures. I'm quite knowledgeable about that. But I also need to work in tricky situations.

Oh, and I have received warnings about the real life pronunciation of British English: it's like you have a good international pronunciation and then you land in the UK and you don't understand anything anymore. True or false?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: marzipan gnome on Jan 01, 2015, 08:23:35 PM
maybe I am misunderstanding the actual job role you refer to but it sounds to me as if its broadly customer relations.  Like any of us our first jobs often are our stepping stones to the actual job we want.  You certainly do not require a degree to work in customer relations arena. I would think getting here and getting a foot in the door is the way to go - even if to you that foot in the door is too much like manual labour!

I would not concern yourself about Brit English.  Like any country we have dialects, accents, slang ...we are more likely to understand a non native English speaker than someone from the other end of the country.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lodjur on Jan 01, 2015, 10:20:53 PM
Thank you, I totally agree with your attitude!

Maybe it's a misconception, but I have heard many times that the cost of living in London is very high and that the minumum salary does not allow you to survive, so if you get a manual job you end up living in poor and dangerous neighborhoods.

Basically the idea that I keep hearing is that the job market in London is very competitive and with a degree you have a chance to land a job, otherwise you join the ranks of the third-world expats, unless you just want a seasonal job as a waitress. It feels like an all-or-nothing reasoning and I'm suspicious about that way of thinking, but I have no real idea about how much a degree can affect my job prospects.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: marzipan gnome on Jan 01, 2015, 10:47:41 PM
it is not a misconception alas, but also each individual needs to look at their own set of circumstances.   

The sort of job you have mentioned i would not think having a degree will give you any greater or lesser chance of a job than a Brit.    Most graduates in this country leave university and don't get a so called 'graduate' job and start with those lowly paid foot in the door jobs they assumed were beneath them because they have a degree.

How much do you want to be in London? Is that more important than having a particular type of job?  You seem to be stuck on this one pathway to some mystical job of your dreams!

Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Bizoute on Jan 01, 2015, 10:57:58 PM
It is a bit of a horrible job market at present, even for jobs that shouldn't require a lot of qualifications and London's a very expensive city. I take these both as givens.

However, Lodjur, I guess if I was you I might try a bit of lateral thinking and see where it took me: e.g. could you take on a long-term housesit in London to keep your accommodation costs down? (These can be hard to come by, but aren't impossible. You'd pay utility bills, but not rent. If you're curious, google should bring you up in-depth info about housesitting). Or if you start a degree, is there any possibility for a year of study in London? (Not sure if this really exists beyond Erasmus courses?).

Etc.

Good luck.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: nismat on Jan 01, 2015, 11:37:41 PM
My New Year's resolution to make 2015 the year that I think seriously about studying to become a midwife (or possibly an antenatal teacher) led to me idly Googling midwifery degrees. Only to find out that I need to apply via UCAS byn15th January to be considered for courses starting in September. Yikes!!!
I have been out of education (or indeed training of any certificated kind) for over 20 years, since completing my degree. I am concerned about a) essays/coursework, b) juggling studying and course placements (on shift patterns) with family life for 3 years (and then the rest). But I do think that I would find it very fulfilling (I already do a lot of voluntary work with expectant and new parents/babies - I figure that it would make sense to actually earn a living from something so enjoyable and worthwhile.

It seems that I need to think about this seriously, and fast.
Any particular things that you think that I should consider, or useful tips?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: marzipan gnome on Jan 02, 2015, 12:00:49 AM
Cool job and harder than my silly students realise and competitive entry. So first do you have the entry requirements?  And how long ago did you achieve them?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: nismat on Jan 02, 2015, 12:48:03 AM
Yes, I realise that it will be very hard work, gruelling at times, if I can get in. I'm quite realistic about that, I know it's not all about cuddling babies - hardly any of it!
Qualifications/entry-wise I've got 3 A-levels in Biology, Chemistry and Maths (with statistics), grades A/A/C. Waynback in 1988. (I also got an A in General Studies). I have a BSc hons (2:1) in accountancy, 1992. Nothing formal education-wise since then.
I'm thinking of applying to Anglia Ruskin University (Chelmsford) for practicality of travelling both to study and for placements (I live in Colchester, about 25 miles away). My son is rising 8, and I am lucky enough to have the support of my wife (financially too).
There aren't any additional entry requirements for this course, although I can show my voluntary work (with NCT) as evidence of commitment/interest/experience in this field.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: marzipan gnome on Jan 02, 2015, 01:00:59 AM
It might be worth speaking to admissions tutor regards the length of time since qualifications. They might be fine worse update them through access course.
Also think about your UCAS referee. Universities want to know about a students academic ability for the course so often prefer a college reference. So when I applied for my pgce my reference was from five years previous!
Time is short so heck go for it!  You have plenty of time to make the final decision to retrain or not but as you note not long to sort out your UCAS application.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: marzipan gnome on Jan 02, 2015, 01:08:31 AM
I wish my students recognized its not about cuddling babies. The in vogue career is paediatric nursing. I asked a student why she wanted to become one. 'I get to play with the children and change their bandages'.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: nismat on Jan 02, 2015, 01:24:32 AM
Oh dear ^ there will be surprises ahead then!  :o

Thanks for the advice, I will get in touch with admissions, and ask about a referee. I simply don't have one that could provide evidence of academic ability. But I do have some antenatal teacher referees who know about my ability to work to deadlines/juggle responsibilities etc. transferable skills hopefully!
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Meryl Streep Fan Club on Jan 02, 2015, 10:50:52 AM
Basically the idea that I keep hearing is that the job market in London is very competitive and with a degree you have a chance to land a job, otherwise you join the ranks of the third-world expats, unless you just want a seasonal job as a waitress. It feels like an all-or-nothing reasoning and I'm suspicious about that way of thinking, but I have no real idea about how much a degree can affect my job prospects.

I think that these days, whilst some job will require a degree, or a level of study or experience in a particular topic, several will not.   

Last year (2014) I advertise for an assistant. I had 131 applications to sieve through.  At least 55 were cast aside as people did not actually read the application and rambled on about crap and nonsense. I sifted it down to 8 selected for interview. 4 had degrees and 4 had experience of the workplace, though all different industries to mine.

In the end I took someone with a degree. The degree was irrelevant, but though her application, and how she conducted herself through interview, showed attention to detail, self discipline, ability to apply herself and a whole lot of other skills.  But I could have just have easily have employed someone without a degree if they demonstrated similar relevant skills.

When trying to get your foot in the door of the workplace. Think laterally, study does show ability to apply oneself and a commitment to seeing something through. Continued study (short courses, evening classes, self study) also shows a desire to learn and move forward.

However don't get too bogged down in thinking that you should only apply for jobs in the field you ultimately want to end up in. First and early jobs are just a foot in the door and some concrete on a CV.   

Big companies are also a decent bet as most try to promote from within and will have several career options. So, even a large Accountancy company will have stacks of roles in HR, PR, Customer Relations, Marketing, IT, Information Management, etc, etc. So it is even worth taking the job that involved filling the photocopier!

So, my assistant might not be my assistant for long, but she now has her foot in the door to a very broad spectrum of job opportunities.




Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lodjur on Jan 02, 2015, 11:37:35 AM
a long-term housesit in London
Never heard of before, thank you! I'm doing some research and sounds interesting. ^^

Last year (2014) I advertise for an assistant.
How interesting hear from someone "on the other side". :)
Saves a lot of mind-reading attempts.  ;D
If you were considering to hire me I would definitely want to show you ability to apply myself and see things through, so a degree sounds more appealing to me now.
Didn't thought about big companies and the chance of climbing the ladder through promotions from within! It goes well with my need for recognition and my inborn loyalty. Is there any risk of a gossipy, camarilla-style, unfair competition? In my experience working for self-employed people is safer on that.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Meryl Streep Fan Club on Jan 02, 2015, 02:17:07 PM
Didn't thought about big companies and the chance of climbing the ladder through promotions from within! It goes well with my need for recognition and my inborn loyalty. Is there any risk of a gossipy, camarilla-style, unfair competition? In my experience working for self-employed people is safer on that.

Unfortunately yes, that will happen with internal applications in ALL types of organisations, regardless of size, so no safety on that one with the self employed. I would imagine that if you are working for a very small organisation, and the boss does not take to you, then you are pretty much buggered! Where as with larger organisations, opportunities to move teams are more likely to happen. So, the trick is to make any bias work for you an not against you.  I have been in the workplace for over 30 years. In that time 6/9 jobs and promotions have come through reputation as opposed to open competition and in three cases, being offered jobs without formal interview. That has cut across all industries (in order), local government, blue chip, a small company, voluntary and national government.

However larger companies are more likely to have formal HR departments and policies that attempt to remove any bias and unfair competition. For instance, with the 131 applications I sifted, the HR department pre screened them and all I received was details of academic and previous employment history. I selected my 8 candidates for interview based on that alone. It is unlikely that a small organisation will have that level of pre screening.

One other thing to consider is that larger companies can usually offer more. I worked for a blue chip company for 14 years. During that time they paid for me to go to university. All fees, study time, book allowance, etc. Perhaps I struck lucky, but I did do a lot to manoeuvre myself into where I wanted to be.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Jan 04, 2015, 05:38:32 PM
Yes, I realise that it will be very hard work, gruelling at times, if I can get in. I'm quite realistic about that, I know it's not all about cuddling babies - hardly any of it!
Qualifications/entry-wise I've got 3 A-levels in Biology, Chemistry and Maths (with statistics), grades A/A/C. Waynback in 1988. (I also got an A in General Studies). I have a BSc hons (2:1) in accountancy, 1992. Nothing formal education-wise since then.
I'm thinking of applying to Anglia Ruskin University (Chelmsford) for practicality of travelling both to study and for placements (I live in Colchester, about 25 miles away). My son is rising 8, and I am lucky enough to have the support of my wife (financially too).
There aren't any additional entry requirements for this course, although I can show my voluntary work (with NCT) as evidence of commitment/interest/experience in this field.

Nismat, you have proven academic ability with your a-level and degree grades!  And you write books, to deadlines.  Can they provide a reference?

And good luck! :D
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: nismat on Jan 04, 2015, 09:05:52 PM
Thanks iguanas/lusty  ;)

Yes, I hadn't considered asking for a reference from my publisher, but K suggested this last night.
It's all happening a bit too fast, but maybe that's good. I am known for my excellent proscrastination skills if there isn't a defined deadline  ;D
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: pars on Jan 05, 2015, 09:14:56 PM
Hello everyone  :)

I'm new here and I just wanted to say hello to this thread because I'm a mature student (design, RCA) and maybe once I've settled in a bit I might have useful stuff to say.

For now, though, I completely agree with pars. I don't think it's the letters after your name or the certificate that's important, it's the knowledge (not all of it taught) and contacts you gain. What you use them for is entirely down to you, but IMO mat students have a bit of an advantage over the kiddies here. Life experience can really help when it comes to recognising opportunities, especially the ones off to one side that others haven't spotted yet.

RCA you say? Me too.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: nismat on Jan 07, 2015, 12:49:06 AM
So, I'm rapidly moving along the path of submitting my UCAS application.
I called the admissions department today at Anglia Ruskin. They said that the length of time since the qualifications isn't a problem, but obviously to cover it off in the personal statement (only 4,000 characters -cripes, will have to be very succinct!). And they said that the NCT reference would be more relevant than my publisher. I've asked her and she is willing, despite the short time frame.
I've done my UCAS application bar the personal statement - which I'll start working on tomorrow! Mind map time...
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Jan 07, 2015, 08:12:47 AM
Nismat,

Draft, redraft, and keep redrafting :)

At school this was called the " I am great paragraph".  Remember that and take out every "quite" and "rather" and "fairly" etc!

Good luck :-*
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: InMyHoodie on Jan 07, 2015, 07:35:07 PM
How's it going now, Inmyhoodie?

I has deadlines, hence on GB ::)

It's going good, one module to get through and 4 months left.

I have a deadline on 23rd Jan, not even started.  ::)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lodjur on Jan 07, 2015, 07:41:52 PM
Unfortunately yes, that will happen with internal applications in ALL types of organisations, regardless of size, so no safety on that one with the self employed. I would imagine that if you are working for a very small organisation, and the boss does not take to you, then you are pretty much buggered! Where as with larger organisations, opportunities to move teams are more likely to happen. So, the trick is to make any bias work for you an not against you.  I have been in the workplace for over 30 years. In that time 6/9 jobs and promotions have come through reputation as opposed to open competition and in three cases, being offered jobs without formal interview. That has cut across all industries (in order), local government, blue chip, a small company, voluntary and national government.
Thank you very much for your advice.  :)

Quote
During that time they paid for me to go to university. All fees, study time, book allowance, etc. Perhaps I struck lucky, but I did do a lot to manoeuvre myself into where I wanted to be.
I do not doubt for a sec that it was your credit what you got, still it's a luxury chance! Never heard that before! ^^

Well, I'm going to save some money this first half of the year because I don't want to ask for a loan, and in the meanwhile I'll think about moving to London. What hold me back now is the fact that education in the UK is so much costlier that I will be safer if I get a Bachelor here first.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: marzipan gnome on Jan 07, 2015, 08:18:28 PM
So, I'm rapidly moving along the path of submitting my UCAS application.
I called the admissions department today at Anglia Ruskin. They said that the length of time since the qualifications isn't a problem, but obviously to cover it off in the personal statement (only 4,000 characters -cripes, will have to be very succinct!). And they said that the NCT reference would be more relevant than my publisher. I've asked her and she is willing, despite the short time frame.
I've done my UCAS application bar the personal statement - which I'll start working on tomorrow! Mind map time...

Thats great news Nismat.  And yes its not many lines - approx 47 for statement and also the reference.  So be selective! And yes cut out the waffle words. 

You will not be surprised that I have had and will have students that literally do nothing aside from their studies and so do not reach 4000 character, yet being in London they get every opportunity going.   And then us teachers struggle writing their reference because again, they have done jack sh*t.  ::)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: flora poste on Jan 08, 2015, 05:47:31 PM
Good luck, Nismat! I hope it all goes well for you. Very exciting.

I'm not applying for a PhD this year  :( which I am really sad about but it's just not going to work. Hopefully next year though. I am applying for various funding and all sorts of jobs and opportunities. So let's see what I can make of the next 18 months.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Cailleach on Jan 08, 2015, 06:56:47 PM
Yes good luck, Nismat.

I came to the same decision FP. It feels kind of disappointing, but also a relief.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: flora poste on Jan 09, 2015, 05:35:28 PM
Yes good luck, Nismat.

I came to the same decision FP. It feels kind of disappointing, but also a relief.

That's a shame. Will you apply another year, do you think?

I am mostly disappointed. It's a relief logistically, and to know I won't have to up sticks again so fast. But I really miss Being A Mature Student. It was good for me. I felt quite comfortable, and confident. Being taken seriously intellectually, and being allowed to push myself in that sense, was brilliant - I felt like a really good version of myself. Part of that had to do with the city I was in, and a way of living/pace of life quite different from London - but a lot of it was the studying, of something I was good at and cared about.

How do people move on after their studies? I guess for a lot of people it's quite a pragmatic thing anyway, but for me it was serious self-realisation stuff. I worked so hard to get on that MA and I feel a bit bereft now.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Cailleach on Jan 09, 2015, 08:59:24 PM
I'm hoping to apply next year for study in 2016. The moving on thing is hard, not that I expected a perfect job or anything. And I think in my field, its going to be a matter of making opportunities to an extent. I've signed up to be mentored though, and submitted to an open exhibition (which I will keep doing ). But sadly I think networking, which I find horrible, is going to be very important :/

Hope something very exciting comes up for you FP :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: nismat on Jan 26, 2015, 03:58:06 PM
I put in my application for midwifery to the 2 local universities (it simply wouldn't be practical to apply for courses any further afield). I heard back via UCAS from the one I really wanted (Anglia Ruskin), with a ""Your application to Anglia Ruskin University for Midwifery has either been unsuccessful, withdrawn or is full. You will no longer be considered for this place."
I called up their helpline to try and get some more info; only way to find out anything about my application is to email the admissions officer, which I have done. I'd hate to think that it was because the course was already full; it hadn't even occurred to me that this could be the case.
Disappointing. The other course has a later entry date (Feb 2016 start), so I'll wait and see what happens with that one, and what answers I get from Anglia Ruskin.
Probably time to think more laterally!
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: horse on Jan 26, 2015, 04:03:14 PM
Oh bad luck Nismat :(
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Malibu on Jan 26, 2015, 05:41:41 PM
I put in my application for midwifery to the 2 local universities (it simply wouldn't be practical to apply for courses any further afield). I heard back via UCAS from the one I really wanted (Anglia Ruskin), with a ""Your application to Anglia Ruskin University for Midwifery has either been unsuccessful, withdrawn or is full. You will no longer be considered for this place."
I called up their helpline to try and get some more info; only way to find out anything about my application is to email the admissions officer, which I have done. I'd hate to think that it was because the course was already full; it hadn't even occurred to me that this could be the case.
Disappointing. The other course has a later entry date (Feb 2016 start), so I'll wait and see what happens with that one, and what answers I get from Anglia Ruskin.
Probably time to think more laterally!
It would be worth getting in touch with them in case it's an administration error, which could probably be put right.

It is a realistic possibility that they stopped taking applications early, because there are hundreds of applicants for every midwifery place at most universities

Finally, if you were unsuccessful, then feedback as to why that was the case is useful, so that you can make changes for next time.

Good luck with the other application :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: nismat on Jan 26, 2015, 09:18:36 PM
Thanks horse and Malak.
Hopefully I will indeed receive some useful feedback  :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Feb 21, 2015, 02:00:18 AM
Had a meeting with my mentor and said I was a bit concerned that I'm so behind schedule.  She said, "but compared to other students you're still way ahead of schedule".

First I did a double take.
Then I thought, "Oh. Technically she's right."
Then I felt relieved.
Then after I left the room I thought, "hey wait, 'other students' haven't got shedloads of transferred credit from slogging my guts out elsewhere in the past.  If I slow down to the same pace as a genuine new-start I have wasted all that" :(

Back to the grindstone tomorrow then!
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: pars on Feb 21, 2015, 11:52:33 PM
Keep going with the funding Flora Poste... It took me a good long while to get it. And the time goes so fast.

My funding finishes in a month.. Then catapulted out into some strange situation of not yet quite finishing, and job hunting too.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Apr 08, 2015, 02:37:29 PM
Anyone else actively studying at the moment?  I am really missing animal nitrate in this thread :-\. I can't be the only one still at it?  Please, someone, come in and tell me you find it hard too?  This year is so much harder than last year  :(

Mental elf?  Though it seems you're going great guns at the moment...  :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: ElectricHippo on Apr 08, 2015, 03:57:41 PM
I'm definitely still going LfL...
Working on my dissertation (meh) and then have another essay, assessment and placement to go.
Qualification is 6 months away!

I am definitely struggling though - I think I am ready for it to all be over now :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: nismat on Apr 08, 2015, 04:44:29 PM
Come September I hope to be.... Although if my new application does succeed, then I need to start doing reading ASAP to prepare myself, for a more rounded study. They've compressed the course length  :-*
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Apr 08, 2015, 05:46:27 PM
Thanks both :-*

I had deadlines for today and tomorrow, didn't manage either. :(

Having a stop the world I want to get off moment  :'(
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: ElectricHippo on Apr 08, 2015, 06:30:27 PM
^ I sympathise - I have that feeling most days!
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Apr 10, 2015, 09:37:51 PM
^ I didn't log back in to say this at the time but this really helped a lot. Thank you!  I wish I could return the favour with rat-bite-removal by remote control or something :-*
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Veni Vidi Vino on Apr 10, 2015, 11:34:01 PM
I quit my job in teaching last August to do a full-time MSc... this after spending the previous year and a half studying part-time for a different MSc. I really must be totally bonkers! I applied for a couple of PhDs for this October, but alas no funding has become available. To be quite honest, I'm actually a little relieved because I've given up SO much to study this far. After my research project (which I'm starting in the next couple of weeks) is done in August I think I might take a little break from education altogether. As a lifer, it remains to be seen how long that'll last!

Anyway, I thought I'd dive in and say hi, as a newbie and as a mature student. It's always nice to know there are others in similar positions. :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: pars on Apr 10, 2015, 11:56:38 PM
Www.Jobs.ac.uk has lots of funded phd positions at the moment..
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: ElectricHippo on Apr 17, 2015, 07:43:18 PM
^ I didn't log back in to say this at the time but this really helped a lot. Thank you!  I wish I could return the favour with rat-bite-removal by remote control or something :-*

Ah, no worries :) How are you getting on?

I have 18 days until my dissertation is due. I want it finished within 10 to allow time for checking and binding.

Tomorrow I must crack on with it - no excuses *sigh*
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Oct 19, 2015, 06:05:15 PM
Ok, who's studying this year?

Tell me I am not the only one... I do have fellow students but we are all working to a deadline of 26 October so I don't want to disturb them.

I say working, but actually I am wasting very precious time and having a stop the world I want to get off "moment".

 :-\

Mutual moral support, anyone?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Mental Elf on Oct 19, 2015, 08:52:33 PM
Well, I'm finished studying but I know how it feels.

Small steps, one thing at a time. Remember you only need to do the next thing. :)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: fp on Oct 19, 2015, 10:19:36 PM
I'm not. But I am finishing a novel, which is basically exactly like writing a thesis. Except no footnotes  :D

I may be checking back in soon - will start applying for a PhD once this bugger of a book is put to bed.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Oct 19, 2015, 10:42:58 PM
Thank you both :-* I am getting somewhere this evening. And I have a plan, thanks to my lovely wife. What kind of a book, fp? Sounds really exciting!
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: fp on Oct 20, 2015, 12:30:20 PM
LFL, I realised I totally left out the part where I said YOU CAN DO IT. I'm sorry, I thought it but I obviously didn't write it down.

The book is a novel set in 18th century London. I don't know if I am in any way correct in comparing finishing it to very late-stage pregnancy but I am definitely experiencing a mixture of "I'm so excited to finally see what you look like!" and "GET OUT OF MY BODY ALREADY THIS IS AWFUL". It's just been longlisted for a really nice prize so I need to get the draft into a decent enough state to be worth sending on for the shortlist.

I empathise with your "stop the world I want to get off" moment, I am doing everything but write. Everything. I also made a very comprehensive and doable plan last night, but I am not currently implementing it. Particularly as part of my plan was to realise I have been totally overthinking, and need to delete about 30k of hard-won words.

I have decamped to my mother's house in an attempt to avoid distractions, but she has non-mature students living next door and they play SO much London grime music SO late into the night, and scream a lot and do karaoke. I hate them. I wish I was them.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Oct 20, 2015, 04:21:13 PM
Thank you :-*

I was going to offer you a knife to kill your darlings with but I'm giving you a saw instead, with all the horror and spinechillingness that that entails. 

I'm thinking Toni Morrison thoughts, is that too much pressure? It's meant to be a strong woman writer supportive gesture :-*

Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: fp on Oct 20, 2015, 06:29:35 PM
I need a chainsaw for these darlings  :'( and that really is the problem, too, I have been looking at these useless useless chapters going, 'gosh, I really have outdone myself in both style and intellect today, these thousands of words don't contribute anything at all but I bet readers will keep reading just for their pure excellence' ...nope. Gotta go.

Thank you  :-* a bit of Toni Morrison energy never goes amiss.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Oct 20, 2015, 07:46:31 PM
Save them in a dumping ground for a rainy day? You might be able to do something else with them one day...
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: nismat on Oct 20, 2015, 10:11:16 PM
Oh fp, that sound exceedingly painful!  :o  :'(
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: fp on Oct 20, 2015, 11:24:53 PM
Oh, it's OK. Just part of the process. All that stuff about how it's an iceberg and whatnot, only 10% is above the water.

I have an outtakes document, but to be honest, I've rarely if ever regretted deleting something.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Oct 21, 2015, 02:26:26 AM
One down, two to go by Monday. I started with the easiest and made a meal of it after all, but still. One down! Feeling chirpy for the first time in days. Phew!
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Oct 28, 2015, 01:44:24 PM
Finished the second and got an extension of 10 days for the third. Life is good!
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: fp on Nov 02, 2015, 06:02:56 PM
Well done, LFL! How are you feeling about your final deadline? More sorted?

In my trauma I forgot to post that I have finished and sent off that novel. Goodness me.

And, three days later, have just spotted the accompanying synopsis still sitting in the printer tray  :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[ bugger!
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Nov 02, 2015, 06:12:04 PM
Oh no! Can you send it on as an email/by post after all? With a covering letter, obviously. You never know, it might turn out for the best to be in two places in someone's  in tray...!

And, massive congrats for finishing the novel!!!!!

And, no, the extension is not going well, I was in tears over everything yesterday but a) my wife and b) my work placement supervisor have helped me a lot. I am not sure if finishing it this week is possible or not, but I haven't actually given up yet! Feeling a bit more positive this evening and nearly there. Have done a couple of other important things to procrastinate and hope to really work on it soon. So why am I on here at all?   I am my own worst enemy, sigh....
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: fp on Nov 02, 2015, 08:09:58 PM
Oh no! you poor thing. Deadlines really suck, especially when they turn up like buses. Thinking calm, productive thoughts for you.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Nov 03, 2015, 09:18:36 PM
Well, I am calm and positive, alongside knackered :)

I have decided that it's not possible to avoid my work responsibilities any longer, which means letting go of this deadline on Thursday after all. Because I've been able to more or less choose when I do each module of my course (because I have so many exemptions), I first went to the lessons for this module in 2013-14. I never got anywhere at all with the research though, as I wasn't even on a work placement yet at that time. The year after, I had the work placement from hell and my supervisor sabotaged the study before I wrote more than two introductory paragraphs to the report itself.

This year, I have a plan, have read the literature, created, scrapped, recreated, rescrapped and recreated my thesis questions, and tested out loads of 'learning interventions' in class. My biggest difficulty was that I did things a bit in the wrong order due to time constraints and being too much of a last minute person. I couldn't bear/manage the headf^ck this time of making the things I had read fit the interventions which I had thought up before reading up enough. Cue many many hours sitting in front of a laptop and not producing the words. I could have gone through the motions and possibly got a pass, but been embarrassed to hand it in. Now the crucial thing is to get the literature search finally written up this weekend, then TWEAK the interventions so they DO fit the theory, redo them, get proper feedback on them, and NOT be in ANY danger of missing the "retake" deadline in January.

Wish me luck! It WILL happen! I did manage this *once* before, finishing something two weeks after the first deadline and technically handing it in "early".
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: outoforder on Nov 05, 2015, 09:19:23 PM
Good luck, Lfl!



I find I forget things, especially if I think the 'thing' is irrelevant to know outside of exams.

And I'm realising that men really are evil. I am probably the best on the course (okay joint tops with a guy I like and who respects me as an equal), but I get overlooked when the others want to know something, or want help (it's a cooperative kind of set up), and it is because they don't see my awesomeness  :P... because I'm a woman. It annoys me, but I'm hoping I will have the last laugh.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Nov 06, 2015, 07:38:54 PM
Thanks!

I didn't realise you were on a course! What in?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: outoforder on Nov 07, 2015, 09:43:57 PM
IT for my sins. I love learning about it, but didn't realise how competitive it would be  :-\

I just wish I could get published and eek a living out of that....life would be so easy..... ;D
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Nov 07, 2015, 10:00:24 PM
One day.... :-*
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Jan 04, 2016, 12:22:01 AM
Well, I am calm and positive, alongside knackered :)

I have decided that it's not possible to avoid my work responsibilities any longer, which means letting go of this deadline on Thursday after all. Because I've been able to more or less choose when I do each module of my course (because I have so many exemptions), I first went to the lessons for this module in 2013-14. I never got anywhere at all with the research though, as I wasn't even on a work placement yet at that time. The year after, I had the work placement from hell and my supervisor sabotaged the study before I wrote more than two introductory paragraphs to the report itself.

This year, I have a plan, have read the literature, created, scrapped, recreated, rescrapped and recreated my thesis questions, and tested out loads of 'learning interventions' in class. My biggest difficulty was that I did things a bit in the wrong order due to time constraints and being too much of a last minute person. I couldn't bear/manage the headf^ck this time of making the things I had read fit the interventions which I had thought up before reading up enough. Cue many many hours sitting in front of a laptop and not producing the words. I could have gone through the motions and possibly got a pass, but been embarrassed to hand it in. Now the crucial thing is to get the literature search finally written up this weekend, then TWEAK the interventions so they DO fit the theory, redo them, get proper feedback on them, and NOT be in ANY danger of missing the "retake" deadline in January.

Wish me luck! It WILL happen! I did manage this *once* before, finishing something two weeks after the first deadline and technically handing it in "early".

God I wish I had done what I was intending to do. I am now in danger of missing the January deadline after all ::)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: VisitingStudentCamden on Jan 19, 2016, 01:30:41 AM
I actually think I am getting more out of my studies being a mature student.

But my progress has been slow... in my fifth year.. but still going.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Jan 19, 2016, 11:20:22 PM
^ oh, absolutely!to both!

I got off to a flying start but the pace has slowed immensely since. If you take into account my transferred credit I won't be finishing early at all, but late. But I am soaking up all sorts of details that would have passed me by 20 years ago.


Eta: I managed the deadline, and passed that module :D what a relief! I lost 8% for spelling and grammar though :(. Luckily I had overdone things as usual so it was still a decent mark.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: pars on Jan 19, 2016, 11:21:40 PM
Checking in. Still a student for another academic year.
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Jan 19, 2016, 11:25:22 PM
Checking in. Still a student for another academic year.

Wehey, it's almost a party in here ;D
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Bewilderbeast on Apr 04, 2016, 04:50:56 PM
Just wanted to recommend this amazing book to anyone doing (or thinking about doing) a PhD. I also think there is a lot there for anyone doing a Masters or any other kind of study that involves producing a dissertation length piece of writing. To be honest I think what it has to say is useful for anyone doing any length of writing that is going to be assessed by someone else but clearly itís PhD students that will get the most out of it.

What I love about it is how it shows you that everyone struggles with writing something that is good enough (or rather knowing if itís good enough) and how just because you have been accepted to do it doesnít mean you have the first clue how on earth to do it (and that thatís ok). I think this applies to any kind of study!

I am now girding my loins to finish my PhD after taking a lot of time off to care for my dad who died last year. I still donít know quite how I got here (I failed all my A Levels at school and didnít start this studying lark until my thirties) or how I am going to finish it but this book has been great.

Anyway if anyone is interested, here is a link: http://www.palgrave.com/us/book/9781137395238
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Apr 04, 2016, 09:04:20 PM
It looks great, Bewilderbeast, thank you for sharing that :)

And good luck with getting stuck back in :-*
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Jun 08, 2016, 03:59:56 PM
I have removed my whingeing of the 8th of June and am replacing it with the following announcement:

I will be taking a break from this thread, hopefully for one academic year, because I passed at bloody last :)

Next round is an MA, but not just yet ;)
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Jun 27, 2018, 12:23:04 PM
Blimey, I did start the MEd a year later, and am nearly at the end of the first year! Doing it part time, so two more years to go. Anyone else studying no or starting in September?
Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Oso on Jul 03, 2018, 04:56:39 PM
^ Wow Thatís an amazing achievement & congratulations on almost completing your first year. Only two more years to go which is far less than when you started  :)

I studied for my degree & MSc part time as a mature student. There were times I felt like I just wanted to jack in both courses with the pressures of juggling studying with the responsibilities of working full time & family responsibilities etc. All the stress seems like a distant memory now.

I think Iím going to go and study Spanish on an evening in September. The course is taught at one of the uni campuses in the city centre next to my office so convenient but Iím not sure about taking on the level of commitment yet.



Title: Re: being a mature student
Post by: Lust for Life on Jul 06, 2018, 12:28:07 AM
Do it! :D