Author Topic: being a mature student  (Read 30256 times)

Lexx

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Re: being a mature student
« Reply #15 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.

petalponk

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Re: being a mature student
« Reply #16 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...

Lexx

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Re: being a mature student
« Reply #17 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.

Offline animalnitrate

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Re: being a mature student
« Reply #18 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.

Offline tayto

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Re: being a mature student
« Reply #19 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.

Spoon Boy: Do not try to bend the spoon; that's impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Spoon Boy: There is no spoon. Then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends, only yourself.
From "The Matrix".

pthbbbt

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Re: being a mature student
« Reply #20 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.

redred

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Re: being a mature student
« Reply #21 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.

Offline animalnitrate

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Re: being a mature student
« Reply #22 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

Offline Charlotte Mew

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Re: being a mature student
« Reply #23 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.

redred

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Re: being a mature student
« Reply #24 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.

Offline k1t5un3

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Re: being a mature student
« Reply #25 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!
"The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking." -- Albert Einstein

Offline marzipan gnome

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Re: being a mature student
« Reply #26 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.

Offline Charlotte Mew

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Re: being a mature student
« Reply #27 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?

Offline marzipan gnome

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Re: being a mature student
« Reply #28 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

Rosie

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Re: being a mature student
« Reply #29 on: Jul 23, 2010, 08:18:21 PM »
^wow, congratulations - good luck with the job hunting :)