I remember walking on campus during Orientation feeling out of it completely… yes I am a mature age student, part time, family to care for and had not studied for a long time.
I was excited, but a massive ball of nerves. For my friends that know me, they know I am confident, happy go lucky kind of person who isn’t easily put off from a challenge… but this was different.
I had so many thoughts and strange experiences going on in this head of mine… and a few querky mishaps.
- Could I do this?
- What if I fail?
- What if I don’t manage study, work and family?
- Would I make friends?
- Boy I feel old…
- Yep I am lost on campus again – where is that app!
- Am I the only person who prints everything?
- Are they looking at me to open up the classroom… and then a student actually asked me when my class would start – no I am not your lecturer.
And this was just in the first week of uni…
But … I was wrong… all of that worry, and fear was lost for me in that first week.
My younger fellow students were kind, chatty and happy to include me in their study group. I learnt so much from them as they were fresh from Year 12 Science and Chemistry and helped me out big time! In fact it was this study group semester 1, year 1 of my degree that gave me the confidence to go for it! I too had skills to offer them… I am super organised, a great note taker and I have this ability to work out an assessment very quickly, so the love was shared both ways and our group thrived.
So… how are those thoughts going now?
Well take a look!
- Could I do this? – yes I can and I am! If you put in the work and stay on top of things week to week – we have totally got this!
- What if I fail? – There are loads of ways the uni can help me – so don’t fear failure and give it your best shot. Ask for help when you need it – early on!
- What if I don’t manage study, work and family? – Somehow we all do… so what if the ironing piles up when assignments are due and we eat take away once a week now, but my kids love hearing about my day, high five me when my grades come in and they are super proud. Returning to uni has been a positive experience for all of us.
- Would I make friends? Yes I have! Friends of all ages and my younger friends have renewed my energy. I love hearing their stories and learn so much from them about study and life.
- Boy I feel old… Yeah not so much anymore. I feel happy, confident and know I am on the right track with my studies and career.
- Yep I am lost on campus again – where is that app!?! – I still use the ‘lost on campus’ app at the beginning of each semester. But I have found my feet, know where I like to study between classes and where to buy my favourite coffee.
- Am I the only person who prints everything? – Probably mostly (ha ha) but I notice there are a few of us who like to keep a paper train – I recycle I promise!
- Are they looking at me to open up the classroom… this does still happen from time to time… but its just a first week funny now. I am now in my major generally with students that I know well. But I do get a giggle every now and again and it has given me the opportunity to start chatting and make a friend or two.
Getting connected quicky via friends and opportunities around campus was the way I felt at home so quickly here at La Trobe. There are lots of opportunities for you:
MASO – Mature Age Student Organisation – one of the clubs and it is really active with its own lounge area. For more details click here.
Course Specific / Interest Group Student clubs – Check out the LTSU website for the different clubs and ways you can get involved.
Are you a current mature age student? Leave a comment below with your hints on how to get connected and succeed at uni.