Reflections of a Mature Student

This week, Nusrat Bi, a Psychology graduate who is currently on our PGCEMP postgrad course, talks about the highs and lows of being a mature student…

As a young 17 year old girl, I applied for paediatric nursing and got accepted at the University of Leeds, St James’ Hospital. However, I decided not to continue my education at that point because I then got married and had my children. Having a daughter with special needs and spending a lot of time in hospitals gave me insight into nursing that I never had. I know now that isn’t the career for me.

Studying Psychology as an A level and finding it overwhelmingly interesting, I knew that I would enjoy studying it further as a degree. Like many mature students, I initially thought that I can’t be up to it, my brain’s gone rusty! I knew, however, that I had a strong desire to develop and discover new passions. When it came to the question of whether to start studying full time again, the reasons to do it far outweighed the reasons not to. During the course I found it really easy to be distracted by everything going on in life, but I always had the end goal in mind, to finish my degree and graduate.

As a mature student, studying was not my whole life, there was so much more going on. Juggling family and Uni study wasn’t always easy, especially with my daughter and having to attend all the hospital appointments she has. I usually studied at home after 9pm, when the kids have gone to sleep. I dealt with all the ups and downs that came with being a parent and studying. It helped that the subject really motivated me and kept me enthusiastic. If I was to give advice to anyone thinking about becoming a mature student it would be to make sure you choose a course that interests you.

To be honest, when I began the course, I wasn’t sure that I would finish, but I think that mature students are a highly motivated group, they start with fire in their belly, knowing what they want out of their course. I too was ‘completely terrified’ at the start of my course, but I always kept the end goal in mind ‘I am going to finish and succeed’. Don’t let age be a barrier; you too will wonder why you didn’t do this sooner.

Many thanks to Nusrat. As always, we are here for all current students and graduates for five years after your studies (whether you are mature or not!), so please get in touch if you have any careers-related queries.