Great things about being a mature student at universityChen Wan Lim
Learning is a lifelong process and it’s never too late to enroll in postgraduate courses – this is why open universities exist. It is quite understandable that returning to university as a matured student can be intimidating as your peers could be twice as young as you are. But returning to academia as a matured student has its benefits, as even your younger course mates can benefit from you being around. Here are some great things about being a mature student at university:
- Different view
With substantial years of work experience and wisdom under your belt, you will have the ability as a more matured student to understand and view things differently. Because of your vast experience, you will tend to look at matters from many different angles and be able to interpret issues with multiple solutions. In addition, you will be able to understand lectures in a different way compared with your peers. You might disagree with your lecturers by giving real world examples of past projects you were once a part of.
- Ability to draw ideas from real world experiences
Armed with the ability to look at things from different views, matured students are also able to draw ideas from real world experiences. This is especially crucial during classroom discussions and case study reviews. Theories can be easily explained in class but relating those theories with real work applications might not be so simple. Mature students are then better able to share real world knowledge and to gauge the practicability of the theories discussed in class. Even lecturers could learn from matured students.
- Better relationship with lecturers
Because of the narrower age gap between you and your course lecturers in contrasts with your other younger course mates, you could be able to foster better relationships with them. The closer relationship will allow you to bond better and to be able to pick their brains outside the classroom to have an even deeper understanding on the subjects taught.
- Networking skills
Your networking skills as a matured student is clearly far superior with that of your younger counterparts. You will find that you are better able to approach people more easily and to build relationships with ease – all these come from your real world working experiences. In addition, you will also realise that you are able to network with both the younger and older crowd to reap maximum benefits from both sides.
- Certain of aim and goals
At this point in life, you are almost certain of your aim and goals of signing up for a postgraduate degree. Compared with your peers, their aim and goal would most likely be to equip themselves with as many formal education degrees as possible before slowly embarking on their working lives. However, since you already have significant years of working experience, your main objective of going back to university should be quite clear – to climb greater heights in your career.
- Reflects well on your career goals
Finally, being a matured student reflects well on your career goals. Employers are more likely to look up to you and consider your views more seriously since you have taken the great step of going back to university to further equip yourself. You could even be considered for promotions and be tasked with greater responsibilities once you have completed your postgraduate course