Going back to university after years away: adult students and higher education

All students will need to refocus their minds when they start university and this is the same for mature students who will have to follow the same process. The idea that mature students face a more difficult task isn’t necessarily true, considering that they might have taken on essential skills in their previous educational experiences. In fact, if Plato is right that all knowledge is remembered, then mature students have a practical advantage.

In fact, there are plenty of experience that you can call upon, whether or not you already have a degree.

Don’t let your experience go to waste

You shouldn’t let your previous academic (or other) experience go to waste. Experience is a master teacher and there is no reason why you shouldn’t part with yours whenever possible. If you have stories which relate to your studies, then tell them; especially if you can add an academic tint to it. In fact, activating this prior knowledge and building on it is an excellent learning technique. Going on to write about it will build meaning and will allow you to keep new facts in mind.

Furthermore, don’t discount how helpful old notes might be, whether academic or not. If you have stepped into an academic environment it’s because you have become particularly interested in a given subject, and it is more than likely that you have some form of notes or writing in regard. Pull them out in order to remind yourself why you ventured to complete a degree. Moving forward, you can also compare and contrast your old ideas with the new ones.

Build up your learning techniques

You might have excellent study technique, whether it’s effective note taking, writing summaries, or being able to plan ahead in order to keep on top of deadlines. This shouldn’t mean that you stop brushing up your method. There are more than likely a number of ways in which you can tweak, improve and build upon what you know.

The same is true if you are new to further study. Reading and understanding what you are given might come natural to you but it will all go to waste if you don’t capture that understanding in the right way. Getting up to pace in your first year of university requires some work. Other skills include handling exam pressure, beating writers block, and how to proof read your essay.

Be yourself

At the end of the day, you should be enjoying your university experience – this is fundamental to achieving the best you possibly can. Universities are a hub of information and social activities and you shouldn’t be reluctant to take advantage of both. If you have an interest pursue it, you’ll find that your peers will be more than welcoming.

Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+