Returning to any form of study after a few years off can be a challenge. Throw in kids, work and everything else, and it can be overwhelming. Returning to University after (insert large number here) years has been an exciting, and sometimes daunting, task. Absorbing new information has come easily to me, remembering how to write academically and structure an essay, not so much.
Being a mature age student does have its advantages. Years of scheduling for others means I am a mean timetabler for readings and assignments (I even invent words!). I don’t always follow my own schedule, (read: kids, work, partner….) but it does outline what needs doing and when, so I’m never too far behind. This is crucial lesson one – know what’s due, when, and how much of the grade it’s worth.
Before semester started I attended an Academic Skills workshop to get me back in the groove. This was the best thing I could have done. I was given great tips on how to take notes, focus my time and lots of other bits of study goodness. There are a whole host of support options available for new and old students, and I have been impressed with how helpful all the staff have been at USC.
Another benefit of being older (and yes I am comfortable with that) is I have a great support network to help me along. So often this is overlooked as a key to being successful, yet it has been proven time and again, that support from friends, family, or from where ever it comes, is vital to doing well. That’s crucial lesson two – you are not alone, so don’t be afraid to ask for help along the way. It’s when you don’t ask that things get hectic.
I love learning and putting new bits of information into my head. Being at University is giving me the chance to be more than I currently am. I don’t have a definite goal in mind, but I plan on enjoying the journey and taking as much from the experience as I possibly can. This time around I’m studying for me. Not because I have to, or because it’s expected of me. I’m interested to see where this path goes simply because it’s fun to be here. Isn’t that the point of education?
P.S. Did I mention my Uni has kangaroos!!!
by Amanda Fiedler – Study Sunshine Coast Student Ambassador