Applying to university as a student aged 21+
Hi, I’m Hina and in this blog I’ll be talking about my experience applying to university at the age of 21, my motivations for doing this and how I found the process.
My life experience before university
After applying to many apprenticeships, I was fortunate to have gotten an interview within the NHS. And after that, I was offered the role of an apprentice healthcare assistant within a palliative care centre. I worked in a hospice supporting individuals who had life-limiting illnesses and were towards the end of their lives. I am extremely grateful for my experience at the hospice, being a part of creating a warm and uplifting environment for wonderful people. I was very happy in my previous role, but it was it was during my apprenticeship that I started to think about where I wanted to be and where I could see myself in the future.
My reasons for applying to university
The application process
I had heard many positive things about the university itself.
The university Applicant Days and Open Days were super interactive and when I spoke to the leader of my course I immediately felt like this was the university for me.
Writing my personal statement
After some thorough research, the structuring and writing of my personal statement took me around a month. Crafting my personal statement was quite fun for me because I genuinely enjoy writing, especially when it is about my passions and the ability to be expressive in my writing.
My top tips for writing your personal statement
- Make sure you allocate enough time to research the best ways to approach your personal statement, using the resources available online and on university communications.
- Create a simple but constructive plan and structure for your statement, so that you don't get confused or lost in all the words once you get started.
- Don't be afraid to be honest. Remember your personal statement is a reflection of yourself, your hobbies and your life experiences. You want to stand out.
Using previous life and work experience to my advantage
My apprenticeship was a key factor in demonstrating that my work and life experience was integral in my development of person-centred skills, highlighting my empathetic nature and a boost in my confidence overall. The transferrable skills I developed and highlighted in my personal statement included effective teamwork and collaboration which I had learned from interacting with the nurses and other health professionals in our team as well as communicating effectively with my manager when necessary. My time management skills were also developed as I had a daily routine which I adhered to. Overall, my personal statement focused on the transferrable skills that I am extremely fortunate to have developed in an NHS care setting, applying them to my aspirations and highlighting that I am keen and willing to learn more.
How it felt applying to uni at the age of 21
I was always aware that I wouldn’t be an 18 year old student who had just completed their A-levels or college course. I’ll admit, I did feel quite nervous about the prospect that I could perhaps be the only 21 year old (or over 18 years of age) student on my course. I was worried that I wouldn’t fit in with the younger students, and that I would find it to be quite overwhelming or difficult to make friends. However, I was pleased to find that my peers were of a variety of ages! We were all at different stages in our lives and our experiences were different. Becoming relaxed within my course group was easy and having a wonderful tutor supporting us was comforting and calming too.
Don't be afraid to apply to university if you're over 21. There is support available for you in the application process and I can guarantee you will be pleasantly surprised by the experience.