Mature student stories
We caught up with a few of our mature students here at Leeds Beckett and asked them to share their own experiences, as well as any advice for others considering going back into education. As you can see, their experiences are overwhelmingly positive, which is great!
At university I am not just someone’s mum…. It has given me back a sense of self
Kate, aged 35
English and History
Having been out of education for 15 years I made the decision to go back to university at the age of 35 for a variety of reasons. Having had my son Elijah and becoming a single parent when he was six months old, I was thrown into the benefit system for the first time in my life. I had previously worked in Veterinary Medicine, and great as it would be to have gone back into it, the clinical/surgical hours are not suited to bringing up a child alone.
I can honestly say the level of support, positivity and empathy for my situation at Leeds Beckett has only grown more with the amazing faculty members I meet. Before I came, I had the inevitable worries. Will I be the oldest on the course? Would the social aspect be a problem with my age? What happens if something (and it inevitably HAS happened) happens in my personal life that interferes with university? The first day put all of my fears to rest.
Leeds Beckett is an entirely inclusive establishment. My course has an age range from 18-69. I have fellow single parents on the course who now EXACTLY what I’m going through. We all have the same deadlines, we all sometimes struggle with our work and that is a great bonding element between any people regardless of age. As a mature student, I can honestly say the challenges are no different than my peers. I have actually found that my life experiences allow me to organise my time better, I prioritise things well, and my work is something that I hold in high regard. At University I am no longer someone’s mum, I am my own person (if only for my contact hours!) and it has given me back a sense of self.
I cannot recommend Leeds Beckett enough, not only for the exciting and vibrant courses they offer, but for the sheer scale of support, motivation and guidance that is offered by every single level in the University.
I couldn’t recommend it enough
Kevin, aged 29
Sport Business Management
I joined Leeds Beckett in 2017, which is something I never expected. I’d played professional rugby league all my life, and after a long injury and my club being relegated, I lost my contract. I realised my career options were limited as I didn’t have any qualifications, so it was the time to seriously consider getting back into education.
I have faced challenges along the way – I still play rugby professionally, which means a lot of training and games on weekends. Alongside my playing rugby and my studies, I have a little boy, so lots of my time is taken looking after him too. I’ve managed to overcome the challenges though. I truly think the tutors I have on my course are just amazing. The lectures are really well prepared and really interesting. The tutors are really easy to talk to, and if you are willing to work hard they offer you so much support to get better marks in the assignments.
In my eyes, being a mature student is a real plus compared to some other students, as at 29 years old I have gained valuable life experience and now I know what I want to do, where I want go and will do whatever it takes to graduate with a good degree. In terms of other mature students considering choosing Leeds Beckett – I couldn’t recommend it enough. It’s a fantastic place to study and the tutors offer all the support needed to succeed. I can never thank Leeds Beckett enough for the opportunity they’ve given me to prepare for my life after my professional playing career.
I made friends on the course straight away
Jenny, aged 26
Speech and Language Therapy
I decided to come back to Leeds Beckett to study a second undergraduate degree because I wasn’t happy in the job role I was in. I didn’t feel I was challenged, and I wanted to become a professional woman with specialist knowledge. I just remember thinking “if I don’t do something about this now, when am I going to? Am I going to wait another year? Another 5 years?” It is a scary prospect, especially when it means sacrificing full time paid work.
So, the time came for me to join the course. I'm pleased to say that I made friends on the course straight away. I found that the course is full of people of all ages, and with lots of different circumstances. There's people who have children, who work part time, who live with friends, live alone and travel from far away, the list goes on!
I think being a mature student has given me a really good starting point in terms of life experience. I'm comfortable meeting new people, and I was able to work full time to gain an understanding about the vocation. It's also given me an upper hand when it comes to working alongside others in a professional way. In all honesty, I don’t feel that I would have been able to do as well on the course without this experience.