Fitting In As A Mature Student*

*This is a collaborative post*

For a lot of people, the most daunting aspect of going back to school will be the people who will be there with them. With the gap of a few generations between you, it could be very hard to relate to them, and it is common to worry about how well you will fit in when you’re studying as an adult. Of course, though, it would be a shame to let your education slip away because of something like this. Instead, to make this process smoother, you should be figuring out how you’re going to fit in. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring some of the best ways to achieve a goal like this.

First, there is one thing to consider above all else; being yourself. It can be easy to try and act in the way you think people will like the most when you’re trying to break barriers, but this sort of approach often makes the encounters you have feel very weak. To avoid this, you will need a little bit of confidence, along with the ability to be yourself. Even if this means you will be a little weird, it will be a lot better than pretending, especially if you want to make friends who will last for a very long time. With this out of the way, you can start to focus on the more important stuff.

Getting Involved

One of the very best ways to find yourself within a group of friends is by simply getting involved with events and activities which are happening at your university or college. There will be a lot going on, and while some of it will make you feel older, it can still give you the chance to break the ice with those around you. To make this as easy as possible for you, you can find some examples of the sorts of events you should be getting involved with below. Of course, along with this, though, you need to work to get others involved, too.

  • Social Events: One of the most important parts of student life for a lot of people is the social events which come along with it. Parties at bars, clubs, and other exciting venues can be found all year round when you’re studying, and this makes it nice and easy to get involved with them.

  • Societies: Along with social events, there will also be a good handful of societies at most universities. These clubs will be built around one idea, like writing or movie watching, and will give you the chance to meet people with similar interests. Of course, this will only be worth pursuing if you can find one which falls inline with your hobbies.

  • Study Groups: As the last thing to get involved with, it has been proven that peer study can be one of the best ways to learn in this environment. Attending study groups can give you a great avenue to connect with people, while also getting some of your work done, and few things offer these sorts of benefits.

Find Common Interests

With an idea of what you’d like to get involved with in mind, you will be ready to start taking looking for common interests between yourself and your fellow students. Most people like simple things like listening to music, watching movies, and playing video games, and this gives you loads of places to start from. As you get to know people, you will also get the chance to share the things you love with them. At this stage in their life, people will often respond very well to passion, even if they aren’t very excited themselves. For this reason, you never have to be worried about what people might think of what you like.

Your Living Space

Most students don’t live in very nice places. The accommodation provided by the school is usually cramped and very old, and a lot of mature students won’t want to live like this. Companies like Fortis Student lettings are able to provide luxury properties which are aimed at those studying. With reduced contracts, fair prices, and the chance to share with other mature students, this sort of route is a good one to choose when you’re unable to find a place on your own. It can be hard to get your hands on quality accommodation when you don’t have an income.

Of course, though, if you want to make your living space into a tool which helps you to fit in, you might have to be willing to let your hair down a little bit. Hosting a party or two can be a great way to start building relationships with the people you’re studying with. You will have to deal with mess, and may even need to spend some money, but this will be worth it once you’ve had the opportunity to talk to everyone. Facebook is the best place to advertise something like this when you’re planning to be a host.

Learning With Others

It can be easy to sink into your own little bubble when you’re living as a mature student. The years between yourself and the other people in your lectures can make it hard to relate to one another, especially if you don’t keep up with popular culture. This doesn’t mean that it is impossible, though. While they are young, people tend to be at a very tolerant stage in their life when they go to university. This makes it easy to make friends with people much younger than yourself, even when you have very different interests.

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start working harder on the time you put into your time as a mature student. This time in your life is worth relishing, as it will only last for a few years, and it will be time to go back to work once its all over. Of course, you will have to work towards these goals, but it will all feel worth it once you’ve achieved them.

*Contributed by Sam Jones. Header image Unsplash

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