Starting university as a mature student

Our starting university student voice series continues with a contribution from Ursula Watkins.

Waterside Campus

My top tips for starting university:

  1. You will feel nervous but remember everyone is in the same boat as you, so you are not alone whatever age you are
  2. Use the resources available to you, I met with the library resources team to help me with my first essay as I had not written one for years and it was very helpful.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask the lecturers for help, they are amazing and are there for you.
  4. There are no silly questions – this is said in every lecture and it is true, so don’t be afraid to speak out and ask questions suffice to say someone else in the room is thinking the same thing.
  5. Engage in lectures; the lecturers love it and it helps consolidate your learning
  6. Be yourself, don’t try to adapt to fit in, we are all unique and individual and you will find your way.
  7. Read, read and read some more
  8. Make notes be it handwritten or on your laptop, they are great to go back over when you start writing essays
  9. Never underestimate yourself got into university so you have got this
  10. Remember to have fun and smile!

Here’s a funny anecdote for you from my first year. Tim was discussing religion in his seminar and asked a question which I answered, stating the person was Christian; he then asked me to elaborate and asked how religious was he? My response: very! Everyone laughed but it broke the ice and it still makes me smile today.

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