Written by Marilyn
BSc (Hons) Computing
I’m currently in my second year at Bournemouth University, studying BSc (Hons) Computing, but it’s taken me a long time to get here! I’m 47, married and divorced twice, a Mum of two grown-up daughters and previously in full-time employment for a very long time. I’ve always loved technology, and it’s taken me this long to do something about it.
I’ve helped out on a few Virtual Open Days, and I get a lot of questions about what it’s like to go to uni as a mature student.
Honestly, my answer is always pretty much the same – it’s nothing like I imagined at all!
Before I started, I worried. A lot. I worried about being accepted into uni with my ancient qualifications. I worried about not fitting in and being twice the age of most of the other students. I worried about being out-of-date (it’s a long time since I went to school!). I worried about applying for Finance. I worried I wouldn’t be able to keep up and that I would struggle to understand.
I didn’t need to worry.
The BU Admissions Team were great at helping me through sourcing all the certificates I needed to prove my previous education. I lost all of my exam certificates in a house move over 20 years ago. Some of the exam boards didn’t even exist anymore. I managed to get all bar one prior to enrolment, but the Admissions Team spoke to the Programme Leader and it was agreed that they would still accept me without it – ironically, the final certificate turned up the day after I enrolled!
I made friends, straight away on day one. I fitted right in like I’d always been there. No one treated me differently – I was one of the group. I have met some amazing people of all ages on my course and the fact that I remember when computers were shiny and new was actually a great conversation starter!
I didn’t have any trouble because I hadn’t done the same stuff at school as the other students. The course has a common first year for all courses and no previous formal computing education is required.
I thought that it would be more difficult to apply for Student Finance because I was older. It wasn’t – and Student Finance were really helpful when I contacted them with questions. BU was great at pointing me in the right direction.
I kept up just fine and I didn’t struggle (too much!). When I did struggle, there was support from other students and the teaching staff to help me. It worked. In fact, I got a distinction in my first year!
So if you’re thinking of becoming a mature student – go for it! You don’t need to worry. You can do it. And BU will help you to do it.