Written by kdanceydowns
“Oh my god, no way! I’d never have thought that!”
This is the response I receive every time I tell someone, usually begrudgingly, that I am classed as a mature student. This isn’t because I am blessed with youthful looks, it’s because university is actually an environment where people either just don’t notice or just don’t care about the age of their flatmates. This is particularly true of student halls, where it’s much more important that you clean up your ketchup from the side, don’t steal your flatmate’s milk and don’t play loud music until the small hours when they have a 9am lecture, than it is to be the same age.
I was 22 when I started at BU and I lived in student halls, a shared flat in Chesil House. I loved every minute of it, despite being the oldest in my flat by around three years. Before I moved in or met my flatmates, I was really nervous that in the few years I had been working full-time, I would have forgotten how to be a student again and wouldn’t have anything in common with my younger flatmates. For this reason I decided that I would come clean straight away to tell them that I was, in fact, old.
The moment came when I let them all know, I was solemn and so nervous about their reactions, thinking they wouldn’t want to be hanging around with an ‘older’ person, especially not in freshers’ fortnight. Their response couldn’t have been better. They laughed at me for being so worried about it. I was treated no differently than any of the other flatmates (except the fact I could cook fairly well so became the resident chef!) and settled in with everyone else. They were in fact really interested in asking me about the time I spent working and my decision to return to full-time study. Perhaps, you might think this was because I had lovely, friendly flatmates? Perhaps, but then this can be said for everyone I have met at BU, as I have had no negative experiences from being a mature student during any of the part-time jobs or volunteering activities I have taken part in either.
Essentially, what I am trying to say is that being a mature student while living in halls, is far from the awkward or difficult experience you think it might be, in fact it was an incredible experience, one I regularly wish I could re-live.
By Amber Williams