Returning to uni as a mature age student

| 16 February 2020

Goodbye paper, hello technology!

Going back to uni in your 30s, 40s, or 50s+ can be a little daunting. It may be that you haven’t studied in a while, you’ve got a full-time job, kids to juggle, and general life to deal with, or studying is a luxury and you really enjoy learning.

Either way, it’s a huge commitment. Finding the time to study in your everyday life isn’t easy. So, if you do decide to go back to uni, there are a few things you may need to brush up on before your first class.

The use of Technology for everything.

In the ever-changing world of technology it’s a good idea to have an up to date device. It runs faster, it holds a lot more space, they’re sleeker, lighter, fancier, and shinier (if that’s what you’re in to). Technology in the lecture hall is a big advantage. You’ll find most people will use their devices to keep up with the lecture, plus it’s handy to add in extra links and information to already built out lecture slides – you’ll be the master of note taking in no time.

If you have an older laptop or tablet, you’ll want to make sure the hardware (your laptop or tablet) is able to support the newer software. Sometimes older devices can’t handle the new software. This can make your device/s run unbearably slow and it will struggle to keep up with your usage.

Get familiar with the student portal, the uni website, and any other online sources your uni uses. These resources are regularly used so it’s a good idea to become familiar with how they work and where to find everything you need.

With the emergence of technology everything is starting to switch from tangible items like paper, to online. Uni’s are turning green and upload all course materials online to the student portal. Lecturers and tutorial leaders also tend to communicate online via the course discussion boards, email, and announcement pages.

There’s an abundance of online resources available. Long gone are the days you spend in the library searching for books and articles, it’s all online. Find your way around the online uni library and databases.

Your mobile phone and uni.

Download the apps associated with the uni or educational institution you’re attending. Some might even have department specific apps, this will make access and finding things much easier. Also, there are several student portal apps that you can download e.g. blackboard.

Don’t forget to add your student email account to your phone. Even though the student portal is the main point of contact between lecturer and student, some lecturers and tutors still prefer communicating via email.

Don’t be crine or reddy if you don’t get lit conv. 

It’s not necessarily for education purposes. If you’re interacting with millennials you may need to refer to Urban Dictionary or Google for what these darn kids are saying. Anything can be lit (something that is amazing) and outfits can be Gucci (good, chill, awesome). A little tip – don’t try to use these kinds of lingo in your everyday vernacular, each word has multiple meanings and it all depends on context – it’s something that can and will go terribly. Just thank your lucky stars the lecturers and tutors aren’t millennials.

So, if you have decided to go back to uni it may seem like everything runs a 100 miles per minute. It takes a little getting use to. Never fear, you’ll settle in pretty quickly, as long as you’re on top of where to access your class materials. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, seek advice at the student centre -they should be able to provide you with the help you need, after all you’re not the only one who is just starting their education journey.


Study hard!



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