Post by Rosa Mitchell, content writer for Pure Student Living
Embarking on a university course as a mature student is not going to be the same experience as starting university as a fresh-faced 18-year-old. In many ways it will be easier – you’re more likely to be confident in your decision, comfortable with who you are and willing to learn. However, there could be a few things that will make your experience different from your younger peers. You may have more outside commitments, interests and responsibilities, and this could potentially affect the way you choose to socialise. We’ve put together the best tips for mature students who are looking to socialise while at university and feel like the fresher’s headphone disco or fancy dress club nights aren’t for them.
Research your accommodation
If you’re going for the full university experience and moving into halls, it’s worth doing your research before you decide where to live. Check whether there is student accommodation around your university that caters more towards mature students in regards to the standards of the accommodation and nearby amenities. Living with other mature students will mean they are more likely to understand your university experience, and may want to socialise in similar ways to you.
Check out what your university has to offer
Most UK universities have a mature students society that aims to help you meet and socialise with each other. The societies will arrange regular socials, fun events and career tailored support for all mature students to take advantage of. The people involved in these societies will have a keen grasp on the realities of mature students and will offer support and guidance on everything from your work/life balance to childcare during university. They are well worth checking out.
Join study groups or relevant societies
Joining a study group with people on your course is a really great way to get to know other students while working towards your degree. You will come across people of all ages in these groups who will have the same desire to succeed as you. As a bonus, the people you meet in this group could help with your studies or you may be able to share your knowledge with them. If you have a hobby that you would like to pursue, it’s worth looking into the societies your university has to offer. Even if your interest is niche, you might be surprised; lots of universities have everything from the fishing society to the fine art society.
Don’t limit your social group to students
As much as it will be great meeting lots of people on your university course, you may sometimes feel like socialising with people of your own age, especially if you want a break from exam talk! Now you’re in a new city, you should take the initiative to seek out like-minded people – not everyone has to be a student to be part of your social group. Have a look at local social groups like citysocializer to find new people with common interests. You could team up with people new to the city and make the effort to see the sights, join a cooking class or become part of a book club. You could even use your free time to speak to people in the industry you’re interested in; there is no harm in a bit of networking!
You won’t be alone
Taking the step to start university as a mature student is a brave decision and it can be easy to feel overwhelmed, especially if you have lots of work to fit in around a part time job. It can be easy to overlook socialising when you feel so busy, yet making the effort to meet new people is a great way to beat stress, take a break from your university work and make the most of a new city.
Pure Student Living provides luxurious student accommodation in a number of locations within or close to the city centre of London.