Mature students’ tips to study

Starting Uni after being away for some time.

It can be challenging starting back into study after a period of time. The study environment has changed a lot in recent years and you may feel you’re not tech savvy enough or have doubts about being able to keep up. These are normal for everyone and the universities have a wide range of supports on hand.

There are distinct advantages to studying as a mature age student. Mature age students often achieve higher results than younger students, they bring with them a wealth of knowledge and life long learning as well as the commitment to their study with a genuine interest in being there.

I never really liked school, however as a mature age student I am far more focussed due to the fact I am studying something I enjoy with a goal in mind.  Cathy – CUC Goulburn student

Have realist expectations

  • Start exploring your university website and resources early. Get to know the running of the sites, where to look for help and your important dates.
  •  Set realistic, attainable goals.
  • Do a skills audit. What weaknesses can you strengthen that may help you in your study. What strengths will pull you through and help you achieve that higher mark.
  • Recognise your limits, prioritise the work load and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  • Drop into your local CUC for a chat and meet the Learning Skills Advisor. They are a great resource either when starting out or at any time!

Plan Ahead

  • Create weekly, monthly, semester planners and make use of a weekly timetable for all your lectures, tutorials and practical lessons.
  • Use to-do-lists, vision boards, and notice boards for visual reminders.
  • Make sure you know tech requirements and academic requirements for your courses and complete some free short study courses to fill in any knowledge gaps.
  • Set-up your study environment before commencing. Good ventilation, light and quiet are important.
  • Attend free workshops offered at your local CUC. These are also a great opportunity to meet other students studying similar courses.

The staff at the centre are amazing. So supportive, responding to any email enquiries quickly and always available to help in any way possible. I also love the long opening hours as I work full time and need to be able to access the centre in the evenings and weekends.  CUC Student

Maintain Balance

  • Allocate time for readings, revision and assessments for each unit.
  • Allocate more time for higher percentage assignments.
  • Focus your energy.  Don’t stress about the next assignment or worry if you’ve read enough. When it’s time to study you will be ready.
  • Map out your time. How do you really use those wasted hours. Maybe waiting in the car at school pick-up or sports can be utilised for listening to recordings or reading. Link up the car blue tooth so that you can listen as you drive.
  • If you are having trouble balancing subjects or assessments talk to your lecturer or course support at your uni or seek help at your local CUC. Sometimes a set of fresh eyes can see something you’re missing or find a better way of doing things.

Socialise

  • Surround yourself with a wide variety of people. This helps in gathering varied opinions, different perspectives and opens you up to learning.
  • Put aside time for hobbies and interests.
  • Make time for family and friends and keep in touch with loved ones.
  • Make contact with social groups e.g. facebook,  related to your study. Not only are they a great resource, they understand the pressures of study and can turn into lifelong friends.
  • Ask how other students are fairing. Sometimes it’s nice to hear you’re not the only one with concerns.

The workshops provided by CUC have been fantastic in helping me gain confidence in referencing, academic writing and similar skills needed to achieve a higher mark.  CUC Student

Personal

  • Look after yourself mentally, physically and emotionally.
  • Exercise, eat well, sleep well and drink plenty of water.
  • Be flexible with your routine and understand that now you’re studying this will change. Accept change as without it you cannot grow.
  • Ask for help if you need it. It is not a bad thing! It might just take a session with the CUC Learning Skills Advisor to set you on the right path.
  • Learning can change your self esteem and values. Your thinking may change and people around you may differ in their views. Accept this and don’t dwell.
  • Most of all believe in yourself, you can do this!

Study can be the best thing you’ve ever done or a major struggle either way it’s up to you.