Before i start, i'd just like to say that i actually like university, but i just wanted to write afew home truths about what the uni experiance has been like for me. Enjoy!
The "mature" fresher
So you’re a mature student, you didn’t go with the flow when you were younger for whatever reason and bided your time until you knew what you wanted to do. You’ve successfully avoided having to work for another 3\4 years and now it’s time for you to see what your mates have been going about all these years.
The realities are quite overwhelming and at the same time a huge disappointment. The club and society fares that are on force and bombard you with leaflets and all other kinds of random crap that you’ll never read, and then after listening to some random person talk about how epic their club is, even mentioning a response which isn’t an absolute yes is met with “what a loser” look to their other mates.
If by some miracle you find something that appeals to you and have the courage to go then that’s only the first of your problems. Get used to losing any form of identity, your now simply called fresher, until someone deems you worthy of a name. You’ll be forced to drink as much as your body can take. Even though you’ve done all this before and know your limit, some guy two years younger than you will be barking orders at you until he deems you’ve drunk enough, any form of resistance to this will be met with ridicule and mockery. This may work on a fresh faced 18 year old but an older individual will find this pretty unenjoyable.
Next comes your classes, maybe they will be better? Unfortunately not, these are usually battlegrounds for the smug and egotistical. Everyone is fighting for their patch of turf, trying to outdo each other in the form of using more technical terms or explaining each answer to a lecturers question to the nth degree. This at first you try and ignore, say it’s just people trying to show off but unfortunately after a few months you’ll realise it’s not the case. An example of this is one classmate leaning over to you when clearly you’re stuck on a task telling you rather satisfying “I did all of it in about 20 minutes” this is where in your mind you imagine ripping the desk off its hinges and smashing it over his face (note this is probably most applicable to computer science).
Another problem not just applicable to your classmates but to all students is the kind of conversations you’ll have to listen to. They usually entitle someone talking about how they got “totally wasted” the night before and how they’ve been in a constant hangover for the past week, again pretty uninteresting especially after the hundredth time of hearing it. On the other hand, conversations will be on a basic level which will consist of simple question and answers which will feel like having a conversation with an automated call centre.
This leads to the final bane of a mature fresher’s life which is not being seen as a “real student” if you don’t constantly go out every night or feel the need to drink copious amounts of alcohol every hour of every day. This usually means that you’ll get someone spouting the words “but you’re at uni!!” at you.
In conclusion, this will be seen as a pretty depressive, damning view of university life for a mature student. But positives can be seen from it. Essentially make a group of friends but don’t be too saddened if you haven’t made as many friends as you thought. Don’t feel too inclined to do things you wouldn’t do anyway, you know yourself and don’t need to push your boundaries if you don’t feel comfortable. Finally university is always going to be full of irritations so just try hard, be yourself and you’ll win out in the end. To finish on a quote said by another mature student “Universities alright, too full of dicks and opinions though”