Being A Mature Student

When I was 18 I started a 4 year course and there were a few Mature Students with me. They were about 29 years old, with one being in his late 40’s I think. I remember thinking “Oh they are way older than me… 29 years old and they are doing a course with me!” I wouldn’t say that I thought they were ‘old’; just way older than me. They were ‘mature’ and ‘knew what they were doing’ kind of people.

Now 9 years later I’m one of these ‘way older people’. It’s crazy how life kind of repeats itself but in a different way. Back then I never thought that I would be a mature student. My plan was to have a house, be married and have children by 30. Well, I got the husband part right anyway!

Because I left Ireland I’ve lost touch with all of my friends from the course except for one. So I decided to search their names on Facebook to see what they were at and I realised that they have now aged and don’t look like their 29 year old self that I remember! One has receding hair, more wrinkles and just looks more like his age now, of about 40 years old. I’m in his position after 9 years, so in another 9 years I’ll be more like him. The students that are in my class are 18 and 19 years old. So in 9 years I’ll be 39 and they’ll be my age! I suppose when you are surrounded by people your own age you don’t realise that you are growing older. It’s only really when you are with younger and older people that you notice more.

One of my classmates was shocked when she heard I was 29 and married! She said “You don’t look 29 at all! You look like our age!” I was chuffed to hear that actually! Theres also some bad things about being a mature student like having to listen to some students that think they are deadly and give cheek to the teachers. There is one girl in my class and she curses, talks loudly, is brash, gives cheek to teachers and just thinks she is deadly. I just have to sit and ignore her because she could easily say “Wha are yeu lookin at? I’ll kick yeu in da face” if you look at her wrong.

Then there is the fact that I can’t have any deep conversations about literally anything. They are more concerned about going out every weekend and talking about a girl that they hate. I once mentioned about Trump and something that he did and one girl just replied “Oh I don’t know about that”….. So that was that!

Many of the students don’t really take the course seriously. Back then I was the same. But now I’m on limited time! I need to get my act together and sort out my life. They have another 5 years to do nothing but now I do need to knuckle down and just get this course done. They can afford to do nothing right now, oh and eat rubbish! Give it another 6 years and they won’t be able to eat all those crisps and chocolate!

One of the students told me “You always eat so healthily”. And I thought ‘Yeah, because if I don’t then I’ll get fat.’  

There is also one more thing that I never thought of when I became a mature student…… some teachers are younger than me! A new teacher started teaching us and she walked in and she was about 27/28…. and she was teaching me.

I got pretty upset about this to be honest. She sorted her life out pretty well and she’s now a full time teacher, whereas I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do in life and here I am stuck with 18 year olds with a girl younger than me teaching me.

I really was upset. If only I knew what I wanted to do when I was 18. I could have studied hard and now I could have had a good job with a house…. or at least have a car! Instead I decided to do a course that had literally no job prospects and basically chose a bad course to do. (For 4 years mind you). I have to try and let it go though. I have to concentrate on myself and getting myself on the right path and try to ignore others. It’s very hard though, and I do regret a lot of things that I didn’t do. It’s a pity you can’t start life over again!

But anyway. I’ll get this course done and hopefully it will lead me in the right direction, preferably one with like loads of money so I can retire at 60. haha


2 thoughts on “Being A Mature Student

  1. Your account of being a mature student is very funny, Aisling! When I was at uni I used to regard the mature students as “ancient” too. They were probably only 30. What a joke! I love that the deadly girl is intimidating even though you are so much older and wiser than her! Nothing much changes. I wonder if the class teacher feels the same as you about her as you do. Stop beating your self up about your life choices – you left your comfortable life at home and went to see the world, good for you. That took guts. You came home. That took guts too.
    That gives you a perspective none of those other people in that class has, even the teacher. There’s plenty of adults who cant say a sensible thing about Trump, either (after all millions voted for the lunatic). You just have move on and find another topic that you can talk about.

    I have found in life that few people have it easy, in the end, terrrible things happen to lots of people and you just would not know it from talking to them. You just don’t know them well enough to realize what’s going on in their lives. There’s a reason why that girl’s so deadly, you just can’t see it from the outside. She’s unhappy for some reason, a horrible home life, something nasty has happened to her or she’s dyslexic and frustrated. If you watch and listen you will see this.

    Life never happens the way we expect it to. If it did, it would be boring!

    • Yes I also wonder what the teacher thinks of the girl. I actually had an assessment to do with that particular girl and she was actually nice so I think she puts on a persona of toughness for the others to see. A lot of the students don’t know what to do after this course, they say to me that they don’t think they could spend 3 or 4 years studying, so it’s interesting to see what worries them. They don’t seem interested in travelling but I was the same at the age, if they ask me for recommendations I’ll give it to them. I sometimes think I’m back to where I was before I left China, I’m even in the college that is literally next door to where I did my 4 year degree. So I do really feel I’m going backwards sometimes, but I just hope this course will help me move forward!

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