You might have thought about starting university for years, but never got round to it. But now you’ve finally taken the plunge and accepted your place at the University of Suffolk. It probably feels a bit strange to start university with a lot of 18 year old fresh-out-of-college students and you might feel a bit left out. Don’t be; there’s lots of support and things to get involved in when you’re starting uni as a mature student.
The Students' Union is there to support every student, regardless of age. During Freshers', they’ll put on a variety of events for every student. If you feel like partying and going out, get involved in Barcoda, or if you feel like you want something a bit more relaxed, go to a breakfast morning or networking event. A lot of our mature students have kids, so there will be events specifically for parents to bring their children. And this doesn’t just happen at Freshers' Week; we have had Family Christmas Parties, Re-Freshers' week events, summer events and much more for all mature students.
Sports and societies
You might not fancy joining a sports team at uni, but the SU also offers social sports sessions for £1. If you don’t have time to join the gym, take an hour to try a social sports session on campus where you can meet people and have time to yourself during the busy semester. There’s also lots of societies for you to join depending on your interest. If there isn’t one that appeals to you, start one yourself! All you need is two other people to join you, and you have yourself a society.
I’ve heard from some mature students that they find it difficult to study at home, especially if they have kids running around. Luckily, the Waterfront Building is open 24/7, so you can use the study spaces whenever you need to. The Library is open 24/7 around exams and deadlines, so if you need a space to make some last minute changes to your essay, you’ve found the place!
Juggling life, study, caring, or anything else on your plate is tough. I live on campus and sometimes I get stressed! But you’ll always have lots of support, whether that’s from your lecturers, personal tutors, SU and Student Services. If you ever do find yourself struggling, go to a drop in session, book an appointment, or have a chat with someone.
You’re not the only one
The University of Suffolk is unique in that there are more mature students than at other universities. On your course, you’ll probably find at least one or two other mature students, so you won’t be alone at all. Get to know and support each other through university and get them to join you at events, sports and societies.