5 #ProTips to Being a Mature Student

Posted by Christiaan on October 16, 2013


5 #ProTips to Being a Mature Student

I recently came across an article titled, “The 10 Pitfalls of Being a Mature Student,” in which the author really only mentions four. Not only is the title deceiving, it is so negative. Why?! Going back to school should never be a bad thing. Ever. Even for prospective mature students.

The “pitfalls” the author suggests are the following:

  1. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks;
  2. No energy;
  3. Families; and,
  4. No money.

Lame. (Negative, right?)

#Protip No. 1: Find support

Some of the main things a mature student is looking for are a supportive, inclusive, and accommodating environment. What they aren’t looking for are things that might discourage them from something worth pursuing. Visit the mature student centre and start networking to make meaningful contacts that will contribute to your support system while studying.

#Protip No. 2: Come in with an open mind (and learn)

Everyone has a set of “preconditioned” ideas they carry with them. They’ve learned them, so it is something that can be unlearned. University is an atmosphere that caters to “teaching an old dog new tricks.” The entire university experience is a medium to the opening-up of the mind to learn (and recognize) a multitude of perspectives. Take advantage of it!

#Proptip No. 3: Take naps (a lot of naps)

There will be times when everyone has no energy. It’s a matter of integrating your studies, work, external obligations, (yada, yada), and A NAP! into your (awesomely) hectic schedule. Naps are great. You should take one right now. I might take one right now. … ZZZZZZZZZZ … Anyways, manage your time effectively. You can learn, nap, and learn some more.

#Protip No. 4: Friends are family

People have families, even undergraduate students. Just because they don’t have kids doesn’t mean they don’t have a family. Friends are family – along with “immediate” family – people are allowed to go home and visit, you know.

#Protip No. 5: Find part-time work (or study part-time)

No. Money. Undergraduate students and mature students have no money. It’s true. School is expensive and you only have so much time for a work/study/life balance. Get a budget calculator. Work full-time and study part-time. Study full-time and work part-time. It is not a big deal to take your time in completing your degree. York University gives you options.

What the hell is that? Oh, just my mind…



This is the space where you can come and decide your future with no pressure(s). I like funny things, like watching people get scared. Hilarious.

See other posts by Christiaan

  • Avatar
    York International (@yorkintl)

    Don’t forget YUMSO – York University Mature Students’ Organization! You have an office with private study space at Vanier College. www.yorku.ca/yumso/

  • Sunera

    Fantastic post Christiaan! I don’t think you could have said it better. It’s the number one question I get all the time; how do I manage as a full-time mature student? Having an open mind is extremely important and to know that you have options.

  • Avatar
    Michelle Hynes

    Perhaps you should have read my first post as these two were written together – top tips why you can you back to Uni as a mature student
    Here is the link legaleaglemhm.wordpress.com/2012/05/12/1121/
    Michelle Hynes LL.B(Hons) DipLP

  • Megan

    Love love LOVE this article Christiaan. A couple points:

    1) Mad props for the Adventure Time GIF. Love it!

    2) I totally agree with your perspective in regards to the original article you found. I’m not sure if I qualify as a mature student but I think the authors 4 points are relatable to a lot of students regardless. It all comes down to how you manage your lifestyle.

    3) That being said- your points are awesome! It’s certainly not easy to find balance in your life as a student but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. And it’s certainly equally as difficult to find balance as a working adult, so students may as well get the practice now.

    I enjoyed reading this 🙂