Why being a mature student can help you get ahead

Posted by Christiaan on October 28, 2013


In an earlier post, I mentioned that practical work experience can be an advantage (for mature students) over first-time, fresh-out-of-high school undergraduate students. Here are some ways that, as a mature student with practical experience, you will be able to get ahead at York University.

Multiple Personalities

Practical work experience can be very advantageous for a mature student. If you’ve worked in the corporate world, chances are you’ve had to work in a team environment or at least on team projects. In some of these experiences, there might have been one or two people you could have done without interacting with – but during the project you sucked it up and dealt with it, allowing you to learn how to deal with multiple personalities while completing important tasks. During your studies, you will be forced (unwillingly) into group projects. … and, guess what? You are going to have to deal with those multiple personalities again. Not everyone gets along with everyone, and not everyone wants to talk to everyone. BUT! The best part is, you will have no problem in a group project setting because of your real world experience. Use it to your advantage to get ahead.

Time Management

There are only so many working hours in a day. Throughout your real-world work experience, you’ve learned how to prioritize major tasks, pencil in deadlines and meetings into multiple calendars, organize yourself accordingly to task, project, deadline. You name it; you know how to deal with it. Take these skills and apply them to your studies. Manage assignment deadlines, exam preparation, reading time … “unwinding” time (if you know what I mean). You know how to do this. You will absolutely get ahead for being one step ahead of the game.


… Which leads you to recognize the importance of a Work/Life balance. You work hard, and want to play harder. Who doesn’t? Your real-world work experience has made you realize how important it is to have a steady work/life balance in order to keep your sanity. Staying sane is key in school (and in life). You will find it extremely stressful at times and difficult to stay on task, but remind yourself while you are in school, what you want to achieve, and then reward yourself for having accomplished the many tasks that will be required of you. Go out, dance, hang out with friends, watch a movie (or 8). Take advantage of the “down time” because this will be the time for you to decompress.


Unlike a majority of the fresh crop of undergraduate students, you’ve learned how to budget properly. You pay rent; you may for transportation (car or public); you pay for groceries; health and dental; miscellaneous spur-of-the-moment expenses; you might have children who are involved in extra-curricular activities; travel expenses (vacation); shopping, and more shopping. Everything costs money, but you’ve created your own system for managing those expenses. University is quite expensive, so having those budgeting skills will allow you to allocate certain amounts of money for tuition, a gym membership, eating out on campus, off-campus events, textbooks, school supplies, school clothing (because you are proud to go to York University), and so. much.m ore. So many students have loans and blow money on things that will only put them more into debt. Your budgeting skills will come in handy, for sure.

You know you can demonstrate pertinent skills and can offer certain expertise from your real-world experience(s). You are more focused on what you want to achieve (and now know exactly how to achieve it). … and you know that York University is your way to get ahead.



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.

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    Sunera Ali

    What a great post Christiaan! Having experienced the world really teaches one valuable lessons and changes you as an individual for the better, in my case anyway. My passion for campus participation originated from being in the workforce.