Starting a Taught Masters after a break…

…by Gyulten / from Bulgaria / studying Human Cognitive Neuropsychology / Postgraduate

Gyulten landscape

Imagine you walk into a lecture room and you think to yourself: “Is everybody younger than me? Am I too old, too late to be here…?” Even though I postponed my postgraduate studies by only a year, factors such as length of education in different countries and double-majoring during my undergraduate seemed to have deferred starting master’s for a little longer than I would have preferred.

However, being a mature student comes with its advantages, as well:

Job experience
First of all, if you’ve had a hiatus before returning to your studies, you’ve probably gathered some valuable work experience. Whether it was related to your field of study or not, it still teaches you discipline and is the ideal training for the independent nature of postgraduate studies.

Extra funding
Working full-time also allows you to put some cash aside, which you can later make good use of when studying full time, as it is in my case.

You know why you’re there
If you’ve decided to return to University after a period of time, it means that you are motivated enough to leave the comfort of a monthly-paying job and dive into to the endless hours of lectures and readings, which will all pay off at the end!

How to make the most of your experience as a mature student:

Give yourself time
Adjusting to a new situation or a country takes time and one should be patient. It is OK to be frustrated and to feel awkward at the beginning – it is supposed to be challenging and difficult at times, otherwise, we will not grow as individuals.

Talk to other students
Simply by sharing my concerns with other students, I realised that regardless of age or background, we all have the same worries and can help and comfort each other. Not only will this provide you with an extra support network, but will be a fruitful ground for knowledge exchange and networking.

Make use of the University’s facilities
Services such as the Student Counseling Service, study skills sessions or the self- and academic development workshops at the Institute for Academic Development are all for free and at your disposal at any time. University is indeed a great place to be!

No matter how long you have been away from the classroom, remember that learning and receiving education is a life-long journey, which is always worth going back to.


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