As a mature student you have more life experience, this has advantages in how you relate to people, and how you approach things. As it was your own choice to return to college you are already committed. Being a mature student in a class of mainly school leavers can leave you somewhat isolated, as the youngsters group together, and some knew each other beforehand. Being almost isolated has its benefits, you can focus more on the lectures, and while studying in the library.
You’ll be surprised at the amount of mature students you encounter when you return to college, they bring a richness with them, an most are quite intellectual. The younger students often turn to the mature students for their opinions, and their opinions are generally respected. In fact you are duly respected by most of the lecturers, although there are some lecturers mainly younger ones who on occasions can attempt to me condescending. This can be embarrassing if you are the mature student at the receiving end, but again being mature you are more able to handle such situations.
There is a definite feel good factor initially, a sort of euphoric feeling during the first weeks, its in the atmosphere, and it’s very vibrant. After settling in, and when you reach exam time, you can notice as the exam time ticks away, the trickling of mainly younger students, while the mature students seem to have a longer attention span. The longer attention span is better while focusing on lectures.
Mature students are generally more efficient at managing their time than younger students, this can be very advantageous throughout your time in college while you have to allocate certain time to studying, your home life, your private life etc. Younger students can become anxious when they miss their deadlines, while the mature student in most cases are ahead of themselves.
Being a mature student can also have its advantages in work placement, and even in the marketplace after you got your degree, or masters, or PhD. Employers realise the life experience, and maturity are beneficial attributes in the workplace. In fact employers often seek out mature graduates.
As far as a second chance to get involved in activities is concerned, there is all sorts of stuff going on to keep you fit, or to allow you to interact with like minded people. It can feel like a new lease of life to a mature student who has not been active in recent years.