Making the decision to return to school as a mature student can come with its own set of challenges. It’s important to know that there is support available to help you succeed in your educational endeavours.A mature student can be defined as someone who:
- Has been out of formal education for at least two years
- Has dependents
- Is at least 21-years-old
- Currently works full-time and/or has several years of experience in the workforce
- Is a transfer or pathways student
Given the extra responsibilities many mature students often carry, it’s valuable to know what support is available to you that may help ease the burden of balancing everything on your plate.
At Ontario Tech, our Student Life office offers various services to support your health and wellness. The Student Life Team is also there to help you if you need accessibility accommodations or academic support. These services—and many others—are made easily accessible to you so you can always have the support you need, whenever you need it. Student Equity and Inclusion offers workshops and discussion groups that can help the transition back into academia go smoothly and help you feel welcome in our school community.
I attended an orientation session when I returned to school and it made a positive impact on my university experience. I found it beneficial to connect with other students in similar situations, which also made it an effective networking opportunity! Student Life also offers career services to help you with resume writing, job searching and interview techniques, which can help you with your search for a new job or applying for a promotion at your current place of employment.
You can also get support with studying, writing and citing. Learning how to properly cite is very crucial, especially if you're entering into the second or third year of a university program—which is often the case if you have transfer credits.
If you find citations difficult, don't worry, you're not alone! One of my biggest challenges adapting to being a university student—especially after many years away from academia—was learning how to properly do citations. Fortunately, there are a bunch of resources available to you to help you perfect any citation style.
Taking advantage of these services can alleviate some of the pressure of being a mature student, which can help reduce your stress and improve your university experience. Health and wellness services such as counselling, and peer tutors can be valuable resources if you find one-on-one support beneficial. Having someone to talk with and express your feelings to can help reduce your anxiety and stress, allowing you to focus on your school work and other responsibilities.
While being a mature student can sometimes be overwhelming, understanding and utilizing our resources and support systems can make a huge difference in your success and overall experience.
Thinking of becoming a transfer student at our university and want to learn more about our programs?