Deciding to dive into a postgraduate qualification as a mature student is a daunting prospect.
Adding in the choice of leaving a successful career to pursue other interests or the responsibility of caring for children or elderly relatives can make it seem like you've left it too late.
Flex those academic muscles
It's a little challenging to start with, but you'll remember why you did an undergraduate degree in the first place as researching and learning has an element of fun. The benefit of the extra life experience you bring to the course will mean that you know that if you were able to do undergraduate coursework then you'll be able to finish off that thesis too.
Maturity is more than a number
You've probably achieved more than you thought you were capable of when you did your bachelors degree, and now is the time to prove to yourself again that you can do anything you set your mind to. A huge number of postgraduate students start their courses straight after completing their undergraduate degrees and your added maturity brings benefits like amazing time management skills.
You've got a little more financial stability
With age often comes a little added financial stability in the form of savings and access to credit. If you're lucky enough to find the tuition fees not much of a financial burden, then you can focus more closely on your coursework rather than worrying about raising the funds for your postgrad program,. You might also be lucky enough to have someone in your life who is happy to support you financially and emotionally through your postgraduate study. Completing a masters program or a PhD is tough going, so don't undervalue good emotional support.
You're more motivated
If you've decided to undertake a postgraduate qualification to further your career or change track entirely, then you'll undoubtedly have a clear goal in mind. This will keep you super motivated and you'll find other students gravitating towards your infectious enthusiasm. If you’re surrounded by other passionate people, then it is much easier to keep going and build on your own anticipation for the future.
You've got a long-term view
Throughout your life you’ll have of already seen the importance of those little decisions you make along the way, for example, getting a job based on an essay you wrote or a short bit of work experience you had. Once you understand the true value of these experiences it will put every decision into focus and make the future easier to see. Being able to step back and see your long-term goals come closer to reality each day will keep you motivated.
Being a student has changed since you were last at a university
Since you left university, although some things will remain the same, many things will have changed. You might have forgotten about student discounts but you won't have forgotten about social clubs, student sporting societies and the students’ union. Meeting a wide variety of people will help with your future networking plans and undergraduate students have changed a little as they tend to be more career-focused than they perhaps were in the past. All universities have a huge range careers advice services available, so take advantage of all the help you can get and make your postgraduate study worthwhile.