I’m currently in my final year studying BSc Accounting and Finance. I’d like to tell you about my experience of being a mature student at Essex and the support that’s available.

The first step

After embracing motherhood and working part-time, my life was just rolling in a monotonous manner, but my mom had always encouraged me to complete my studies and have a career. So, with the support of my family, I started looking into pursuing study as they volunteered to look after the children.

Since my previous qualifications were from Nepal and being a mature student, I enrolled myself for GCSE English and Maths. Then, I completed an Access to Higher Education course. I researched online and looked at universities for the courses they had to offer; also attending open days to get a clear understanding of the degree I wanted to pursue.

Support available at Essex

Although I had gained some academic skills it was still daunting to start a degree. Being a mature student in my late 30’s made me a bit anxious. Doubts about my academic abilities, being surrounded with younger cohorts and other possible hurdles were nerve wrecking. But to my surprise, all my worries started to disperse after starting at Essex and attending classes. I got a sense of inclusivity when I spotted other mature students on the course which boosted my confidence and self-awareness.

Academic support

As a mature student, you may have worries about your abilities and feel inadequate and unknowledgeable with newer innovations. At Essex, there is academic support available and taking advantage of those resources is very beneficial.

Childcare support

There is a nursery at the Colchester Campus for children aged 3 months – 5 years. CHUMS holiday camps are also on offer for children aged 5 – 15 years. There is a wide range of information, support and advice available on the student directory.

Financial support

Financial issues can be a hurdle. The cost of living has had an impact on everyone which is why the University together with the Students’ Union has a range of support to make life more affordable on campus as well as package of bursaries and financial options.

Message to other mature students

It is never too late to broaden your horizons and as mature students we can overcome our insecurities and doubts floating in our mind. There is an abundance of support available at Essex to help you progress. There will be other individuals just like you so you will never feel alone. Attending events organised for mature students can help you connect with others. Essex provides a friendly and welcoming environment for children and has lots of study spaces where you can bring them if there is a childcare issue. Additionally, the library is open 24-hours if needed and you can also get academic support from them.