If you were looking very carefully during the hyper hustle and boozy bustle of Fresher’s week you may have noticed me, fighting my way through the excited energetic flurry of fresh faced nimble undergraduates.
You may have seen leaflet distributers make the difficult split second decision of whether to hand me leaflets for local nightclubs and free pizzas – their nervous eyes wondering why this stay at home mother was in the ‘student’ stream; Should I hand her a leaflet for ‘Street Dance’? No, you probably shouldn’t have – it was essentially wasted on me!
While other students made their way, hungover, to lectures by the skin of their teeth (as I had done thirteen years prior) I got to University an hour early with a Cappuccino having been up since 5am and dropping my son off at Nursery. Yes that’s right – I am the University ‘Geek’, I am the early riser, the overly eager, the hand raiser, the second chance winner – I am the ‘mature’ student! and I have never ever felt quite so old.
I am on a Masters course, and while many of my fellow students are also ‘mature’, it was hard not to be very aware of the majority of younger students around the University. I am absolutely thrilled to be at Leeds University – having not appreciated education in my younger years and having pretty much wasted my early University experience – to now be studying at a ‘Russell Group’ University is pretty much a dream come true! But I don’t half envy the Undergraduates I see swarming around me. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t want to go to the nightclubs as my thirty one year old self – I would look pretty tragic! And my bedtimes are usually 7pm with my six month old – but oh to be my eighteen year old undergraduate self again…
Undergraduates! Squeeze every minuscule bit of juice out of your University experience … enjoy every second. Go to every party, join every club, speak to everybody and try to fit in some studying! And if you see a slightly older looking ‘student’ with child bearing hips sitting alone with a coffee at lunch – say Hi! and never stop trying to get us into Street Dance – it is so lovely to be included!