BA(Hons) Interior Design
Allow me to introduce myself. Mish, mature age student of 41, parent to a seven-year-old daughter and third year Interior Design student. I am also a long way from my original home, being the west coast of Australia. Cornwall has been my home since 2006.
Deciding to leave full-time employment and enter the world of education was easy. I desired a better life for my daughter, alongside a drive to work for myself, and I needed a change of direction. Although meant with some anxiety, knowing I would spend the next three years with students half my age or close to it. This took some adjustment at first; however, I do enjoy being around my fellow students - after all age is just a number. Many have been a massive support, especially when it comes to software needs. Older does not mean wiser! I never went to university after leaving high school - entering into the world of learning at this level did cause me some anxieties. Am I good enough? Can I handle the level that is required? This did not stop me. I always wanted to go and it was now or never. Here I am; sometimes I have to kick myself that I made it. Being in a learning environment is great - there are times I feel like a fish out of water. Lecturers have been very helpful, and I have had no problems talking to any of them when the need arises.
Before taking up a three-year degree, I spent a year at Truro College, completing an Art and Design Foundation Diploma. This gave a great foundation to start from and, of course, being used to being back in education after years of working. As I reflect over the last two years of my degree, with many many, many challenges along the way, I certainly do not regret making the decision. I have made friends with two mature age students; we have become close friends and enjoy each other's company outside of uni. Looking back to my first week, I checked out a couple of clubs. Unfortunately, none took off. It was more about time, not the want to get involved. I would certainly recommend getting involved in a club or society if possible; it helps to mix things up. For this last year, I put myself forward for the role of Course Rep to add a little spice to my last year, and hopefully be part of making some positive changes.
Here are some helpful tips I have discovered along the way.
- Allow yourself time for any assignments and research. Deadlines will sneak up before you know it. Do not leave things to the last minute
- Be sure to learn any new software as early as possible
- Make use of any learning support available. The Students’ Union has been brilliant
- As far as money is concerned, budget and make no unnecessary purchases. It is not forever.
I certainly enjoy being a student and will miss being one. I have learned a lot of new skills; you are never too old to learn. My eyes have been opened to a whole new world - now I am thinking about doing a masters. Perhaps in a year or two. If you are reading this and wondering what to do, I say go for it.