We like to think of ourselves as lifelong learners, but the truth is that starting a new course as a mature or returning student can be a challenging and intimidating process. However, that being said, there are also many benefits to returning to education later in life and oftentimes mature and returning students are the most engaged and excited in a program – and the most likely to succeed. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of returning to education later in life. 

Renewed enthusiasm and interest 

Mature and returning students have, by definition, had a number of professional and personal experiences which have guided them back towards education. Many new students who are fresh out of their previous course lack enthusiasm and real-world knowledge and experience. Older students however have more experience and also have made sacrifices to be able to take part in the program. 

It is also more likely that returning students will have enthusiasm for the course material because they have worked towards being able to be a part of the course, and they are likely excited to be able to get back into the classroom setting. It is one thing to be excited for a course because of what you have heard, and another thing to have learned about the world, worked in various industries, and then taken steps to getting back into the classroom. 

When choosing a course, learners of all ages should browse through all of the course offerings available. The course offerings Wilkes University provide are competitive in the field and also ensure that learners of all ages are engaged and supported. 

Meeting new people and making connections 

Starting a new course can be daunting at any age, but it is perhaps more daunting when you know that you will be older than many of your classmates. Many mature students are concerned that they will not fit into the social fabric of the educational institution, that they will be ignored, or will “get in the way” of the other students. 

Thankfully, universities around the world have taken steps to become more inclusive of mature and returning students. Mature students are now more likely to have their own orientation to the university and there are many schools with clubs and societies specifically for returning students. 

In fact, returning to school later in life can actually give your social life a big boost. Returning students have the confidence and experience which new students have not yet developed. As a result, it is often easier for them to speak with professors, connect with visiting industry professionals, and network with other students. 

Starting a big adventure 

At the end of the day, a new course is an exciting adventure, no matter how old you are or how much experience you have. Whether you continue in the sector or leave it later on, you will be able to learn more about the world, and yourself, in the process.