Mature students are the best thing about university

They’re just so happy to be here

Mature students are milky:


  1. adj. someone/something sweet that warms your heart when you see them/it (e.g. a cat yawning).
  2. adj. when you see a person do something that makes you feel pity towards them due to their innocent and vulnerable nature (e.g. witnessing an elderly person spill their cup of coffee)

Being a mature student at University must be great fun, reliving your youth and being able to escape the working world in order to study something that you actually have a genuine interest and passion for.

It’s unfortunate then that, a lot of the time, mature students get a bad rep. A lot of undergraduates can be quite freaked out by sharing a class with someone who’s old enough to be their dad. Often mature students end up as the butt of jokes. The fact that they’re keen, talkative, and not always hungover seems funny to a lot of my peers.

Not to me though. I love mature students.

Meet Derek, a mature student in his second year who I met in my tutorial. I must admit, when I first sat across from Derek in my first tutorial with him, I stared at him with the appropriate amount of respect that you would show to a tutor the first time you meet them.

Of course, this was not the tutor, it was Derek, and after about seven minutes of intense eye contact, patiently waiting for him to begin the tutorial, that the actual tutor came in. Obviously embarrassed as to what he must have been thinking, I never stared at him with such intensity again. Sorry Derek.

Now that you’ve met Derek, the single most perfect example of a mature student you’ll ever encounter, it is time to fill you in a bit on how to spot others around campus, and why I think mature students are so great.

The ‘Mature’ Look

It’s refreshing to see how they dig the idea that practicality will always beat style. I mean, sure, everyone likes to look good when they can, but there is something stylishly charming about the way mature students dress and they really do rock their own style.

Firstly, you can expect to see a neatly ironed pair of corduroys (definitely Blue Harbour, and of an earthy tone) being accompanied by a highly practical jacket (most commonly Berghaus) which will be waterproof, windproof and have more pockets than Bear Grylls’ trousers – it is basically perfect for any type of situation they may find themselves in when out and about, ever. Also the level of gratitude that most mature students have to be where they are is heart-warmingly milky, and what would be a better way to show their appreciation and gratitude to be at University than to wear some form of University paraphernalia. Whether it be a sweatshirt, a scarf, or most likely a metal Quencha water bottle with the crest on it, attached to their buttsack rucksack with a carabiner clip – they will have something on their person that clearly distinguishes them from lecturers – what lecturer wears their own University colours when taking a class?

They are always happy to be there

Unlike a good amount of younger students, who can often show a lack of interest or just general unhappiness to be in University early in the morning, mature students, as mentioned earlier are always keen and will be spotted at the front of any lecture theatre taking detailed notes and having a tennis-style rally of milky banter with the lecturer throughout. They too have a genuine passion to be studying what they are studying, and really invest their time into their work and you are simply blessed if you have one in your tutorial as they break the inevitable silences that occupy tutorials so greatly.

They are still young at heart

Don’t let the name fool you! For many, daytime drinking simply isn’t a thing in the week, either because you are ‘dead’ from the night before, or just waiting until you’ve gone home, rang home to chat about your day, make yourself some food and then at that point you can get ready to go out and start drinking. But no, mature students will be seen at the bar between their morning lecture and their afternoon one, sipping on a stout, whilst doing some reading. It is also admirable how they go to SU social’s and get in on the party – and let’s face it, you never see a mature student crying in the toilet on a night out, or getting put in a taxi by two of their reluctant friends who have sobered up after looking after their drunk pal – no, they know how to have fun and handle it all at the same time; they have a better time partying than a lot of students do.

Their nights out are probably better than ours

They have the nights out that most students dream of. There are lots of reluctant students who are dragged out to shiteclubs by their friends and don’t have enough support from others to go the better places in town. Mature students literally live for good beer and quaint pubs. They have the joy of engaging in conversation with their friends over some nice drinks, without having to be pressed up against other people’s sweaty bodies on a dance floor whilst chart songs that are 2-years out of date are blasting out in your ears. Everybody knows that clubs can get boring.

If people tell you that being a mature student wouldn’t be fun, then send them Derek’s way as I have no doubt he’d show them a good time.