Adjusting to Student Life

Being a student aged 27 is a different ball game to my first degree at 18 years old. For starters, my course is a lot more intense, with more contact hours and personal study, I’m not in halls and I’m certainly not acting like a student in my ‘down time’. Moreover I don’t have a student loan or financial support from my parents. There’s a lot less drinking, partying and fancy dress…

Uni Life

I am in Uni on a Monday and Thursday from 9-6, which is fairly intense. I realise how many short breaks I took during a working day, and am exhausted at the end of uni- I even feel asleep on the tube on the way home on Monday! We’ve got a lot of work to do each week outside of our lectures and tutorials, and it’s a little confusing getting to know my way around the Uni as well as the library and online systems.

Our course has 24 people in total, with a mixture of ages and backgrounds, and we’re all starting to find some friendship groups now. I haven’t established whether there are any other runners in the group yet, but am sure I’ll find someone to do lunchtime/pre uni classes with.

London Metropolitan University

During the other days I am working (see below), studying/preparing for tutorials and practicals, and seeing friends. Having only had a month without a full-time 9-5 job, I’m still over excited to be able to meet friends for coffee and lunches, as well as spending more time watching TV than I care to admit. I need to get into more of a routine to ensure that I don’t waste my days ‘off’ and get all of my uni and freelance work done.

I’m taking advantage of student life to take classes (using my Classpass) during the day when they’re not so busy. I went to Ollie’s GymClass SuperCore exercise class today and there were only four of us which made for an even more intense workout.

GymClass

How I’m paying for University 

My Dietetics course is funded by the NHS, meaning all of my University fees are paid for. This was a huge relief for me, especially as uni costs between £9-12k a year in the UK. In addition there are NHS bursaries available for Dietetics students, and I qualified for a small monthly bursary (I had to provide 3 years of payslips, P60s, my passport and birth certificate for this.) Unfortunately as I already have an undergraduate degree I’m not able to get a student loan for living expenses.

I’ve got a couple of jobs to earn money to live on;

  • Receptionist at Paola’s Body Barre (a few shifts a week)
  • Working for Classpass a couple of hours a week, helping out with the marketing, website and content creation
  • Babysitting. I used to be a nanny when I first left University and worked at a school, I’m looking after a family that went to the school I worked in a couple of times a month!
  • Blogging. I do the occasional sponsored post but promise to continue ensuring that all sponsored content is on interesting and relevant, and never posting pre-written content.
  • I’m looking in to getting my group exercise instructor qualification in the next few months as I’d love to start teaching classes next year!

London Metroplitan University

I’m also had to adjust to living on a smaller budget, taking packed lunches, enjoying less coffees out and about, and saying no to fancy dinners. Plus I’m trying to save for the numerous weddings and hen do’s that I have next year.

I’m loving using my student discount though for the cinema, art exhibitions and clothing. I have a lot more money for these things this time round, considering I’m not wasting all of my money on clubbing and tequila shots.

11 Comments

  1. October 28, 2015 / 5:53 pm

    I feel ya! I don’t think anyone in my program is in the undergrad mentality any more – which is a huge relief! Living on a limited budget has definitely been an adjustment for me as well, but I think I’ve realized how frivolous I was at times when I was making money. The grass is always greener 😉

  2. October 28, 2015 / 6:13 pm

    Congrats on making these sometimes tough lifestyle changes to do the thing you really want to do. It’s awesome and can’t wait to continue to read about your successes!!

    • charlotte
      October 29, 2015 / 5:40 pm

      Thanks so much!

  3. October 28, 2015 / 7:10 pm

    I went back to uni at 24 which wasn’t that old, but I did a foundation year in Science, a three year undergrad in food science and am now just about finished my two year Occupational Therapy masters, at the ripe old age of 31. In my opinion, you work til you die now, basically, so I think its ok to take your time with studying until you can do a job you have a passion for! Im a single parent, and the full time work placements as part of my course meant that working was difficult, but I managed a fairly long stint as a dietetic assistant, and the rest of the time Ive lived on toast and a pocket full of dreams, haha! Stick with it, it gets tough but you’ll be overwhelmed by the time you graduate in something you are passionate about.

  4. October 29, 2015 / 9:39 am

    Adjusting to the student budget has definitely been the hardest for me, not having to study for hours!

  5. October 29, 2015 / 5:04 pm

    I’m a little afraid of doing a masters but to be honest I’m now thinking I’d rather do it full time than part time! I’d be more comfortable with sacrificing for a shorter time! Congrats on making such an awesome and life changing decision and then adjusting so well!

    • charlotte
      October 29, 2015 / 5:39 pm

      You should do it!! What would you do your masters in? THANKS!

  6. October 30, 2015 / 4:25 am

    Such an interesting post, thanks for the honesty! Can I ask how you managed to take a couple of weeks off for your US trip? I was surprised you were away for so long at the start of your course. Just being nosy, so please feel free to ignore this question if you want!

  7. October 31, 2015 / 12:58 pm

    Such a big decision to go back to uni, but it sounds like you’re adjusting well. Best of luck for your studies and I’m looking forward to following your progress.

  8. November 15, 2015 / 5:05 pm

    You can still get a student loan for a second degree (albeit a much reduced one) – might be worth looking into if you ever get stuck 🙂

    • charlotte
      November 15, 2015 / 5:08 pm

      Hi Kirsty, any chance you could email me – therunnerbeans@gmail.com with more info on this, I couldn’t find that anywhere!!!

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