Anyone wanna be my friend…?

G’day fellow current and prospective student peers.

If you read my previous blog you would know the general theme of my blog is being old. mature. stressed. broke. isolated. drunk. in the older denomination of the student population at QUT. I recently participated in a survey for Psychology in which the results found the average age of respondents was 20.

At 29, I am what is known as an outlier. That’s right – I stuff up the data set, just by being here.

As a white middle class westerner, one could say this is my first experience of being in a minority. (No, that’s not true. I was once the only female on a tour bus with twenty men. And don’t get any funny ideas. They all knew very well if they tried anything funny they’d be punched in the throat. Not they’d want to. I smelt worse than them most of the time).

Making friends at uni is a real challenge for us ‘oldies’. We do typically have a lot more on our plate than our younger counter-parts; juggling any assortment of raising families, full or part-time work, social lives of our own and that of our family, pets, gardens, groceries, laundry, bills, health, extracurricular commitments, drinking habits and binging on chips in the closet – the list goes on. Add a degree to this and one would be forgiven for developing a drinking and closet-chip eating habit. Oh wait…

My point is, most of us tend to come to class, get the info we need and dash straight off to the next fresh hell awaiting us back at work, home or the in-laws’. We do not have similar experiences to most new uni students who do set out to make the most of uni, and all the fun it has to offer.

I have attempted to make some friends with people I’ve worked with in groups and others I’ve casually, yet strategically snuck up on (a bit stalk-y? Whaddaya think?). I think to myself, “I’m cool. All my thirty year old friends think so..and who wouldn’t want the insight of a sage ol love like me?”.

This theory was only strengthened by one group member telling me I was valuable to the group because of “all my years”. I get what he meant, but he should have added something like “of experience” to the end of his sentence to make me feel less like crying into my beer that evening.

So, I invite people to my cool house, out for coffee, beer, whatever! I usually get a non-committal “yeah that’d be cool…” coupled with minimal eye contact, soon followed by a de-friend from Facebook. I think they think the strange old bird is going to cramp their style.

To be fair, I do stomp around the library in a huff when I need a computer to work on and can only see people on Facebook or World of Warcraft, and I do often wear tracksuit pants to uni. I could explain that it’s because I go to yoga during lunch and get cold during lectures, but that’s it right there, isn’t it – A cool young person serious about social advancement would have a change of clothes in their bag or some such nonsense I just couldn’t be bothered with.

So, I remain alone on my quest for uni buddies. People who are old enough to think E.L.O are still ahead of their time, and chilled enough to accept me for my dagginess. You’re out there, I know you are, come find me (Not in a weird way – No turning up on my doorstep with a box full of dolls’ heads or anything. Just say hello on this blog or something. Be cool man, be cool.)!

Well, just as it seemed I was completely ostracised from the social ethos of university…I discovered this little ditty on Youtube!

And I thought to myself, “I say pretty much all that too! I’m still a bit like normal uni students! There’s hope for me yet!

And I rejoiced.

By myself.

In the library.

Whilst people play World of Warcraft around me.

17 responses

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  1. Avatar
    kate

    hi

    im kate starting in july for semester 2 bit worried starting at qut i come from usq but the fees are cheaper here for some reason so im changing. I will be starting a bachelor of laws 4 years of my life. so what is the classes like cos last time i was near the qut there were so many people and gave me anxiety lol and whats the teaching style like cos that is important to help me learn and pass my units.

    one again just wanted to say hi and possibly get some advise before i commence my first year.

    • Avatar
      Monique

      Hi Kate!

      We will have different experiences with classes and teaching styles as I am doing Business, and I’m sure the Law Department is a whole new world! Once you enrol, you should be able to connect to the Law School, and people within that community might be able to offer you some insight? I hope that helps. And if you see a daggy old chick talking to herself, it’s probably me – say hi!

    • Avatar
      Monique

      Hi Kate,

      A casual catch up will be held at the QUT Gardens Point Guild Bar for mature aged students on Tuesday 31st July at 4pm. It will be great to see you there!

  2. Avatar
    anzjuli

    Hey! I’m kinda older-ish too (well 23 but the damn kids make me feel like I’m 40 sometimes!)

    Let’s coffee this up hey?! (I’m trying to be cool…)

  3. Avatar
    Becky

    I totally relate to this, being 31 this year, my first tutorial was a very bad experience that I would like to simply erase from my memory… instead I rock myself to sleep at night hoping the memory will fade… kidding – it wasn’t that bad, I did question myself a little after it though… see it went like this. I roll up for first tutorial, first year, first semster, all willing to work hard and get on with things, waltz into the tutorial room, sit down, unpack my stuff, and no one is in there… I pop my head outside and ask “are you guys coming in to this tutorial?” “OH” they all say, “Yeh” and follow me in. Then there’s that awkward 5 minutes where they thought I was the tutor… *facepalm* It just me, or do the “youngins” like to loiter out front of tutorial classes too “scared” to go inside while the tutors not in there?? What’s with that?

    I would be your friend, but the pressures of doing a double degree, being married, and working full time only allow me think about what it *might* be like to have a social life… If I see you in the corner stuffing a bag of chips down your throat, I’ll be sure to smile and wave!

    • Avatar
      Monique

      HI Becky,

      I’m sorry you had such a troublesome first tutorial experience. It will get better I promise! That’s just the way it is – some a great, some make you rock back and forth in a corner 🙂

      Despite all your commitments, make sure you take time out for yourself. I know it’s a cliche but it’s absolutely neccessary.

      Best of luck with it all – and yes – say hi when you see something resembling the Gobbledoc!

  4. Avatar
    VO

    I feel you! Although I am not in my elder years, I’m 26 and come from i guess a ‘real world’ experience already. But all im missing is the education.
    My goal: i get in, do my thing, i get out. With trackpants, with jeans, with a bonds singlet top. No make up. I just can’t validate going to so much trouble when i’ve got shitloads of study to do and a mini household to run (i don’t have children, but i live with 2 men including my partner, which sort of does equal to children), work is out of the question.
    When i work, that’s when i put the make up on do the clothes thing etc etc….seriously, im not trying to win a fashion competition and neither should you 🙂

    • Avatar
      Monique

      Thanks VO! I knew I wasn’t the only the one… 🙂

  5. Avatar
    Amy

    Ah! Monique! I am 33..but 34 is looming, im studying law, and i can completely related the feeling old sentiment! Im external and it still radiates out of me! I think your my new favourite blogger.
    Good on you for saying the hard stuff too… lets call us ‘mature’ students… mature students do have so much on our plate, and the decision to return to uni is often differently motivated to our younger counterparts … but the desire to make it fun, to enjoy and connect, it isn’t absent just because your lifestyle cannot sustain it! I too have considered the calculated- casual stalk-y approach!
    Looking forward to hearing your stories of being ‘moody’ and your positions on domestic violence (my personal passion area).

    • Avatar
      Monique

      Hi Amy!

      Thank you so much for your kind words. It’s nice to know there’s kindred spirits out there!

      I’m directing people who want to continue the conversation over to https://www.facebook.com/pages/Party-now-Study-later/276229832411018 and send me a message.

      There is a small, yet powerful underground guild of isolated mature-ies seeking friendship coming out of the woodwork through this. We might all get together…. If we’re not all too busy….

  6. Avatar
    Hayley

    Hi,
    I feel I’m sometimes in similar situations to all of you even though I’m only 22. I was 20 when I started my degree (after transferring from another one) and I felt so old because I wasn’t straight out of school, didn’t think uni was a place to meet cute guys or go to parties every weekend, didn’t really care what I wore to uni and really couldn’t be bothered spending an hour each morning choosing an outfit, doing my hair and putting make-up on. This made me stick out from all the 17 year olds and therefore did not enjoy doing group assignments with them because a lot of them didn’t really care. So I’ve remained relatively anonymous until this year when I decided I should probably get involved and somehow ended up on the Committee for my field’s student association. Not really sure why I decided to do that, but hey, it’s kinda fun.
    So don’t feel down, the feeling of being old will pass when the younger ones realise that it really doesn’t matter what you wear or look like when you go into uni and then you’ll be a trend setter 🙂
    Have a good week.

    • Avatar
      Monique

      Thanks for the pep-talk Hayely!

      It’s good to hear stories of riding the social wave and coming out the better for it.

      Best of luck with your studies!

  7. Avatar
    Richard

    Hi Monique,
    I have to agree with the making friends bit, I’m 39 and trying to make friends with people who are young enough to be my children is challenging at the best of times. I tried a few times in the first semester of first year and got pretty much the same reaction as you. I’ve mostly given up trying now.:/.
    It would probably be a good idea to set up a forum(or something) for us oldies to meet up and complain about the youth of today.:D
    I’ve probably bumped into you in the library wearing a matching scowl whilst trying to find that all important comfy seat with a power socket nearby.

  8. Avatar
    Amie

    hi, im 25 and feel exactally the same way, so if you wanna im happy to meet up for coffee?

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