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Live, and learn

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By Joanna Cummings

Inspired by our ever-popular Future Paths event for potential Oxbridge applicants taking place next month, we look at some points for students of any age to consider when starting university. Some of these will resonate with you, and some you might like to share with family or friends, who might be looking forward to taking this step.

Going into higher education, whether straight from school or at a later stage in life, is a unique blend of opportunity and challenge, which requires the student to balance the absorption of knowledge with a whole swathe of other demands. Students are a diverse community with differing ambitions, including those with high learning potential who may find that the ‘traditional’ educational environment doesn’t best suit their needs. The good news is that many academic institutions are moving with the times.

Most universities have embraced inclusivity – as well as accessibility – when it comes to extracurricular activities, and social events can help students integrate and settle in to university life.

Since the pandemic, there is the option for more flexible study – studying from home, watching recorded lectures online or, for those with families, on-campus creches, parent support groups and family-friendly study spaces.

A more relaxed and flexible approach to learning may suit some learners best, such as opportunities to request extensions or adjustments when it comes to coursework, placements and exams, or to access tutoring services, study skills workshops, academic coaching and other specialised resources, such as assistive technology or note-taking support. Students should not be afraid to ask for what they need.

Some students will be looking for more challenges in addition to the set curriculum and they should ask about advanced courses, whether it’s possible to join lectures in complementary degree subjects, or the availability of research opportunities or internships.

Dr Seuss famously said of education, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go”, and nowhere is this truer than when someone pursues higher education. It can be incredibly rewarding but daunting too; balancing academic responsibilities and adapting to new technologies, all while trying to integrate socially.

In short, a successful academic experience is about so much more than intellectual capacity – it requires a balancing of studies, social life and self-care. The opportunities and challenges that learning brings are there to be embraced and – most of all – enjoyed.

Young Mensans Future Paths

Saturday 20 July 2024, Oxford

Thinking about pursuing studies at Oxford or Cambridge? Are you the parent of someone who is? This event could be for you. Get expert advice on the dos and don’ts of applying from the universities’ admissions officers and take time out to explore Oxford too.

Join the discussion 

If you had one piece of advice to give a prospective student with high learning potential, what would it be?

Our new online community, Mensa Community, provides a digital space for Mensa members to discuss any number of topics and issues. If you haven’t already signed up, you can log in here using your My Mensa login details. 

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Live, and learn

By Joanna Cummings

Inspired by our ever-popular Future Paths event for potential Oxbridge applicants taking place next month, we look at some points for students of any age to consider when starting university. Some of these will resonate with you, and some you might like to share with family or friends, who might be looking forward to taking this step.

Going into higher education, whether straight from school or at a later stage in life, is a unique blend of opportunity and challenge, which requires the student to balance the absorption of knowledge with a whole swathe of other demands. Students are a diverse community with differing ambitions, including those with high learning potential who may find that the ‘traditional’ educational environment doesn’t best suit their needs. The good news is that many academic institutions are moving with the times.

Most universities have embraced inclusivity – as well as accessibility – when it comes to extracurricular activities, and social events can help students integrate and settle in to university life.

Since the pandemic, there is the option for more flexible study – studying from home, watching recorded lectures online or, for those with families, on-campus creches, parent support groups and family-friendly study spaces.

A more relaxed and flexible approach to learning may suit some learners best, such as opportunities to request extensions or adjustments when it comes to coursework, placements and exams, or to access tutoring services, study skills workshops, academic coaching and other specialised resources, such as assistive technology or note-taking support. Students should not be afraid to ask for what they need.

Some students will be looking for more challenges in addition to the set curriculum and they should ask about advanced courses, whether it’s possible to join lectures in complementary degree subjects, or the availability of research opportunities or internships.

Dr Seuss famously said of education, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go”, and nowhere is this truer than when someone pursues higher education. It can be incredibly rewarding but daunting too; balancing academic responsibilities and adapting to new technologies, all while trying to integrate socially.

In short, a successful academic experience is about so much more than intellectual capacity – it requires a balancing of studies, social life and self-care. The opportunities and challenges that learning brings are there to be embraced and – most of all – enjoyed.

Young Mensans Future Paths

Saturday 20 July 2024, Oxford

Thinking about pursuing studies at Oxford or Cambridge? Are you the parent of someone who is? This event could be for you. Get expert advice on the dos and don’ts of applying from the universities’ admissions officers and take time out to explore Oxford too.

Join the discussion 

If you had one piece of advice to give a prospective student with high learning potential, what would it be?

Our new online community, Mensa Community, provides a digital space for Mensa members to discuss any number of topics and issues. If you haven’t already signed up, you can log in here using your My Mensa login details. 

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