There is an element of apprehension when returning to study as a 'mature' student. There are huge benefits, but it's still a slightly odd position to be in. Reassured that in this day and age mature students are not so uncommon and feeling buoyed by a delightful lunch just for us old 'uns and the warm welcome we received there, a fellow mature psychology student and I headed to the main psychology building to register on the first day of term. Still feeling relaxed and happy after a lovely introduction, the very first person from our course that we met appeared gobsmacked that we were there. For the purposes of anonymity, here she shall be known as 'Cindi' (it just seems to fit). Cindi was staring at us and looking confused, so I said hi and smiled at her, putting it down to first day nerves. Cindi then asked if we were first year students as well, which we confirmed.
I didn't pick up on the attitude in her tone when she said: "But you look.......um........ older.... than us..." (picture, if you will, gum-smacking and hair-twirling) so I replied that yes, we were mature students. I only noticed it when she followed up with "so.... um.... can you still be freshers then??"
I'm now forming The Mutton Club, with the tagline that you can still use your brain after 25.
I'm left wondering whether this was just a snide insult, or the much worse possibility that the concept of a mature student is utterly alien to this girl; and the fervent hope that she doesn't plan to go straight into a field that involves working with people.