My Story: Don't let age hold you back
On completing his Leaving Cert at Maynooth Post Primary School, Co Kildare, Travis Davidson took some time off to travel, but found himself dreaming of a career as a stockbroker.
Last year, Travis, who is now 24, decided to apply to Maynooth University as a mature student, and was offered his first choice, a BA in Finance with a minor in Business.
Born in Trinidad and Tobago, Travis grew up in Maynooth, but he attended open days at a number of colleges before making his CAO choice.
"I knew the course I wanted to do, but I was trying to keep my options open, so I did a lot of research to see which college would give me the experience that was right for me," he said.
Travis spoke to guidance counsellors and former students to get a sense of what the courses were like at various colleges.
Now halfway through his first year, Travis is confident he made the right choice. "I'm really happy with my course. I worried that it would be too difficult but the lecturers are good, they're very understanding and they give you a full insight into every topic."
He was also pleased to find that mature students are made to feel as much a part of the community as everyone else. "I would definitely encourage anyone else who is thinking of going back to college as a mature student to do it. Don't feel scared. I know a lot of people think the age difference is a massive thing, but it's actually not.
"There are hundreds of clubs and societies here, there's even a trampoline society. It makes you feel so welcome. I never felt alone."