I'm a month into my 3 month distance learning course at The University of Sheffield. I've REALLY had to change my way of life for a while, poor Nick comes home from work and cooks for me every night, the washing isn't done until there isn't a single clean sock left in the house, the cupboards are bare, date nights have been cancelled, the gym haven't seen me in over a month and I'm permanently excused from the washing up (hurrah!) while I sit looking at the computer screen, frantically scribbling notes. I think this explains why I've been missing from here. BUT, despite our lives decaying into chaos, here are 5 reasons why I'm really enjoying being a mature student.
1. I'm Flexing my intellectual muscles again!
It actually feels good to be learning things again, and things I always found interesting in the past, but due to my line of study before, never had the time to find out more. I find myself going to say 'Today I learned...' in conversations before I realise no one else is that interested!
2. It Gives me an Excuse to Let my Inner Geek Out
If you haven't already guessed, I am a big geek, I love learning, and before the course started I caught myself researching how I can get the most out of the time I spend making notes. For anyone else as studious as me, here are a couple of good links!
3. I Have An excuse to Buy Stationary
There's still that young girl inside of me who shows herself whenever I have an excuse to buy stationary. New term. New pencil case, right? I've never pedalled so fast as when I heard there was a 1/2 price stationary sale at Sainsburys. How I miss Korea in my stationary frenzies.
4. I'm Getting Where I Want to Be
After I graduated in 2008, I did fall into a job that wasn't really my cup of tea, I have a lot to be thankful for though because of that job. I've made so many great friends from it, the boredom of it inspired me to make my free time more interesting through roller derby and, eventually, it gave me the motivation to move to Korea! All clouds have a silver lining. But now it's nice to know that I am moving myself in the direction I want to go, and if i don't succeed then at least I've tried my very best to get there!
5.I'm More efficient with time
I have to say, a slight downside with the work load, and the fact I'm out of practise with studying is the fact that it takes up so much of my time. I really have to be efficient. Lunch breaks at work are no longer about idly checking Facebook, I have to run into town to carry out the errands I would normally have done in the evenings. I have to plan when I'm going to be alone in the house, so I have nothing else to do while I'm distraction free. Being like this does make me really appreciate the free time, ALOT more!
6. I Have The Gift of Experience
I think the biggest lesson I've learned since travelling, is that when you're young, you're made to make decisions about your future when you're just not ready. At 14 you decide on the GCSEs you'll take. At 16 it's the A Levels, which then stipulate the kind of course you can study at University. This can then affect the profession you can go into and even the further study you want to do. I think there are very few 16 year olds really know what they want to do the next weekend, let alone for the rest of their lives. I remember thinking I wanted to either be a journalist for a glossy magazine, or a film editor. It was only through life experience that I learned what I enjoyed and what really interested me. It's only through meeting people and talking to people and seeing amazing things that can really help you make good decisions in perspective. And as a mature student I really feel like I'm getting the chance to rectify some of the bad choices I made when I was too young to know better.