Returning to Education - The light at the end of the tunnel
Freedom has never felt so good...well partial freedom! Exams are finally over!!! When I decided that I was going to return to the wonderful world of higher education, I was warned about the intense workload that was potentially coming my way. I took the warning under my belt, somewhat brushed it off and was like "I've got this!". But my oh my was that warning an understatement. Undergraduate vs Postgraduate learning is like unlocking a brand new level on a game that has been consuming so much of your time. The techniques you've learnt on previous levels are still relevant, but you are now set more difficult challenges and have to create a whole new approach and learn a brand new set of skills to successfully continue on your journey. In undergrad, I could blag not doing the 'Essential Reading'... not this time my friend. You don't do your essential reading you just fail....simple as that! No two ways about it!
The workload itself has been intense, as I said earlier I was warned and shouldn't have expected anything different. But I'm convinced that nothing could have prepared me for the levels. With conversion courses you're basically cramming a Bachelors and a Masters degree that would usually take about four years to complete into a year. Plus trying to adapt to the world of psychology, coming from a creative and media was a major adjustment too.
Exam season....urghh don't get me started! It put me through my paces. I was seriously tested in more than just my academic ability, but also physically and emotionally. Those closest to me have witnessed the roller coaster first hand. Honestly one day I left my house at 3.30am to drive 50 miles to my university library to revise, got to the petrol station and realised I hadn't even brushed my hair. WHAT IS LIFE! Trying to master a years worth of work within 4 days between each exam has been torture! Interrupted sleep, Red Bull, that toxic smell of Sharpies and a discoloured whiteboard has been my life over the last month. My revision notes have been found in numerous places including my car, all over the house, in my bed, at work...basically everywhere and anywhere!
At the moment this is all sounding rather negative, but I promise you there are a few positive things that have come out of this experience... I swear! I'm going to be really honest with you right now, because on here I like to keep things extremely real. For the first time I feel like I've had to work my bloody backside off and you know what it feels great. I'm not saying that I've never worked hard before, but this time round I've literally given it everything and have no regrets! Stepping out of the the 9-5 life opened my eyes to things that I took for granted, gave me the opportunity to reflect on everything and work on myself. I've gained knowledge in an area which is completely new to me and I look forward to applying everything that I have learnt on my new journey.
Sometimes taking a little time out can do wonders and I can vouch for that. As the course draws to a close and we prepare to get cracking on our dissertations, I'm so relieved that I'll be somewhat free again. As it stands, I'm impatiently counting down to my next international adventure, as well as sharing the crazy stories which are more than likely to come with it (standard procedure) :)