Before I start….I just want to say this ‘silence is sweet’.
It has been a while since I could merely sit and enjoy the sweetness of silence. In fact, it has been 14 weeks since I sat in front of my computer and could actually merely sit and write down whatever I wanted to, without referring to reference guides, quotations, task sheets spread all over my desk or constantly scrambling for my notes thrown over the floor, desk or hanging out of my backpack or checking the clock as to how late it was and wondering if I could slip some sleep in, before my lecture or tutorial began in several hours time.
So, at 1 o’clock in the morning, I am wide awake and I had promised a blog for the sweet Miss Scarlett as to how I fared during my 14 week semester as a University Student. I thought I may as well be constructive with my time management and be creative with some words for you to enjoy.
The first four weeks, were one hell of an adjustment for me and the family. I came home from my first day exhilarated and totally engrossed in this new endeavour of mine. After years of watching Miss Scarlett and The Princess working on their various assignments. Feeling slightly envious of them, as they were educating themselves, I decided to enroll myself at University in a Tertiary Preparation Programme that ran for the second semester of the University year.
The Tertiary Preparation Programme, was created in order for those people who have been in the work force or out of school for a long period, could attend University as a student, choosing up to four subjects and getting enough credits at the end of the semester in order to enroll in an Undergraduate Programme of their choice.
So, with my acceptance letter sitting in my email box, I loaded myself up with a new laptop, books, pens and a sense of excitement and I went to University, that first day all wide eyed and bushy tailed. At the end of the day, I walked back in the house, wondering what the hell I had got myself into! Literally it felt like time was against me from that moment, I needed and craved ‘silence’, just so I could actually sit, read all my notes from my lectures and tutorials, then begin to process it into a cohesive set of material. Over the coming weeks, I could be heard mentioning a few times to the family:- ‘leave me alone, you have NO idea how daunting this is’ or be heard muttering ‘my teachers are sadists.’
Within the first four weeks, I dropped one of my four subjects after reaching the decision, that three subjects was all I could handle at the time. With the decision made, I realised I could actually breath, from that point on, I kept on working diligently at my remaining subjects, the assignments, group presentations, oral presentations, business and technological reports that seemed to be growing in mass by the minute, even if I was bone weary.
When I got my first High Distinction, I cried my eyes out in pure joy. I had been tremendously anxious as to how I had been faring within my subjects, until that point, I had no feedback from either Lecturers or Tutors, so it was with much trepidation, I opened up my submission page. I was overwhelmed with joy and a sense of pride, simply for the fact at 52 years of age, I had found ‘my groove’ and there was the evidence, I was on the right path to fulfilling a life time dream.
It was the ‘zap’ I needed to keep hurtling me along the path, with each assignment submitted for review, I watched in astonishment as High Distinctions and Distinctions kept unfolding across my submission page. I was proving to myself and my family each week, that my motto:- ‘ Be the best you can be’ was a reality and something I fiercely believe in was correct.
When I submitted my last assignment on Thursday, it was with a sense of anti-climax. It was the last time, I needed to sit in front of my computer and review my referencing, grammar, punctuation, research journals for information to support my theories or think about the numerous reports, that I realised I do detest doing, let alone creating. As I pushed submit for the last time, I reflected back on how much I had grown to enjoy alot of what I had learnt and created, including all the power point presentations or the oral presentations were something I did enjoy immensely. Discovering how my career through the years was in some sense pre-ordained through my values, work ethics and mind-set of skills established with each employment I entered. Holding extensive tutorial conversations with a diverse range of people was stimulating to my senses and actually incorporating some of what I learnt into daily life was pretty exciting too.
As I wait for my last results to come in across my laptop screen in the near future, I do know that I have already PASSED ALL THREE SUBJECTS and I can believe, absorb and relax in the knowledge that in 2017, I begin my Degree in Creative Writing and the future unfolds more stimulation, stress, worry, exhilaration and many mutterings of ‘my teachers are sadists’, as I begin three years of hard work.
So, with several months up my sleeve until I start back at University, as a ‘freshman’ in my Undergraduate Programme, I have been wondering what on earth to do with myself to keep me mentally stimulated? Could be that ‘book’ I have had sitting in my cupboard shelf may need to be dusted off and let ‘Meg and Jake’ tell their story, since Miss Scarlett has been whinging at me nonstop to keep cracking on the next chapter for many years.
All, I know is at this moment, I miss being a ‘student’ and I thoroughly enjoyed the torture and exhilaration it fed to my mind and body.
My last words for this blog…..from someone who has waited many years for this opportunity to fulfill a dream, that was spoken about one day as i watched my four small children swing in a park as I sat on a sea wall…..’Never let go of your dreams!’
From my heart, I send my hugs and best wishes for your futures…. where ever your path may lead. Be brave. Be determined. Be proud of who you are.