After now being back in full time education for 5 months, and my first module complete and my second module underway… SCARY!!… I thought it would be a good time to talk a little more about the actual transition from working full time to going back into education.
I was well aware that making the change from being in a full time job for 3 and a half years to going back into full time education was going to be a challenge, although to be honest I had no real expectations of what exactly I would find challenging!
I have definitely learnt a lot more about myself over these months, yet also seen some of my old personality traits and habits come back into force from when I was in education before, which is quite funny as I am in a completely different time in my life than when I was living at home and at school or first living in halls when I went to university for a year back in 2014.
One of the main challenges that has come with going back into full time education is remembering that not all ‘free time’ is actually ‘free time’. Although I have always been a doer and not one who loves wasting their days doing ‘nothing’, the realisation hit quite quickly that I cannot chose to do whatever I want all the time anymore, I actually have to use my free time to do work, and in the evenings when I come back from uni! This is SO completely alien to me as before I would just come home and do whatever I wanted, whether that be sorting things out in the house, spending the weekends with my family and friends, or literally sitting on my bum and watching Netflix.
Although I know that I really want to be on this course, I won’t lie and say the motivation to get the work done has come at the drop of a hat. Especially with having days at home for ‘self directed study’. I am soooo not used to having full days at home on my own, so to start with days at home literally felt like the weekend and a free for all, and trying to keep myself on track with work rather than sorting out my washing was a bit of a challenge!
At the start of the course I was like ‘I am going to revise every single spare moment I have for this first exam….’ and when it came to it I then remembered how much of a procrastinator I can be! Getting in to the swing of revising definitely took some time, and to be honest after sitting my bioscience exam and managing to get 78% I am pretty proud of how I eventually got back into the revision way of life!
During my first placement which finished in May, I got an even better taste of what the next three years will look like, and not just the lecture/clinical skills within university side of things. Although I already had an idea of what it would be like, I had not experienced being on placement full time with exams to revise for and placement documents to fill in. I am soooo fortunate that I am not working on top of this, as I know some students do, but the six weeks of this were so tiring, not like when I worked full time and my days off were actual days off!
Talking about working on top of the degree, that is one thing that I have actually felt guilty about these past 4 months. Although I do get a student loan, it certainly isn’t the same as earning a salary, so I have had to be much more careful with money, I think this topic could actually warrant its own post! But not working along with these days at home has left me with some sort of ‘I don’t work’ guilt at times. Whilst I know that I will be able to survive this degree much more easily without a part time job on top of it, I can’t help but feel a little bit bad when I am at home studying and think that I maybe could fit in a part time job, but I know that stressy head me would NOT enjoy trying to fit in a job as well! I love being able to spend time with my family and sleeping too much!!
What I have really realised over the past five months though is that I am SO glad that I have made this decision. Going back into full time education absolutely petrified me and I was convinced for quite some time that I just wasn’t clever enough or able enough to get through this degree, but I think I am just about realising that I can and will do it!