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Return to Study

Reading Time: 2 minutes

There has never been enough time to gain all the knowledge you’d like. The demands of everyday life have held you captive – not altogether unwillingly – and allowed only an occasional opportunity to dip into the treasures of literature, history, science, media or whatever is your interest. Now, as you find yourself with time to spare you start to give serious thought to that long cherished desire – a return to formal study.

As one who tottered back to study as a mature age student some years ago, I remember some of the challenges I faced as well as the shocks awaiting me. How did I survive you ask?  Did I succeed – that is come away with the piece of paper to prove it—and was the experience worth the effort? Well, I can be positive on all three. Obviously I survived; I came away with a degree and yes, the experience was worth it.
One of the pleasant surprises was how delightful, helpful and interesting were the young students who, I must say, were slightly bemused as to why us mature folk would put ourselves through the trauma of essay writing, tutorials, lectures and exams when there was absolutely no need to and for PLEASURE. The library was a joy. So many books on so many topics by so many brilliant minds! Like a shopaholic on sale day I needed restraint as my over stimulated brain went into overdrive. My arms ached from carrying piles of heavy books home where I tried to consume them and absorb their contents. Gradually sanity returned as I discovered the need for a tad of discipline if I was to continue on this path and not burn out.
I tackled the reading. I found out that a few relevant books that I could actually understand were worth more than dozens I couldn’t. As for essays, well that was a revelation. I found out that no one was interested in my interpretations but rather tutors wanted a recap of their input so a good memory was paramount.  I advise sticking to the script, give back what you have received at lectures and don’t forget to acknowledge everything. Above all keep it in perspective. A sense of humour is essential. It’s not the end of the world if assessments are not what you hoped for. Just give it a go and ENJOY!
Author: Emma