That Student Life – Adult Ed Style Xo

Hey Sunshines!

It’s that time of year…

So those few words that fill me with routine dread are finally upon me “I’m studying again!”  For anyone that studies, you’ll resonate with this feeling very well.

It’s kind of a combination of – yay lets get it done and crack on, to oh no my life is going to be filled with learning new shit and revision – ahhh!

I admire anyone that works hard to achieve their goals.  I’ve recognised the older I have got that its ok that this comes in many forms too.  Academia isn’t for everyone and neither is a manual job, it’s what suits you is key.

My Niece has gone to Uni today – queue huge tears, feelings of emotion and sentences which begin with “I remember the day you were born…”.   The truth of the matter is that it does feel like yesterday.

My Sister brought home this teeny tiny so small I didn’t want to hold her in case I broke her because I thought she was made of china, baby.  She was beautiful and from day 1 I felt so much love for this little human.

At only 13 myself (yeah yeah go ahead and work out my age, I know you’re already doing it!) we’ve kind of grown up together, and although there are a few miles between us in terms of where we live, I’ve always tried my best to see her as much as possible and we are very much part of each others lives and that’s how it’ll always be.  She is without question an amazing lady, a mature outlook on life, caring, very funny and someone you want to hang out with,  my Jadey Pops as she is affectionately know, JP now she is older and too embarrassed to be called Jadey Pops.

She excelled in school and college and I have nothing but admiration for her starting her new journey at Uni.  I’m so excited for her next chapter and all the stories and memories she is going to create for her world.  I’m looking forward to hearing about her new course, new friends, her travels, working, all the shenanigans and late night FaceTime calls because some boy has been a bit of a shit head!

So to you my JP, that little human who is now a grown up and about to conquer the world, I love you,  I’m super proud of you and can’t wait to share the next chapter with you and beyond!  Our precious little pumpkin xx

Anyway, where was I going with this!?  I’ll dry my tears and tell you about my study journey so far.  So, I started as an apprentice when I was 22.  I didn’t go to Uni and would have done if I had pursued my other dream back then, but that’s what I am doing now! (Hence the blog!).  I admire anyone that does go to Uni and pursues their dreams, it’s a big commitment and to be able to experience it is so very cool and I have heard, has forever memoties.

I worked hard at school and college, wasn’t the brightest by any stretch but I always do my best and work hard.  A mantra that I still maintain in my adult life is that if you do your best, you can’t be disappointed in yourself because you can’t do anymore than that.  However, it wasn’t quite the environment that I felt I thrived in.  Being so painfully shy didn’t help and it was only when I went into the world and pushed myself that I realised it was only me who could change me.  I knew that bubbly, confident person was in there, she just hadn’t had the opportunity to do her thing yet!

I studied for 3 years and even did my final stage in 1 year when it was meant to be 2!  2 evenings a week for a year, no easy task but I was determined.  And I did it all whilst doing a full time job.  It’s not for everyone, but its worked for me and I’ve got a lot of benefit out of studying whilst earning and also learning on the job too.

So I wanted to write about adult education and reach out to those of you like me who are studying and working too.  How do you find it, what tips can you share and would you choose to do it this way if you had the chance again?

I graduated in 2009 as an accountant and I started studying again in 2013 to become chartered.  I’m now on my 7th module of out the first 9 and start my new term next Tuesday evening.

It’s a weird feeling in a way.  Pride, excited to be learning something new, happy to be working towards a new goal, estatic that its a little closer to finishing, along with dread and anticipation of revision and study schedules.

I work full time still and it’s a little challenging at times to know when to put the work pen down and pick up the study one, especially when you work long hours.  And can you believe that after all these years and god knows how many exams, I still feel physically sick before an exam!

BUT – I know its worth it, the rewards are worth it, the hard work is worth it, and for anyone thinking about doing it – do it!   I once read that sometimes people put off doing things because it’ll take too long, but that time goes by anyway so don’t let that put you off, something so true and something I’ve never forgotten!

You’ll thank yourself, you’ll never regret not doing it, even if its not for you, because you tried.  Its not for everyone as I said and you might even hate it at times, but I’m here to say that one career path that suits someone, isn’t necessarily the right one for you.

So, please share!  I’d love to know who else out there shares the same lifestyle and to hear how you find it.

And now you know why I put my ‘creative’ head into my blog and Instagram!  It balances me out and feeds my constant love of writing, lifestyle and fashion.

My top tips for adult ed studying are:

  • Make sure you enrol on the right course for you.  Research it, and unless it’s a lifestyle course, determine whether its something you want to turn into a job or career later on.
  • Create yourself a study timetable.  Be realistic about how long things will take and work out how long you have until your exam.  Tap in exam dates, half term dates, holidays, work commitments, family commitments, weekends away – literally everything!  It will help you to focus your mind onto when you need to do things.  I’ve even broken this down into book chapters before, to give myself clear goals.
  • Balance your life.  OK, so I admit and those I know will tell you, I am so so so super bad at this.  I don’t when to stop sometimes and I will keep going and going whether it be work or personal!  But I am still learning that I need to do this more and more.  Make sure that when you say yes to others, you are not saying no to yourself!
  • Reward yourself.  Coffee, cake, that jumper you’ve had your eye on, makeup!  Whatever your bag is!  You have no idea how fast you can get through a chapter when you reward yourself with shoes…
  • Look to the bigger picture.  Yes this revision is going to take the next x amount of months, but how many years is it going to benefit you for? ?
  • Above everything – NEVER STOP DREAMING AND BELIEVING!  Anything is possible if you set your mind to it.  Oh and never let anyone tell you, you can’t.  I’ve had this several times in my life and the more people doubt me, the harder I work to prove them wrong and do right by myself.

It doesn’t have to be everything either.  Yes a career is amazing and I would tell anyone that would listen if you can commit to it, do it. But fun is good too, and so is doing other things you love.   Be someone with a multicoloured palette!  You’ll have so much fun!

I love my job and its given me a lot of opportunities.  But I love my blog too and am excited about where it can take me.  Fingers crossed, everywhere!

I’ll never give up on my dreams.

Love you Sunshines

Debs

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