Being a mature student is tough, I have now been battling through higher education for five years and it still isn’t getting any easier. It started with the birth of my daughter, I knew she needed something better, being a single mum so off to collage I went. I missed her a lot as the course was intense, my mother put her to bed most nights, I wouldn’t see her. I worked on assignments at collage, hard to concentrate with a cute but noisy baby around.
The access course was a blast, all the students were like myself as together we found ourselves in ‘last chance saloon’. The college was local and the bonds I formed with other students helped me to achieve the fabulous grades. However, the step on to university was outrageously different.
University is 45 miles from my home, so joining in any extra-curricular activities or even attending social events was a “no can do” for me. I had to be home to cook tea, bath and read to my daughter, and finally when all was quiet work on my assignments, some days I would be sat at my computer till 5am.
The best tip I can offer would be…Pack an open mind along with your lunch; food is expensive on campus. Try not to compare too much, observe and listen to your peers, your experiences will help you but take care they don’t block your thinking or attitudes. Keep positive as negativity will be your downfall.
In a nut shell… the art of doing anything but the task one is supposed to be doing.
Let me start by telling you, I only learnt of this word ‘procrastination’ and its meaning during my collage year, unfortunately the man who taught me this is an alcoholic, so procrastination is his forte. Anyway, “he who has not sinned.” I myself are guilty of such crimes.
As a student, mum and small business owner I feel the pressures of day-to-day life heavy on my shoulders, and with many gadgets and gismos in the home it is easy to lose sight of what’s important.
Assignment deadlines are looming over me, lacking in motivation and all I see when I look for inspiration are outside influences drawing me in. Maybe a new box of Lego I can’t resist, my 4 year old has no interest in building but loves to play, or a new box set on television.
Game of Thrones, had me hooked for a fortnight, never mind the housework and other influences pulling me from tasks that need to be done, when my life becomes a question of, bleach the floors and do the laundry or research and write an assignment I have no clue about, I used to chose Lego or box sets, now I chose to conquer.
If not now when? Stop making excuses and don’t start believing ‘done is better than perfect’ nothing is better than perfect, and time is your best resource.
I have travelled the world, speak two languages, play the piano and study at masters level yet, I learn more over a tea time chat with my 4-year-old than anyone could ever teach me. She tells tales of fierce beasts and how to avoid an attack, if you are ever face to face with a shark you should look it in the eye show no fear, and if it attacks, aim for the gills or eyes. these are the most sensitive parts.
I see a kindness in her that is rare these days, she surrounds herself in nature, often I find leaves and sticks in her pockets and animals flock to her.
We were shopping at the weekend, usual struggles I forget that I drive a Mini. I fought with the bags and I used some bad language the look of disappointment on my daughter’s face as she told me sternly; “you shouldn’t say that mum!”. I felt terribly ashamed however extremely proud.
A note from the teacher showed me how far ahead my daughter was in many aspects of school life, storytelling to the other children and her writing skills. “Don’t know where she gets it from” I replied. Another mother said, “how come she speaks so eloquently compared to you?” slightly offended, I uttered “amazes me”.
Everything I do I do for her, enjoy your children they end up like us far too fast, listen to them. They have so much to teach us.