Where time takes us

Hi all,

I know you’ve all missed me. I’ve missed me too.

It seems I’ve been hiding under the rock of procrastination for a minimum of at least three lunar cycles, and it’s time to emerge…slightly battle weary from the challenges weeks 7 – 14 (in uni speak) decided to throw at me, but I’ve been hibernating long enough now to, let’s face it – get over it. Suck it Up. Woman up. Shake it off. Get on with it. Move on. Jump over the hump. Have a word with myself. Pronounce to the world ‘Inshalla!’.

Hell, why not just dust off that unused joyful canary alto-voice box out of storage, and croon a little ‘Que Sera Sera’, to myself; Donning a crisp white fifties housewife number, curl my golden mane and dust the house gaily whilst I do so?

Why not? Because, like 99.87% of Semester One 2012, it is far too much effort.

You see, much like my blogging peer Melissa, I endured the second year slump.

I’m sure that comes as no surprise to you who have read previous instalments of this blog; reading nuggets such as my references to the pain I’ve endured at the hands of cocky maths genius’ and the inner fury I try to suppress whilst people talk and play on computer games and just generally be younger than me in my presence whilst I’m straining every last dawdling geriatric brain cell in the direction of meagre comprehension of any given subject. “Grr Grr Grrrrrrrrrrrr!” Said the witch from Old Maid Mountain.

I digress.

I was mildly convincing in a previous blog where I lectured on the art of a breezy uni life, and pontificated on my new found ‘Gratitude’ for the blessing of having the access to education in the privileged west. I hope you all scoffed at me. Because, frankly, what a load of sanctimonious tripe.

There I was talking with busy parents, full-time workers, people who haven’t studied in over a decade or more, struggling and despising themselves for their decision to return to study – no matter how good the career prospects are at the end of the tunnel – who just wanted to hear “It’s ok to hate everything about this and sometimes everything about it is more than a bit sh*t.” But with concern for branding my blog as one threaded with negativity, I felt I needed to throw in a token ‘happy’ blog – so you’d all like me.

I apologise for that.

I am exaggerating again. Of course I believe everything I wrote in that blog and intellectually get it. I genuinely do hold onto Gratitude as a principle of life. But, at around the week 7 mark, everything started to come undone for me.

I gave up on my nemesis; Data Analysis – having been forced into it for the second time after failing (by one mark – %$^&!”£*), because, seriously – when all our brains were being assembled at the baby factory, Huey forgot to install the maths chip in my Temple Processing Unit. I can’t be blamed for just having faulty software. Sorry.

As some sort of self-sabotaging domino effect, I decided because one subject was giving me hell, I’d just give up on all of them. Like watching a slow-mo car crash, I could have gotten up from the couch, put the beer down and done something to save it…but I continued to sit and swill and it all unravelled pretty quickly from there on.

At the same time, I turned thirty (“Hazzah!” / “Commiserations” depending on which side of thirty you’re on, I suppose), and my sister turned forty so we hit the open water and caused P&O Cruises a bit of grief for two weeks. This was right around the time I was supposed to be burying my face in text books and on-line quizzes.

Then right on the back of our celebrations, our mate who was on the cruise with us, passed away. One more week absent with grief, interstate travel and all the jazz that goes with it.

On return, I was shaken by big questions around life, and genuinely questioning whether I even wanted to continue studying. My brilliant plan was just to quit everything and hit the road.

But the dust has settled, and after talking my thoughts through with friends, family and a QUT Counsellor, I’m back on earth.

I know all students, not just the older ones, can appreciate how bizarre and amazing life can be during our time as students. Let’s face it. Whilst uni is regularly the focus of our lives for a significant chunk of our lives, life happens around/through it!

I’m interested to hear your stories of life events you’ve had fall in your lap during your time as a student. Head over to the Party now, Study later Facebook page and share!

In just eight weeks I’ve managed two major events at work, turned thirty, been interstate and overseas twice, lost a friend, visited two brand new babies born to two of my close friends, completed a vegan challenge raising money for the RSPCA and (miraculously of them all) enrolled for my fifth semester of uni.

If you count your life experiences by uni-time, it truly is remarkable how we grow and change as people during our time as students. I can categorically tell you I am not the same person that enrolled into Semester One.

I’ve decided to be kinder to myself and allow myself to have a rotten semester, spend more time with the people I love (and the beer I love, let’s be honest), and recover from a hectic few months because that is what I needed. I’m now vertical again and ready to smash the back end of 2012. Who’s with me?! (Yeah, rahhh.)

I know as hard as it has been, I will look back on my time as a uni student with pride and nostalgia…But not until I slay that bloody Maths Beast…

 ***

For those who don’t already know, In the spirit of creating a community and generating some peer support for mature-aged students, a casual catch up will be held at the QUT Gardens Point Guild Bar on Tuesday 31st July at 4pm.

It will be great to see you all there!

2 responses

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  1. Avatar
    Taz

    Data Analysis…
    Failed or dropped out five times.
    Finally bit the bullet and did it as a summer semester unit. Having 15 people in the class and daily tutorials makes all the difference. Passed with a 7. It can be done, but it’s best not to do it with 3/4 other subjects, full-time work, and some small shred of a life.

    • Avatar
      Monique

      Hi Taz,

      Thanks for the tips! I like the idea of a 15 person class very much!

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