For my fellow millennials reading this post, you may be aware of the early work of Miley Cyrus in the Disney Channel show ‘Hannah Montana’. If you’re unfamiliar with the Hannah Montana narrative (shame on you) I’ll give you the run down; Miley is a regular teenage girl by day who leads a secret double life as international pop star ‘Hannah Montana’ by night. It’s a performance, it is a balancing act that I believe is almost analogous to my experience juggling work and part-time study (except without the wigs and musical numbers…mostly).
The journey of my law/behavioral science degree hasn’t exactly been a consistent one. When people ask me what year of uni I’m in, my answer is a little hazy and involves somewhat complex math. While 2017 will be my fourth year of study at uni, I’m only about 2/3rds of the way through what should have been a 5.5 year degree. I started my degree determined and motivated to do my 4 prescribed subjects a semester as a full-time student and possibly a few extra summer subjects to get ahead. Then I discovered extra curricular activities, work, internships and work, and my 4 subject study schedule became too stressful to maintain.
I enjoy learning and I want my uni experience to be a positive one. I want to be able to engage with my subjects, I want to achieve the best of my potential academically and I want to maintain a balanced life and my mental well-being. I found my answer to these goals in part-time study. Nowadays I normally take on 2-3 subjects a semester (depending on work and life commitments), I work 3 days a week and I volunteer 1 day a week at Women’s Legal Service. Though it can be a balancing act changing from my study hat to my work hat, as Hannah Montana would say, ‘I’ve got the best of both worlds’.