One of the toughest things for me as a part time student is how to incorporate everything else that I did before I started my course. Most obvious amongst these is of work, although there are plenty of people around to remind you of that obligation and this post isn’t about work.
Studying for any course is an incredibly selfish thing to do. We can dress it up as much as we like; whether we see our work as contributing the the greater good of humanity or a path to a brighter future for our families through improved job prospects ultimately, we’re only really studying for ourselves. That isn’t to say what you’re doing is not worthwhile, it is just about being honest about what you’re doing and being aware that when you commit to a course, someone or something is probably going to lose out on you.
In my case I’m a terrible student. By that I mean I’m like people who are terrible patients. I share my frustrations out loud. I become insular and a bit grumpy when things are going badly. I also get annoyingly enthusiastic and over eager to share when I find out something new. It is like a hit of academic adrenalin and it tends to make me more than a little insufferable. I’ve also found I don’t sleep well until I’ve emptied my brain of the conflicting ideas and thoughts that vie for my attention. Not that bad you might say except that my lovely partner ends up on the receiving end of all of this. She bears it all with enormous fortitude though, ensuring I don’t descend too far into despair or shoot off into the stratosphere with overenthusiasm. She also makes sure I eat regularly and go to bed at a reasonable hour. She would be within her absolute rights to tell me to stop studying right now and drop out of the course because she’s got to put up with two years of this. That said she is my staunchest supporter and the most vocal advocate for me being on the course in the first place. She is, in short, quite marvellous.
So with that mind I’m closing my books this weekend. I’m turning off my computer and resigning the iPad to gaming duties. Instead I’m going to take my partner out somewhere; dinner perhaps and the theatre? The Playhouse in Nottingham is in their last weekend of Shakespeare’s Richard III which I’m going to try and get tickets for. I’ll write a review next week if we manage to get in!
I would suggest you all do the same (not the theatre of course – get your own ideas!); take some time to reconnect with your friends, families, loved ones and even the dog and spoil them for a couple of days.