So I’ve signed up for a part time college course, yikes! It’s not like I don’t know what I’ve let myself in for – I’ve been doing all sorts of courses for the past 30 years – but I’m finally going to go for a degree.
I left school at 14 after only six months in secondary school and zero qualifications. After having my babies I realised that I would need to go back to get an education that might help me to get a job that would be something more than manual work and basic pay.
I started by attending an Adult Education Centre doing basic English and Maths but got thrown out of the class after two sessions as we realised I was at a higher level and I moved onto a class in English Literature.
That was the start of my love of learning. Since then I have done evening class after evening class in all sorts of subjects. I have certificates and diplomas coming out of my ears but I didn’t have ‘that’ piece of paper – the degree. A lot of times it was to do with the subjects that were included as part of the programme. There is no point in me doing some modules just because they are part of the overall programme if I have no interest in them.
This course covers all the topics I like, like Psychology and Sociology and History. It definitely makes it easier to study if you are enjoying reading the material and writing the assignments. The other thing that swung it for me is that the majority of the course is assignment based with only a few exams. I really dislike exams!
I think also having somewhere to go and something to do in the winter months is really important for me. I find that if I don’t have something specific to do it becomes a cycle of work, home, bed, work etc. etc. and the months just drag in. The dark months do have an impact on me so I need to have something else to focus on.
It’s scary at the same time too. It’s a big college campus and for someone with social anxiety this can be overwhelming – but usually once I know where I’ve to go and I’ve got there I’m fine. Then there’s the thoughts twirling around. The inner critic comes out and starts questioning – will I be able for the course work, will I get on with people on the course? I’ve just started and already I’m asking myself, what if I fail the course?
Every time I’ve done a course I’ve managed to get good grades so I go through this all the time, this doubting my abilities. I know that one part of me will spend the next four years stressing out every time over getting to a class, doing an assignment or an exam. However another part of me will thrive under the pressure and enjoy every moment.
So for the next four years I’m going back to school two nights a week. And the best part about that? Getting all the tools you need. Apart from books, stationary is my other real weakness and there is no nicer feeling than going to a stationary shop to get your shiny new folders and notebooks and pens.
If you are planning to go back to school too, the very best of luck, I hope that you enjoy and savour every moment. If, like me, you are also beginning to get the niggles about whether you can, or you can’t manage, look back at all the times you got through a similar situation, tell the critic to go back to sleep and keep going.