Graduation and The End of Study.

GraduationAfter several long years, my University studies are finally over and well and truly behind me. On 21 March, I attended my graduation ceremony. It was a day that held mixed emotions for me; I was so nervous I was dreading every minutes of it, yet wanted it over with at the same time. I felt so uncomfortable, and having to wear the outfit and hat didn’t help (at least I wasn’t alone in that – I could look silly along with hundreds of others)!

My husband insisted I attend and I’m glad he did, for I know I would regret it if I didn’t. Graduating like this was something I would never do again, as I have no intention of furthering my studies. I received a degree I did not require to further my career; I studied because I simply wanted to. Years ago I wanted to study for a Bachelor of Arts, yet family members mocked it, labelling it a ‘Bachelor of Bludging’. Certainly there were some subjects during the course of my studies that I didn’t find too difficult, and I can see how the arts are perceived, yet I was not satisfied with cruising through University. If I was going to study, I was going to do it properly and work hard to earn that degree. And I did. In all twenty-four subjects, I only received one pass; the rest were credits and above. I studied because I was interested in learning and I wanted to further my writing skills, as well as learning to discipline myself and work to deadlines. My studies were completely online – never once did I attend lectures like my husband. Writing is a solitary occupation; studying in this way helped prepare me for the future.

Sitting and waiting in the back row.
Sitting and waiting in the back row.

It wasn’t until almost two weeks later, that the reality really sunk in. I had never realised until I was home alone for a few days just how much time I had devoted to my studies. It has been a lot of hard work and it has certainly been rewarding. I feel that my writing has become stronger by it – so much so a lecturer once asked if I was going on to do my Masters. Writing full time is going to need the same amount of discipline and hard work, but through my studies, I know I can do it. Sometimes, we don’t know what we can achieve unless we really try.

What have you done that you felt you really had to work hard for? Do you struggle with discipline? Have you ever done something that others have mocked you for?

Images by Debbie Johansson

I’ll be taking another break from blogging and will return on 29 April. Happy Easter everyone and I hope the Easter bunny is good to you all! 🙂

My University Challenge.

Earlier this year, I did something with my studies I had never done before.  I had undertaken full time studies during the first semester and found it quite a challenge.  Undertaking three subjects with a household and children to look after, I never really got the time to do any writing and very little in the way of reading for pleasure.  So, here I am again, putting myself down for the same challenge for the beginning of 2012.  Why?  Quite simply, I only have seven more subjects to do and then I’ve finished study altogether.  The sooner I finish, the better it will be; I will have a life again and have more time to write.  For me, these are the reasons why I continue to study:-

  • To prove to myself (as well as others) that I can do it.
  • To assist with organisational skills and meeting important deadlines.
  • To improve my writing skills.
  • To learn.
  • I’m almost done!

Another interesting challenge is that my University has now changed to trimesters.  I have chosen to do one subject during trimester three, which is during October to the end of January 2013.  Yep, you guessed it – right in the middle of the Christmas school holidays (oh well, at least it’s only one subject)!

Due to financial insecurity within my household, even this close to earning my degree, I did think of chucking it all in.  My husband, on the other hand, refused to hear of it.  If he had to wear one of those outfits and look like a complete idiot for his graduation, then it’s only natural that I should do the same – even if he has to drive me all the way.  Now there’s dedication for you! 🙂

I trust you will understand that my posts earlier next year may become a bit erratic, however, I still intend to post on a weekly basis.  I guess from now on, instead of working smarter, I shall just have to work harder.

Image of University New England by Debbie Johansson.

Defining Your Goals: Learning to Say ‘No’.

I’m afraid I’m one of those people who say yes to a lot of things and more often then not, later wonder why I said that in the first place.  I’m a ‘people pleaser’, and unfortunately, people have tried to take advantage of that, only for me to eventually put my foot down.

So when I was asked to do some more paid work, I was seriously considering the matter.  Then my husband told me specifically not to.  The reason being, quite simply, that my University studies begin again in a matter of days.  This semester I will be doing three subjects; a task I have never done before.  It practically equates to full time work, and I will also be trying to get some writing done at the same time.  It seems I will have my work cut out for me already without having to add anything else to it.

Recently I have been reading The Productive Writer by Sage Cohen.  In it, she states that in order for us to say ‘no’, we must first know what we want to say ‘yes’ to.  I’m beginning to clearly define my goals; going back to working in an office is not one of them.

What have you said no to this year?