I am a student!
This is pre university selfie! (Check out the un-expected blst of snow in the back!)
Well, I have made the decision to go back to uni to study a post grad in Leadership and Management at Lancaster University. I did my BA Hons in 1997-2001 (god I feel old!), I was keen to leave and get into the world of work. Well, 15+ years on I am well and truly happy to go back to study. This is mainly an independent learning course, which basically means home studying. Although, there are about 10 days throughout the year which are on campus. I know that many consider me crazy; a full time job, blog, online business, oh and a 3 year old, but I thought why not add something else into the haze that is my life. Managing a small team at work, I thought that the company would support me as the course is centred 100% around what you are doing at work and how to improve it. I was surprised (or actually was I really?) by the negative response I received by the company. It was made clear that they would not support this course. So, Ian and I agreed I should fund it myself. Sod them.
My first day at school
It is an odd feeling going back to university. It was like my first day at school, yet an old version of me! In many ways I felt old, as the fresh faced freshers looked so young, but on the other side I felt so young being back in this environment and all of the feelings of being at university came flooding back to me. it was in the same way you play a song and the memories come back, well the whole chilled environment brought back a feeling a feeling of freedom and youth.
There are about 15 people on my course, all from very different back grounds. I was surprised that I was in fact one of the youngest, I was expecting to be the granny. It was a totally different experience to my university days. Even though I was there out of choice, there was still a distinct feeling of " I could be doing something different"; whereas in this class everyone really wanted to be there. There was a keen vibe of enthusiasm. I felt super excited and whereas in the past I have always struggled with concentration levels, I was all ears and sucked up every bit of information that was given to me.
It really struck me how refreshing it felt to be in this environment. It is easy to get used to a stressed, pushy, aggressive work place, so when a group of people get together who are genuinely interested in what every one else has to say and listen and talk with enthusiasm it felt like a breath of fresh air.
I think I forgot how enjoyable learning is. We get so bogged down at work by all the politics, back stabbing and general grief that we get on a daily basis ( is this everyone or just my workplace?) I realised that I am not really learning much at work any more. It also occurred time how little "actual work" we do at work. The majority of the day is filled with pointless meeting after meeting, procedures, office politics, the general whining of staff members and chit chats about how we are going to do something, I constantly hear "what is the strategy" but we spend that much talking about how we intend doing something in such fine detail that we don't get time to actually do it.
What I love about university is the genuine belief that you can make a difference. I don't want to sound so negative and bitter by saying that this is not true, of course it can be. I just think the anticipation of how your career will be is often more exciting that the reality.
I am so much looking forward to my studies this year and hope to carry it on until I complete my MA. It has really made me look at things differently which is often hard to do when you get caught up in your every day job. Doing something totally different is such a eye opener and often the only way you can see things for what they are. I realise that I spend way too much time worrying and stressing about work. Why are we at work? OK to make money, of course, but surely we want to make a difference and feel that we are contributing and even actually enjoy our job. I am going to try my hardest to sit back at work when I'm getting upset or frustrated and really think about the importance of he thing that is making me upset. Is it really worth it impacting my home life and my health?
I'm sure that there will be many posts about my "uni life" over the next year, but it has certainly made me want to try things that are out of comfort zone. Go on try something new!