The Christmas food has been eaten, the festive jumpers worn, and the company of family enjoyed. With a few days of rest, the Christmas break is a good chance for me to give some time to (not quite so festive) course reading, and to look ahead at study goals for 2018.
Our course commenced in October, with the first module being Career Development Theories, (which included a two-day residential at Warwick). This was a great way to be introduced to the campus, the course, and the theories being covered in the module. The residential helped my self-confidence in being on the course and I left wanting to throw myself into studying.
October is also my busiest month at work. We have events for returning placement students, are welcoming visiting employers on campus, and promoting new vacancies. It is a fun and energetic time. However, with all that energy being put into making October a success at work, I underestimated the impact it would have on committing to a focused study routine.
At first I tried to work through the reading. I began to feel frustrated with myself that I wasn’t covering the study at the pace I had planned to. Did this mean I couldn’t really balance study and work? As October came to a close I began to find more time and energy to study. I realised I had needed to make a compromise in those early weeks to balance my other commitments at their peak points (in this case work), and that it was a healthy learning curve of the balancing act of study and work.
During November and December I have found a happier balance. In quieter work points I have taken a couple of days of leave to give myself focused study time, which have been really positive opportunities to concentrate and immerse in reading. With these little boosts, I have now settled into a better pace of study, and am making my way through the module sections. This has involved some heavier academic reading (good brain exercise!), all of which are provided/linked to within our online study materials. Alongside my personal study, we were encouraged at the residential to have ‘study buddies’ for the module, on account of the mainly distance study involved, so that we could share our experiences and help motivate each other. I am fortunate to have a colleague in my department also on this course, and we have also buddied up with two other students on the course, based elsewhere in the UK. This contact has been a nice little addition, to know of others out there in the same boat that you can drop an email to.
As 2017 comes to a close, my goals are to start working on the assignment of this first module, due in March. I will also be starting a second module on Work Experience in Higher Education, so it will be a further good learning curve to see how I can (fingers crossed!) overlap two modules of study, and again juggle my routine around to find a balance with it all.
Wishing you all a happy new year!
About the author
Rose Leek is a paid blogger for CLL.
I relocated back near my hometown last year in Surrey, after a decade living near the sea in East Kent. I work in a University Employability & Careers Centre, assisting engineering and science students onto a placement year as part of their degree, and providing administrative support to their academic tutors.
I started the Postgraduate Diploma in Careers Education, Information and Guidance in Higher Education (CEIGHE) in October 2017 and am looking forward to developing a wider awareness of the service I work within, and increasing my confidence and understanding.
I have experienced a year with lots of change, and it is both exciting and daunting to be adding studying back into my life. I have never written a blog and my reasoning for doing so is the hope that it will help me to better reflect on, and share, my experience as a CEIGHE student. My course is mainly distance taught, with a few residential workshops per year. I wanted to also try to share the perspective of being a distance student, and how I will (hopefully!) learn to juggle the balance of study, work and home.
I look forward to the journey ahead!
And if all else fails, maybe the cat can do some of my studying for me?