I am writing this post on the spring equinox, with the colours and brightness of the changing season on its way. This has coincided with finishing my first assignment. Reaching the end of the module, a quiet worry jumped to the front of my mind “Will I get a good mark?”
I have a tendency to jump forward with thoughts, to consider the potential scenarios that might take place. I have learnt to try and catch myself when the mind wanders away like this, to notice the here and now more. As the assignment mark popped into mind, I decided to switch this into something positive, and consider what benefits have already come from studying.
Studying gives the confidence to feel you can ask to learn at any stage, and you can achieve challenges. Looking at 5000 words, the result of five months of reading, is a huge confidence boost. I can see where this confidence has also spread beyond the module. Completing a first blog entry filled me with nerves. What would I write about? Now I look forward to this moment to myself, a chance to reflect and consider my experiences as a student.
When some reading took longer, or some wider reading was needed to get my head clear on a concept, it required patience. To begin with, I wanted to whizz through the reading, believing the speed at which I got through core reading was important. It was helpful to realise the value in slowing down to give time to make sense of something, even if it took a little longer than anticipated. In my spare time I enjoy crafts, where slowly you create, from thread, needle, and time. Viewing study in the same way helped to be patient when my understanding of something took longer.
When you’re juggling work, study and home, it can sometimes be difficult to think you have the time for study. It has been an eye-opener to see how much is possible if I don’t allow procrastination to creep in too much. Equally, there were times I tried to cram in as much study as possible. In trying to complete the reading, I became stubborn about working for long periods of time, when what I really needed was to switch off for a while. Appreciating when time is available for study, and relaxing, will hopefully be of use going forward in my studies.
Studying has provided a new appreciation for learning. It is a chance to be immersed in different ideas, and to re-evaluate your own opinions as a result of something you read. Studying has also made me view the environment I work in, a place of teaching and learning, with a greater respect.
With spring on its way, I hope I continue to appreciate studying, to utilise study time available but remember to be patient with my learning, and to enjoy the confidence boost new challenges bring.
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?