Studying after a break?

Hi all,

I finally got around to doing univeristy blog posts as mentioned in one of my previous posts! In addition, i’ll be covering my first year post-graduate course experience, applying for post-graduate studies and time management. These will be in separate posts though.

I haven’t done many study life / university  related posts in so long. It’s been on my list for a while since the start of the year and now it’s the right time to do it. Let’s jump into it!

If you’re considering study whether it’s your first degree, postgraduate etc for whatever reason you do, here are my tips to consider:

1) Workplace flexibility. Is your workplace willing to give you time off to study such as days off (complusory class days in particular), leave, time in lieu or varied work hours?

2) Consider the type of class structure the course offers. Are the classes weekly, distance, or have study block days? Study block days means a whole day worth of face to face lectures in an 8 hour period (like a normal work day) on selected days. If you like face to face, weekly or study block days work.

3) Choose a course that offers flexibility in terms of subject choice and electives. In my opinion, doing a very specialised course won’t offer you the flexibility.  Part time or full time study is a very important thing to consider, especially when you have a job.

4)  Are you mentally ready to be behind the books? University in particular isn’t easy speaking from my first degree experience, depending on your chosen course. There will be subjects that are cruisy, others are full on detail driven to the core.  I’m currently doing a rather ‘dry’ epidemiology subject and I can’t wait for that subject to be over (and it’s my core subject).

5) Finances is another obvious tip. You can take out a student loan during that time but in saying that, be prepared to pay if off though. Many students from what I’ve heard escape the country because they can’t afford to pay it off. For a working person like me, having to do this part-time is the only way atm. I didn’t pursue my current degree until I finished paying off my first univeristy debt.

6) Motivation. Transitioning careers? Upskill? Career change? Whatever reason you choose, these are the things to consider when choosing yout course. I chose my current degree because I want to transition away from my current industry and upskill. My interests career wise lie outside my workplace.

7) If you’re considering a post-graduate degree, highly recommend going to a different university. Although there is a university close to home, I didn’t want to go back there again as I found my experience there boring, uninspired and lonesome in my later part of my degree mostly because I changed majors three time and had no interest in the science/medicine type of subjects offered. Too many ‘smart’ weirdos that I couldn’t click with, but that’s what you get with an old univeristy. Even though I have a group of friends to whom I hang out to this day from first year, we all went in different directions as the degree progressed and none of their study paths interested me. The social life there wasn’t enriching in all honesty, not even the events interested me. Even though I’m part time my current univeristy, it’s more suited to me and am keen to stay with this univeristy. So far I’ve made a study buddy in the two subjects so far  (one from my public health subject last semester and another in my current epideomology subject).

Here are the tips that I hope will help those who are considering study again after their first degree or if you’re seeking study for the first time, these tips also apply.

Until the next post,

x Lydia

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