Well that’s my first week over with…first week as an official Mature Student is DONE! To say I am tired would be an understatement, although I haven’t had any “lectures” per say, I have had to use my brain a little bit and now it hurts a little bit too!
So what have I learnt so far?!
1. Lecture Theatres are HOT!
160+ students are capable of turning your average lecture theatre into the hottest place on earth!! By my 3rd day in Uni I was dressed as if I was going to the beach just to ensure I didn’t melt/pass out. Air-con anyone?!
2. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.
Okay, I didn’t invent this phrase but I think it’s going to be my mantra over the next 3 years. Time is so valuable when you’re trying to juggle so much and the only way that I’m going to be able to get study, write assignments, see our friends and spend some time with my boys is by being organised. One of the ladies I’ve met this week who also has children says she uses a weekly planner to make sure nothing is neglected. So I have pinched her idea, thanks Midge. I hope that by plotting out hours throughout the week to do Uni work, I can relax with my family on the weekends without feelings of guilt ruining it for me! And on the subject of organising…
3. Sometimes you’ve got to go old school!
I thought I’d be really 21st Century and put all of my classes/deadlines etc. into my phone calendar so I could be super organised, but guess what? It takes AGES!! Seriously, I thought technology was supposed to save time but by Thursday I’d had enough, I stomped to a stationers and bought myself a very smart PAPER diary. Now I just need to make sure I don’t lose it!
4. I’m better at this parenting malarkey than I’ve ever given myself credit for.
One thing that I was really worried about for the first week of Uni was having to take care of the Little Man on my own in the evenings/first thing in the morning but you know what? I can do it. I still have huge admiration to any single parents who do it day in, day out BUT my major parenting lesson has been, if I stay calm, the Little Man stays calm too. That said…
5. Being ‘Hangry’ is real!
I didn’t do too badly feeding the Little Man and doing the bedtime routine on my own. However, I did struggle when it was 6:30pm, Bathtime, I hadn’t eaten since lunch and the Little Man was doing that amazing thing that toddlers do where they stretch out so you can’t pick them up (seriously, where do they learn that?!) In future, I shall be joining him in his pre-bath snack to avoid future attacks of Hanger!
6. Commuting can be pleasant.
I have only ever driven/been driven to work before so having the chance to walk to Uni has been amazing! It’s so nice to have half an hour to myself, I don’t have to think if I don’t want to and better than that, I’m actually exercising!! If anyone had seen me on my commute this week, you’d be justified in thinking that I had lost the plot as I have been walking along and chuckling to myself. But it is in fact due to the power of Spotify and more specifically the genius that is Rhod Gilbert! Seriously, that man is brilliant. I’m not sure my opinion of commuting will remain so positive when the weather is rubbish but I am determined that I am not going to use my car!
7. I am a completely different student this time round.
I have already mentioned my emphasis on socialising (yes, I mean drinking) when I first attended Uni and I knew that this time it was all about the course but this week has shown me HOW much I want this. Having attended our induction lectures this week I have realised just how much mental and organisational preparation I have put in, so even when we’ve had it hammered home just how much we’ve signed up for by undertaking this degree, it hasn’t surprised or scared me. I have also realised that I have a very low tolerance of people who talk in lectures. And yes, last time round, I was sometimes one of them, but this time is different. I haven’t put my whole life on hold for the next 3 years just to listen to other people gossiping behind me, Grrr! Hands up if you’re now a geek…
8. Coffee is still going to feature heavily in my life.
Anyone with a child will know the importance of (sometimes hot) caffeinated drinks throughout the day, often just to be able to function at a semi-normal level…well it’ll be no surprise that this week, even being away from the Little Man, I have been knocking them back like a trooper! My new Uni has a big push on every other drink being water and I’m totally for that, but seriously, coffee, that’s what you need. Plus, coffee shops on campus are really reasonably priced AND you get a discount if you bring your own cup…a win win for me and the environment!
9. Moving back to your hometown for Uni is awesome!
I doubt I’m the only one who couldn’t WAIT to get out of their hometown as a teenager, there was nothing to do and I was SO bored of it. But coming back here for Uni has been brilliant, I’m seeing the whole city through fresh eyes but at the same time, taking comfort in knowing I won’t ever get lost or spend weeks trying to discover the best places to relax. And even better than that, this week I bumped into the mother of the twins I used to take care of every week when I was a teenager. Being told they will soon turn 15 made me nearly keel over, but it was so great to hear how well the whole family are doing.
10. I am definitely not alone in this.
I know I keep going on about how much support I’m surrounded by (sorry, not sorry) but this week has only proven that to me even more. The number of messages/cards of good luck I have received from you all has been amazing and I’ll admit, made me a bit emotional. Not only this, but I also met my fellow students this week and they are lovely! Not only have they been really friendly and welcoming but some of them have children too. Knowing that there are other people on the course who will understand what I’m going through, when the Little Man insists on waking up early or when I come in singing Postman Pat first thing in the morning, is really comforting!
So that’s that, Week 1 done…next week is when the real hard work begins and I really get the grey matter going! But for now, it’s time to hangout with the Husband and the Little Man.
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