Adapting to change
This academic year (2019-20) was the third and final year of my Early Childhood Foundation Degree. Thankfully, we did manage to get our last lesson in and have a mini ‘end of degree’ celebration, on 11 March, before things changed dramatically, for all of us!
I have to say, it has been a difficult final year. Even before the Coronavirus outbreak, I have had a lot of personal things to deal with, outside of university, and at one point I was pretty sure that I wasn’t ready to go straight onto the Early Childhood BA(Hons) top-up and I needed to take a year out. Then, when lockdown started, I was positive that I needed to take a break from my studies and wait until the following academic year to start the BA(Hons) top-up, as the idea of studying from home just seemed totally unfeasible. Particularly, as both my husband and young daughter were both at home, and my desk/work area is our foldaway living room table – which is not really ideal, especially at mealtimes!
Even under ‘normal’ circumstances, I rarely study at home. I would say that 90% of the time (if not more) I go to Warwick main campus or the Learning Grid, at University House, to study. I find that I am more productive when I study on campus; I like having access to a PC with a large monitor, I have more ‘desk’ space, I have access to the printers, I can pop into the library to borrow a book and I can get a decent cappuccino (from one of the many coffee shops). Also, I really love Warwick campus. When I arrive on campus, I always feel motivated to study – I don’t know if that’s because of the buzz of the other students, the fact that everything you need is accessible to you or if it’s just that I really like the campus. But, going into lockdown, the thought of doing my studies at home just seemed unworkable.
Unfortunately for me, I had two assignments to complete during lockdown, to finish my Foundation Degree. So, I just had to get on with it, as I didn’t really have another option. And, that’s exactly what I did, I got on with it and much to my surprise, it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting! Yes, it’s easier working on a PC with a large monitor as opposed to squinting at the small screen of my laptop, but I got used to it and I adapted. I began to realise that I was able to study at home – it was possible!
Consequently, I have now enrolled on to the Early Childhood BA(Hons) top-up, starting this October, rather than holding off for another year (which I am pleased about!). Now, don’t get me wrong, when campus (hopefully) opens next academic year I will definitely continue to study there, when I can. But I also plan to save travel time and petrol, in 2020-21, and split my time more equally between studying on campus and studying at home.
More importantly, what I have learned from lockdown is that sometimes we can adapt to change a lot easier than we think, if we just give ourselves a chance and not expect the worst. And, going forward, for me personally, if the BA(Hons) top-up does involve some online classes and lectures, I now know I can work with that!