The cover photo is a lavender maze at Abbey Park in Leicestershire. Once you enter, you don’t know where the exits are. Only by following various paths and backtracking do you discover where they lead. If you are focused on getting to your goal as quickly as possible, you could become confused and frustrated. Obviously, you could always cheat, as the lavender bushes are only knee high. But, where is the fun and what is the purpose of cheating just to get to the destination sooner? You are only cheating yourself! The journey is where most time is spent and therefore the most fun is to be had. I don’t see the point in just striving to enjoy yourself only when you arrive at your destination.
Conversely, labyrinths, like the one on campus, are purposeful and have a set route and, just like life, there is only one way out! I guess over the past few years of university my life has been both a discombobulating maze and a contemplative labyrinth. Mazes and labyrinths are often used in myths which narrate the Hero’s Journey.
The course has definitely made me grow beyond what I thought I was capable of. It has pushed me way out of my comfort zone and repeatedly tested my resolve and resilience. As a result, my inner and outer worlds have been transformed. If you are a potential mature student, thinking about going to uni, I would suggest that if you have the opportunity and the thought of returning to studying turns up the corners of your mouth, then do it! Have your own adventures.
However, my journey at Warwick will soon be coming to an end. I am about to embark on my final year and will graduate in the Summer of 2020, after 4 years of academic study. 4 years?! I admit that at the beginning I did not think I could commit for that length of time, but I am grateful to have made it this far. I have certainly had my fair share of wobbles. But, this is perfectly normal, apparently.
If I think I am walking in a maze, then my future seems fearful, chaotic and uncertain. Liminality is terrifying, as I am about to transition into the unknown. However, if I believe I am in a labyrinth, then I feel more at peace knowing every step I take is leading me to where I am supposed to be. I much prefer to keep that image in mind!