“There’s no such word as can’t!”
I did it!… First year of my university degree complete! Today i woke up knowing i didnt have to attend City College and that the next time i go in, it’ll be to get my results and to sink a well deserved glass of bubbly! Rather than spend this morning pondering over the news and becoming pre-occupied with more harrowing events that seem to be happening almost daily in this messed up world, i decided that it was time for the humbling process of self-reflection.
It wasn’t until August last year that i decided that i was going to apply for Warwick University and not only did i not think i’d even be accepted on to the 2+2 degree but i never thought I’d be sat here, end of year one, having spent the last week in an exam room.
As a mature student with two young children, every aspect of University is daunting. Firstly i asked myself, ”Am i too old?”… "Will everyone there be young and hip, and i’ll have just about managed to brush my hair on this manic morning before the school run?”. I was so wrong. Age, race, colour, religion and social background has added nothing but depth and experience to my group of fellow students. No two days are the same and the stories shared are both mesmerising and hysterical also. The last nine months has taught me to read. Well, not actually how to read, but if i’d managed to read the horoscopes at the back of a trashy magazine before getting really bored and debating on what to cook my family for dinner, i was winning! The brain is a muscle and for someone who hated reading and voiced this concern to my tutor at my interview, i was told that this muscle would need to be trained. That’s exactly what i did. First a paragraph, then a page, then a chapter… OK, That’s about as far as i have got but hey, i have three more years to master that task!
Studying Social Studies means that i am studying a politics module. Politics? Surely this cant be interesting? Beginning this course, pure ignorance meant i knew who the Prime Minister was and that was about it. It doesn’t concerned me, right? Wrong! I’ve become more and more engrossed with the daily political goings on in and around our country. Everything is politics, where we go, the decisions we make, how was i so blind to not see this before? On the 8th of June, i left my house, election card in hand and for the first time in my life i did it! I had my say and voted. Never having voted before and feeling that sense of achievement for knowing a little bit more about whats happening in UK politics felt like a conquest!
Then there was revision and exams. "How will i find the time?"… "How will i remember it all?"… I’d lost count of the amount of times i have shouted ”I cant do this!" like one of my children trying to tie their own shoe laces and then muttering under my breath ”There’s no such word as can’t!”, just as i say to them and as my mother said to me. You’ll be surprised as a parent how much you actually remember on a daily basis without making a list as long as your arm or sitting there with Post-It Notes for wallpaper. Your brain is not a sponge, it needs to be exercised. If you went to the gym to get some exercise, just standing there looking at the weights or the running machine is not going to do anything. Coming out of the exam room last week knowing i had regurgitated everything i had learnt in 9 months felt exceptional.
So here we are, self reflection complete. Regardless of the outcome this year academically, personally, this ‘mature’ student and mother of two has well and truly smashed it!
Year 2… I’m ready for you!… Cheers!