It is a peculiar thing.
10 weeks ago December seemed a distant dream and yet here we are already; instead of birdsong, the sound of frosty car windscreens being scraped now wakes me in the morning and cheesy Christmas tunes make me mute the radio. If you are an existing mature student at Warwick, then you may have experienced this ‘timey wimey’ weirdness yourself. However, they say the older you get the faster time flies. If I think time whooshes by, then how OLD am I?! Finally, and yet all too soon, the first term is already coming to an end. Never to be repeated (unless I happen to fail the year). Now, only two terms left till graduation [Gulp!]
I think this year’s modules are all great, too. Besides the core dissertation module CE302, I chose Counselling: Concepts and Skills CE332, Coaching and Mentoring CE264 and Widening Participation in Higher Education CE335. The transmission of information seems so fast-paced it feels, to me, there is no time to leisurely ponder or enjoy what I am learning, because every week there is something new to cover, readings to do as well as assignments to plan, research and write up. But, the first term always feels a bit awkward for me. It takes a while to get settled into a studious routine and then when I have finally found my feet… it is the end of term, which means 5 weeks off. Having over a month’s holiday sounds like a lot, but it isn’t when you have multiple assignments due. I intend to get as much as possible completed over Christmas to make the Spring and Summer terms easier, when I would rather be playing outside in the sunshine.
I find it difficult to gauge my progress if there are no assignments returned in the first term. So, not knowing how well I am doing can be a bit disconcerting. I find it is always worth checking with lecturers how they want essays presented, as they each have their particular preferences for font style, size and line spacing. They also have their own opinions about how to structure essays; whether they want a balanced argument or to be convinced of one particular perspective. Obviously, that depends on the type of essay question, but it is always worth asking if unsure.
I have really enjoyed this term, yet my brain is grateful it is over. The great thing about these modules is that I can actually apply them to my life. For example, developing counselling and coaching skills is helping me be a more compassionate human. I use Gibbs’ reflective model in my journaling which encourages me to explore my experiences and learn from them. Last academic year, my Mindfulness module CE266 also helped me through some tough times. Creativity: Myth, Madness and Play CE1D6 reminded me how much I love writing and drawing, how I really need to make more time for it and the importance of creative theory, even in my essay writing. Food: Critical Perspectives CE334 was amazing and made me even more conscious of the food choices I made. Having learned how political bananas are, I even changed my food buying habits. I am so grateful for everything I had the opportunity to learn and even more grateful that it is not just confined to the field of academic study, but transferable to enrich my daily life.
Onwards and funwards xXx