So the time is approaching once more, for what may well be the final time. I always find the last 2 weeks before Uni begins difficult. You have to focus on the oncoming storm; get the bus/train pass, sort student finance, apply and chase up all the individual grants and pockets of money that helps to keep your head above water, and while your doing this your noticing how much your time is being taken away from the small person who has been your sole focus for the past 3/4 months. I’ve used the time over summer to reconnect with Arlo, it feels like I’m refuelling, soaking up as much time with him as I possibly can in order to make sure I can get through the next intense 8/9 months. I guess that sounds all a bit melodramatic but I am so worried about not being able to properly switch off once I go back, that in some form or another I’ll be caught up in the cycle of researching and reading.
Because this time I am not a fresher, or a second year I am a final year student, the light is beginning to appear at the end of the tunnel. I’ve begun the pre-reading, the discussion and preparation of what will be my dissertation (eek) I can see it all there ready and waiting for it just simply has to be done, physically written and examined.
What’s even more terrifying is the prospect of this journey actually ending, and the realisation that my university bubble is going to pop, granted my university bubble has perhaps more responsibilities than most but it is a bubble, I have long holidays, flexible nursery times and I choose how I spend my days, whether in the library or at home. Studying is difficult but I fear an actual (full time) job will be significantly harder. When I started my Uni my goal was to graduate, in fact even before Arlo when asked what I wanted to do when I grew up I said, go to Uni and stay there. I’ve never had any real idea of what I wanted to do past finishing my degree and now , now that is effectively the oncoming train blocking the light at the end of my tunnel.
I guess also part of me believed that when I fell pregnant I had to somehow give up on my dreams, something I think societally women are told they can’t do. We are chided if we decide to try and continue our careers alongside having children as if our own ambitions are somehow worth less because we have our children to think about. Female politicians, for example, are criticised for being ‘childless’ in pursuit of their careers but then slandered for leaving their children at home in the hand of others while they commute to London and spend Mon-Fri there. Drawing from this I’ve begun to realise that you know what, why should I believe that my academic career has a limitation simply because I have a child, and that pursuing my dreams; of a Masters and PhD with hopes of becoming a lecturer/writer/journalist of some kind. So with that in mind, the Master’s degree application has indeed begun, but it’s been so long since I’ve written a personal statement I have literally no idea where to start but I’m sure it’ll be fine.
The suspense is difficult, the unknowns, I am a worrier by nature, I know I am acutely stronger than I realise and no matter what I will cope, you do don’t you, you just get on with it, but that doesn’t make it any easier. Having said all of that I do love a challenge so here to rising to it, Have faith will conquer!