After enrolling in a science degree mid-year, I've spent the past three months at university on an emotional roller-coaster ride, hanging on for grim death! To stick with the roller-coaster analogy, I've experienced sheer terror, blind panic and adrenalin-fuelled excitement - sometimes within the space of a single day - and have wondered at times whether my tired old brain and my tired old body are up to the task.
If nothing else, enforced abstinence from my woodwork and art hobbies has certainly boosted my motivation levels, and I'm really looking forward to making some sawdust and finally completing some paintings that have languished behind the art room door for months, if not years (take note Colette Therialt!).
I have a lengthy summer break from university ahead of me and, with the benefit of one semester's study behind me, I'm in a much better position to assess my priorities and think about my future. Studying towards a three-year degree on a part-time basis means I have another five or six years of study ahead of me; after factoring in my heightened stress levels, lost income and the frightening fees I'll incur, my immediate inclination is to accept that I've left it a little late in life to be embarking on such a journey. On the other hand, I've enjoyed the learning process, the opportunity to make new friends, and the satisfaction I've derived from the results all those late nights and lost weekends have earned me.
Partner Sandi deserves lashings of credit for her unwavering support and patience with this often withdrawn, sometimes grumpy student over the past few months!