Okay, so I’m three weeks off being 31, but technically I’m still 30, and I plan to remind myself of that every day for the next 21 days (because holy cow 31 sounds so much older and grown-up than 30, right?)
Anywho, yes, I am a (sort of) student again.
Some of you may be thinking Why would you do that to yourself? as you picture a 30 year old woman attempting to down pints of Swine in a Weatherspoon’s with a group of loud mouthed Freshers (Swine is Smirnoff Ice and wine for anyone wondering). But you see, being a student in your thirties is totally different to being a student in your twenties. Like, totally totally different, in all the best ways possible…
I can be hungover and stay in bed without getting into any trouble (or failing any modules)
I’m doing a Home Learning course* with NCC Home Learning, this basically means that I fit my studying around my schedule. All my reading material and paperwork is online, even my exams are online. Yup, this means no hungover lectures at 9am for me, nor will I have to suffer through late night group sessions in the library with a bunch of people I can’t stand. Winning.
I can study at home, or abroad, or on the loo
Because my entire course is online, this means I can literally do my studies ANYWHERE (ahem, anywhere there is wifi). I can study from the comfort of my own bed surrounded by pillows and cushions and Disney mugs filled with tea (and that’s how I intend to do most of this course). I could pick a beautiful Parisian café to work in whilst on my trip to France next month. I could even study on the toilet if I wanted to. I won’t, because, ew, groce. But it’s nice to know it’s an option.
No student debt
Unless you’re doing a Masters, the majority of home learning courses and learning workshops are between £200 to £1,000 and are usually paid upfront or in instalments. No loans, no money lending, no big fee bills that get sent to your parents’ house the same week that you find out your failing (oops). Nope. You can be all adult and grown up and pay it yourself.
I can afford to eat
Continuing to study alongside my new job means I can actually earn a full time wage whilst still being an NCC student. No beans on toast and super noodles for me. Oh no, it’s class all the way for this student. By class I mean avocado on toast and spag bol that doesn’t come from a black plastic tray.
No annoying adults pressuring me
Do you remember how daunting it was at 18 years old asking yourself ‘So what do I want to do – FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE??’ How ridiculous was that? I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do with my life, how the heck was I supposed to know back then?
But choosing a subject to study now, whether it be at night school, on a home learning course, or even for a one-day workshop, is sooooo much easier and so much more fun than choosing what to study as a teenager. You are without all the horrible pressures from other people – like teachers or parents – who basically expect you to be something that you’re not even sure you want to be. Because you are the adult this time. You get to choose whatever you want.
Yeah sure, pick a course that could benefit your career, but you could also pick one for fun, for enjoyment, who knows it may lead to a new career or it could just become a hobby outside of work. So what if you’re a Nurse but want to book yourself onto a creative writing course? I say go for it. I chose to study for a Counselling Diploma (although I was so tempted by this Wedding Planner course!) Counselling is completely unrelated to my job but it is an area I have been interested in for a while. I was keen to explore the skills needed as well as the affects and approaches taken in this area.
I actually study (and I actually enjoy it)
Not to sound all grown-up and boring, but a huge difference between 19 year old me studying and
31 30 year old me studying, is that I am actually studying this time. Don’t get me wrong, I worked hard to get my 2:1 degree during my second and third year, but I was a terrible student during my first year! I honestly didn’t want to be there half of the time and I passed by the skin of my teeth. I just wanted to get drunk, go out clubbing and then spend my days gossiping and shopping.
Eurgh, that couldn’t be more different from the person I am today. Now, I actually like to learn. If it is a subject that interests me – which my Counselling course is, that’s why I picked it – then I’m focused and I’m engaged and I want to work hard.
I’m basically loving it.
But of course there is always at least one Con to dampen all the Pro’s and in this case the one big fat downer is that I am minus any kind of student discount. Bummer. Especially when I think back to all the reduced Topshop clothes I used to be able to purchase. Sigh.
To learn more about NCC Home Learning or to check out their full list of courses, head to www.ncchomelearning.co.uk