Sunday update – perennial students

FOR most of this week I’ve been focusing on my studies. I wrote, and thankfully passed, an essay on The Woman in White and Madame Bovary.

On Saturday, I attended a tutorial for my final assignment. This one is double weighted, so it’s important I spend the next few weeks working on it. You can pick the books you write about. I’m going for The Awakening, and either Jane Eyre or Northanger Abbey, but not sure which yet.

I love going to university. It’s great to spend time discussing books with people who love books and learning as much as I do. The tutor and many of the other students are, like me, perennial students.

I was really inspired by my tutor, who completed her first degree, worked for ten years, and then resumed her studies, completing a degree, master’s degree, and PhD, which then led to a career in academia. She’s recently completed a master’s in creative writing and is now publishing her poetry. She’s also done lots of other courses in between. Many of the other students in the class are also going on to study for MAs in English Literature.

It seems like studying is addictive.

My degree will be my second bachelor’s degree. My first was in journalism. I graduated from the University of the Arts, London in 2001. Since then, I’ve completed two diplomas in management and marketing, certificates in management and communications, as well as several writing courses. I absolutely love learning. For many years my learning was focused on work. That was fine, but I missed the creativity of writing, and I missed reading.

I’d always wanted to complete a degree in English Literature. I started studying for it in 2011. It’s hard juggling it around work commitments, but it’s worth it. I’ve studied some amazing books, and have been able to take writing modules too. This led to an MA in Writing, which I’m currently in the middle of.

My partner thinks I’m a bit mad. ‘Who takes on two degrees?’ he asks.

If my tutorial group is anything to go by, lots of people do.

It’s certainly not been easy. But, even when the work and reading is piling up, and there’s just too much to get through, I never for a minute regret signing up to do both. Maybe I am mad, but only a little!



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