I’ve just handed in my final assignment for this year. It feels like an achievement, but it also felt like a lot of hard slog. Mostly it feels like a relief to have it done. Magpie Girl has taken *8Things on vacation this week, but here’s *8Things I’ve learnt from returning to study:
1. You can study, work full-time, keep house and keep healthy, all at the same time. You just can’t do them all well.
2. As a mature-age-student (what do they call them in America?), I find I value learning over marks. I care more about what I think of my work, than what my teachers think. Who’d believe it?
3. In first semester, I took time off to study. This semester, I couldn’t. Not having time to digest my learning took all the fun out of it. If you are going to go back to study – make a proper time commitment.
4. Being in a graduate class rocks. Everybody there is passionate, and making time in their busy lives for this subject you all care about.
5. Perfectionism goes out the window with hard deadlines. This is both a blessing and a curse.
6. You can learn as much from your fellow students as from your teachers, if only you choose to engage.
7. You won’t learn what you think you will. I started this course on the assumption it included a lot about freelance writing and maybe basic journalism. It’s actually much more focussed on fiction, poetry and creative writing. While it’s definitely a detour from my original plan, it’s worked out well so far, so I’m rolling with it.
8. Ask questions. This should probably be the first point. Being a grown-up now, instead of a timid undergrad, I’m not in awe of my teachers. This means I’ve asked a heap of questions, not just about the course and their expectations, but also about their philosophies of learning and their experiences in writing and publishing. Much more fun than the course materials.