Tag Archives: Change

Open Day

31 Aug

I haven’t visited my blog in over a week…..suffering withdrawals :O

I took a bit of time after my last post to sort out my thoughts as I surprised even myself a little. But I have to say it was extremely refreshing and nice to be so completely honest. I think often we feel as though, even if we aren’t totally honest with those around us, we are at least honest with ourselves. And in most cases I’m sure this is true, but I definitely think we can all be very good at lying, or at least omitting the truth, from ourselves on occasion!

Anyways, enough of the introspectiveness for today and onto much lighter topics 😀

It was the Open Day at my ‘Holy Grail’ university on Sunday. There are many open days currently running at the moments at Universities all over Victoria as it’s coming to close crunch time for Year 12s with regards to finalising their course preferences. During these open days Universities will run course information talks and campus tours, you can meet the staff and the visit the student information desks, and there is usually some form of entertainment, plenty of food and all the university societies come out to show their wares.

For anyone considering further studies, it’s an extremely valuable tool, and I am embarrassed to say that years ago when I attended the Open Day for the University of Edinburgh, where I completed my first degree, I spent most of the day discovering the bars in the student union, having taken a day trip with friends from school!!! (probably why I ended up studying Mental Philosophy….well that and the fact that the department head looked like Bill Pullman, who I had quite the crush on at the time 😉 )

This time round, I was the proverbial sponge and went fully equipped with a notepad (where I had already made notes of the timings of the information talks I wished to hear and tours I wanted to go on), a pen and a thousand questions 😀

Now, as you know, my first choice of course is located at this University, but though the course looked great on paper (or on the website!), you can never really tell what a course might be like in terms of the facilities, the staff and the general gut feeling you get from actually visiting a faculty and hearing it from the horse’s mouth so to speak.

I am extremely happy to report that my visit only increased my desire ten-fold. 😀

The School of Life and Environmental Science is housed in an almost new building with state of the art facilities that seemed to emanate learning, but though that impressed me and filled me with confidence, it was the smaller things about the place that most appealed to me. There were many photos on the walls of the past/current students out in the field, looking weather-beaten but very happy, on research projects and such like. It was the camaraderie in these photos that really stood out, between not only the students ( of all ages 😉 ) but between the staff as well.  There were also lots of stories up about work the department is currently involved in, both in the conservation and the research arena. It all thrilled me, and I hadn’t even been to the course information talks yet.

Needless to say, these talks and the subsequent discussions with the lecturers and admissions staff were extremely informative and exciting. The Wildlife and Conservation Biology course just sounds just about perfect, as I was pretty sure it would, and the way the staff run their department is right up my alley. They have an open door policy in the department  and one of their main aims is for a tight knit learning community therefore they actively encourage students to be in constant communication with their lecturers which obviously would provide an extremely supportive environment. The University of Edinburgh was an amazing university to be at, but I wouldn’t say that the professors in the Philosophy department were just what you would call ‘approachable’!

When talking to the Course Coordinator about my return to study, he was very supportive and said that I certainly would not feel out of place as the course is full of people from all walks of life, and, for all you mature-age students out there, he told me that they currently have a 70 year old women who started the course at the beginning of the year! Talk about inspirational, I wouldn’t mind spending some time with that particular women in the future!!! 😀

So, all in all, it was a highly successful day and though it may be a battle to get there, it’s a battle worth fighting 😀

Fact No 8: Bats always turn left when exiting a cave

Career Lows

24 Aug

Ever since I made the decision to go back to university I have felt like a new women. It’s amazing how unhappiness and stress in your career, a huge part of our personal direction, can affect and poison every part of your life.

During the past few years, I began to doubt myself. Deep down I think I knew for quite some time that I was not on the right path, but the thought that I had spent years cultivating the wrong career and that a complete change was required was too scary to fathom or face. Therefore, my doubt crept out in other ways. Even in such small ways as to start questioning myself with regards to locking the front door or switching off the stove top, going back to check two or three times. I also started believing that everyone close to me was constantly judging my decisions and so became defensive and unable to handle even the slightest of criticism.

My unhappiness manifested in other ways. Every night I would head home, open a bottle of wine and pour a glass, which in itself is not necessarily a bad thing, but when one glass turned to at least three…….and generally light a cigarette (Bob and I quit cold turkey for 7 months about 2 years ago but during the time of the ‘black period’ I quickly lit up again), which would quickly be followed by another. Before you start imaging me as a smoking drunken lush, know that I didn’t go crazy with these habits, I just lost myself in them and therefore, for a short time every night, I lost my stress. At the time, it was a very seductive prospect, in retrospect, it’s a very scary prospect!

My tiredness never seemed to abate, and so all of the above was compounded. It was a vicious cycle.

I should definitely mention here that there were great parts of my life throughout this time: Bob, my family, my friends and my dog (for the purposes of this blog, she shall be named Little B 🙂 ), but even when I was having a great time, there was a shadow hanging over me. This in turn caused me to feel swamped with guilt for not being happier when I had SO much to be grateful for and really, on the scale of things, little to be unhappy about. And the guilt turned to low self esteem and so the cycle continued…..

And so I will forever be thankful for the ‘black period’ that I have mentioned in previous posts. As you know it was this period, when I changed jobs, looking for escape from a career going nowhere, but actually launching myself straight from the frying pan into the fire that truly forced me to acknowledge that as scary as it may be to return to university and start afresh by following my true passions, it was a far scarier prospect to lose myself to the depression I was falling into from persisting along the same path.

Well, I feel that’s enough introspection for one night. I apologise for letting it all hang out, but all these things are flying around in my brain at the moment as I slowly process and catalogue and I thought it would help to write it down 😀

 

Fact No 7: Sharks are immune to almost all known diseases!