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WWYD..Just been offered a place to start at Uni Full time next week........

(8 Posts)
changemylife Wed 21-Sep-11 16:21:40

Been wanting to go for years. But with 3 kids have pootled along with the OU. In fact I have an exam mid October hmm Could graduate at end of next year with a Bsc Open Degree.

I would like to become a nutritionist which isnt really possible with the degree I will get.

Anyhow , usual worries what will happen to housework, juggling clubs etc. No support -dh works long hours and parents dont live nearby. Lecture times will fit in but am concerned about the amount of work on top of lectures. I am used to the discipline of studying though.

Am I mad at the age of 41 to embark on this?

Calling on mature students out their please tell me its possible to juggle all the study and still keep sane. I keep repeating to myself its only 3 ten week terms! Please tell me good, bad and ugly wink


madwomanintheattic Wed 21-Sep-11 16:35:28

well, you applied for a reason?

cold feet are entirely normal, but if you heed this last minute wobble and run away, you probably won't ever follow your dreams.

deep breath, and get the logisitics sorted out.

good luck x

<you really don't want to hear my tale of woe though wink>

changemylife Wed 21-Sep-11 16:36:13

omg shock now you must tell me what happened.......

madwomanintheattic Wed 21-Sep-11 17:30:26


let's just say i'm still trying to finish! (i have 3 dcs as well - they were at 3 different settings in two different counties, with uni in another different city. youngest has cerebral palsy and i was also trying to work part time. dh then got offered a transfer o'seas, and i ended up in a disability rights wrangle with the employer because they weren't prepared for dd2 to travel with us. one of our course died unexpectedly and i had a huge emotional reaction to his mother's experience at the memorial service - he also had a disability and her experiences chimed with mine with dd2 - and i ended up in uni counselling... an entire saga which wasn't really anything to do with the pressure of the course or anything, but was just a combination of circumstances grin) and i was pretty much teetering on the edge!)

so now i'm living o'seas (i won that one) trying to persuade the uni to extend my period of withdrawal so that i can finish the course as a distance student...

but, you know what? i'd do it again. i love to study - and i think you should go for it. 100%. but iron out the kid's logistics first! (i used a mixture of private nursery - for longer hours, childminder and after school clubs. it was a bit of a pita, but worked fine.) dh also worked long hours/ away so it was a bit of a one-woman show.

i remember one day (it was a friday) being in a lecture in the afternoon where a few students were missing, and having a loose discussion about childcare and gender, and commitment. the lecturer was a woman who had a daughter, and was musing aloud about (single/ younger) student responsibilities in comparison to mature students or academics. someone had moaned that they hadn't made it to the first lecture of the morning because they'd had two essays to finish or something. so i confessed to being 5 minutes late to the first lecture. i'd had to drop off all three kids at different places, having painted one of them purple from head to toe (it was book day and she was violet beauregard), then go to the hospital pharmacy to collect some eye drops for dd2's appt the following monday, they had to be kept refrigerated, so i'd had to then take them home again, before driving to uni. oh, and drive to dh's work on the way and swop cars, because for some reason he needed the bigger car later that day. <sigh> all before 9.30am. when apparently most of the course were climbing out of bed and pondering whether to turn up or not. grin

it's just different, being a mature student parent. the only thing i found difficult about the course was the collaborative working outside of lectures, so i would timetable in lots of additional time at uni. then you can get together and discuss any issues with your peer group, and work through things you find tricky. so add in this time as essential childcare requirements whilst you're organising. and be really careful who your partners are if you have to do group work. i ended up being partnered with a lovely group for a research assignment. unfortunately one of them ended up in hospital and withdrew, and the other one was petrified of public speaking, so spent the entire term trying to come up with excuses as to why he couldn't take part in the research conference. so i ended up doing the entire research project, putting together the paper, and handing him a copy of the presentation with a few lines highlighted so he could 'take part'. i'd finished the paper on the plane on the way back from canada, where i'd had to take dd2 to be inspected to see if she passed muster and would be allowed in. <sigh> it was an overnight flight and our walk-through was at 4pm that afternoon. grin i had to load my research partner up with vodka to get him through it! how i didn't crash the car driving home i'll never know.

and try and get as much work done in the library at uni as possible. by the time the kids are in bed, i'm generally knackered, and i want to sit and chill out, rather than get out the books. grin

oh, but do it, do it, do it. if you don't do it now, you'll spend the rest of your life wondering 'what if'!

do it for you! just for you. be a little bit selfish for once. it's your life too.

changemylife Wed 21-Sep-11 17:37:05

Thank you so much for your reply. You have brought a tear to my eye. Having kids does mean that you are on the back burner as an individiual or at least it has in my case. We live rurally and I spend every evening driving them here, there and everywhere. Whilst I love them all dearly, they are now 9, 12 and 15. I can see a day when I will be home alone having been a housewife for 15 years now shock. I have wanted to go so badly so I guess you are right deep breath needed. Dreading next few weeks as I didnt appreciate my OU course and the nutrition degree will overlap hmm

Good luck with your studies and once again thx

madwomanintheattic Wed 21-Sep-11 17:48:17

oh bless you, i'm excited for you, now! let me know it goes x

good luck, good luck!

NeatFreak Wed 21-Sep-11 18:46:31

My dc are now 3 and 8 and I've just started my final year studying full time. (and working part time, tho its related to my course)

It is really difficult juggling everything and I rely on a combination of childminder, holiday club, nursery and dh being flexible.
It's also hard financially as I already have an unrelated degree so didn't qualify for any kind of student finance or loans so our savings have become seriously depleted!

All in all it is really worth it. I also get really frustrated when I arrive in time for lectures after getting both dc ready, making packed lunches, packing bags, remembering everything they need, packing everything I need then dropping at school and nursery only to find young, free, single students coming late because they're 'tired'...

changemylife Thu 22-Sep-11 09:44:07

Thank you both for your replies.

I have so many concerns but I want to sit back and enjoy grin

Still in state of shellshock that I am actually going.

(Bottle of red to celebrate last night hasnt helped me focus either )wink

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