Sunday, 13 May 2012

Last essay of EA300 on the way, Degree nearly done ... who would have thought?!

Its a beautiful sunny day here, with the breeze blowing my washing on the line in my garden. I can see my neighbours celebrating a birthday with balloons and bunting glinting in the sunshine and the clouds are scudding through the heavens on an endless journey across the English countryside.

I am sitting at my kitchen table, working on the last essay of my Open University course. At least I was before I had this little break! Its due in a week on Thursday - the 24th May. I am so near and yet so far from achieving my goal of graduation.

I have been studying with the Open University for 3 years now and should be heading for a 2:1 Honours Degree if this last piece of work goes well. I started studying as one of those 'bucket list' things that I wanted to tick off before I grew too old and grey. There have been times when it seemed like an impossible task and each new year has found me looking at the fresh list of essay titles with fear and incredulity. Still, I have learnt so much along the way and this year my average score is 90%. I am proud to have achieved that.

When I dropped out of my original Degree course 27 years ago I thought that gaining a Degree would be something I could never do. I felt that I had failed to achieve my potential and yet dropping out was somehow meant to be. If I had not dropped out I would never have met my husband, had our children, worked in casinos, travelled around the world ... Back then I had the academic ability, but not the strength of character to continue.

I remember writing miserable poetry, alone in my room at Leicester University. I have never felt so lonely. I was due to travel to Rome for my last year of the course, to write a dissertation on 15th Century mosaics. I had dreamt of speaking fluent Italian, sitting in cafes discussing the world of art and literature. As it turned out I never made it to Italy. I couldn't face it. Now I look back and wonder what my tutor, whose name I can't remember, was doing when she didn't even reply to my letter saying that I couldn't continue and was leaving the course. Now I think with amazement of the lack of support given to a lonely, miserable girl who spent so much of her time in tears...

But to be honest, I don't spend more than a couple of seconds thinking that way. I am so grateful that I have come this far and shown the determination to keep going when things have been tough. I am glad that I have proved to myself that I am intelligent, I am determined.

Three years ago the journey to gaining my Degree seemed a long and impossible one. Today it is less than 2 weeks away. I am struggling with this essay, but I know that I will get it written and it will be in on time. I am so looking forward to the weeks after I have handed it in when I will know that I have achieved my goal and that I will never have that weight of work hanging over my head again! I am never going to write another essay!!!

This summer holiday I will not spend my time reading and taking copious notes. I plan to read books for pleasure, with no notes at all!!!

I am so grateful to my husband and boys for their unerring support in all this. I have, on occasion, not been an easy person with which to live! And I am forever grateful to my lovely sister-in-law who made me realise that I could do this, who encouraged me and who is just wonderful!

One day soon, in the next year, I know that I will attend my Graduation Ceremony, wear my gown and receive my Degree. I shall post photos of it when it happens and it will be one of the proudest moments of my life.

*Reminder to self - buy water proof mascara.


Nicki said...

Congratulations!!!!! I received my degree last year and it WAS an AWESOME feeling! Enjoy your celebration and pics!!!

Ash said...

Congratulations in advance...I dropped by to comment on another section on your blog that I visited today. The art! Beautiful...that's all I wanted to say.


whitespace said...

You should be feeling so proud of yourself. I only felt proud after I passed my driving test because I found it so hard. Struggling through fears and hardship to attain something makes the prize so much sweeter I think.

I started a Humanities access course about 10 years ago myself. It turned out that dissecting something I loved started to make the subject unpleasant for me so I stopped. I don't regret it, but I can understand why you wanted to do this thing for yourself.

Well done Sarah - you're an inspiration. And I don't give out the compliments easily as you know!

sarah at secret housewife said...

Thank you, ladies!! I am bathing in the glow of your praise!!! Sarah xxx

studentat60 said...

Well done - I hope the last part goes really well for you.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations & enjoy the feeling of success - what's next?

studentat60 said...

Thanks for pointing out my extra nought - its 5,000, really. I have corrected the blog and credited you.

Anonymous said...

Well done. I have just graduated with the Open Uni...for the 2nd time! I spent my entire 40's studying (well on the side, having lots of fun too!) My last graduation in Brighton last month,was made all the more wonderful because my 21 year old son graduated alongside me. Viva the Open uni and living the life you choose.