Going Back to University


You have probably seen the “omg semester 1 is starting” memes going around on Facebook right now. For me, the feeling is that x100 mixed with a little bit of excitement and a sprinkling of “what am I doing with my life?”

If you have been reading my blog you will know I have decided to leave my perfectly good job which is giving me a nice work-life balance and money (money is key) to be poor, confused, stressed and out of my depth with little to no social life.

Going back to university and taking a year away from work is quite an odd feeling. Virtually everyone I have spoken to thinks I am going on a year-long jolly (they could be right, only time will tell). I suppose everyone automatically thinks of their undergrad days, when, let’s be honest, we really didn’t do very much.

I know I slept in most of the time, didn’t turn up for half my lectures, had never done the tutorial reading and spent my day eating junk food.

This time, however, THIS TIME, I tell myself, I will be diligent and focused. I will have an actual filing system and I will stay on top of my reading. Going back to university after 6 years has got to have some perks. Once you have worked for a while, I think you learn discipline to some extent at least. But, you also learn to have certain creature comforts. While everyone tells me it’s going to be amazeballs, there are a few things that I am clinging onto for dear life that working people do take for granted:

1. Clean Bathrooms – In an office environment, toilets are a lot nicer. Marble fitted, clean and generally smelling of air freshener. I’m not saying it never goes south, but generally, it’s rectified fairly quickly. University, I can’t say the same.

2. Microwaves – This is a huge one for me. In fact, it’s so important I’ve spent some time googling the exact location of the microwaves on campus. Leftovers from dinner are straight in my lunchbox for the next day usually. What would I do without a microwave? Live off tuna sandwiches? Eat salads during the winter months? That’s crazy talk!

3. Double Screens – I have gotten used to working with two PC screens and I will probably cry when I am faced with writing my first essay without them. When I moved over from investment banking to asset management I requested that my screens come with me because I was that attached to them(true story.) It is the most helpful thing in the world and makes most things 100 times faster.

4. Leaving Work for the Day – The great thing about working is, when you leave work, you leave work (mostly). When you are studying, the work is never ending and you can always do more.

University does have its perks though. You can be a lot more flexible with your time and you get to do everything in trainers (no more court shoes for me).

Still, like a lot of people going back into education after a while, I am a bit nervous. I don’t think I remember how to write an essay and I am sure I used to be a lot smarter when I was 19 (seriously, who on earth wrote that undergrad dissertation. What on earth was that girl talking about?)

Still, here I am, getting ready to go back. What I need to do is get my laptop some breakdown cover, buy some USBs and think about getting a few pens and notepads. What I am actually doing is thinking about bulk buying winter jumpers and boots because seriously, a damp Aisha is an unhappy Aisha. Doesn't bode well for my so-called “mature focused student” plan. But hey-ho. I muddled through my undergrad somehow, I’ll manage this right?


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