Friday, 8 November 2013

Memoirs of part-time study (and a few words of encouragement too) - Celia

With apologies for the disruption during the network failure, we continue our series on study tips and experience with Celia Solari, one of our team of Library Assistants at Swansea Business School. Celia left secretarial college at 18 and has a great deal of experience working as a secretary in the legal profession. She completed a part-time, two year Access to Higher Education course whilst still working part-time before then enrolling on a full-time undergraduate programme. Celia graduated from King’s College London in 2006 with a BA (Hons) in English Language and Communications/Linguistics. Here’s what she has to say:-

Celia Solari
I’m sure you’ll have heard some, or all, of the following many times, but I do think they’re worth bearing in mind:
Be organised and put aside time each day for your studies, but don’t set yourself unrealistic targets – it’s important to maintain a good work/life balance.  If you can, try getting up an hour (or two) earlier than usual and use this time for reading/writing assignments.  You’ll be surprised at how much you can achieve by doing this.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, however silly they may seem.  If you don’t understand something, then it’s likely that your fellow students won’t either, but in my experience, they don’t want to look foolish by asking the obvious!  They’ll probably be pleased that you took the initiative.  However, constantly interrupting lectures/seminars could become a bit of a pain for your fellow students, so if there’s something that you’re really not sure about, then ask to see your tutor privately.
You may be returning to education after a long break and be feeling apprehensive about ‘fitting in’ to student life.  Most of my fellow students were around 25 years younger than I was (I was 47 when I graduated), but I can honestly say that this wasn’t a problem. In fact, I was informed by one fellow student, “You’re pretty cool for an old bird”. I took this as a compliment!
You might find that there are times when it seems impossible to juggle your family life and your studies, and the thought of withdrawing from your degree course seems like a good idea.  If this does happen, don’t try to struggle through; talk to your course tutor to see if they can help.  You may find that taking a couple of days off from your studies can help you to see things in perspective.
I hope you’ll enjoy student life as much as I did!

Celia makes a particularly good point about asking questions if you’re not sure. That goes for the library too! Those ‘stupid questions’ that you’re a bit embarrassed about are often the most helpful to everyone, so please ask.

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