Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Pros and Cons

I'm thinking about going back to uni.  Probably part time, but depending on what defines a "full time" course load these days, I could conceivably do full time.  This will no doubt cause my mother to recoil in horror (as she did last time I told her I was going back to full time study), but I'm becoming increasingly aware that unless I get that magic piece of paper containing a few little letters that I can stick after my name, I am unlikely to progress any further up the earning scale.

Who am I kidding... I'm really not bothered about climbing any corporate ladder.  I just like to learn new things and at the moment I feel my brain is turning to mush.  I work three days a week doing a job that is not in the least bit challenging and I'm so unmotivated that the two days I do have free (to do my own writing), I manage to fill with pointless stuff like rearranging my study and making cushion covers.  I'm definitely one of those people who can achieve so more when they're busy, therefore studying and working at the same time won't be too much of an issue.  I'm also a deadline addict - give me a deadline and I will churn it out.  Some of my highest grades were achieved by all-night writing sessions.  Plus, if my job continues to be as boring as it has been, then I'll have plenty of time there to do assignments!

My first degree was a Bachelor of Business majoring in Human Resource Development.  Quite a mouthful.  At the time I was working in the HR department of a university and getting a degree was not only encouraged for career development purposes, but also partially funded as a staff development exercise. Business was also one of the only 'acceptable' degrees in my father's eyes.  He was an HR manager his entire working life and very critical of Arts degrees, saying they were "pointless" and didn't give you "any tangible skills" (he called a BA a "Bullshit Artist" degree).  He never knew it, but secretly I longed to do a degree in English Literature, Art History and Classics.  The fact I enrolled in a Business degree had very little to do with my desire or aptitude, and more to do with pleasing my father.  

Needless to say, I lasted about two years (one part-time and one full-time) before a series of incidents (my father's sudden death and the infidelity of my boyfriend of four years being the main ones) led me to defer and head overseas to 'escape'.  Of course, as happens with a lot of people who suddenly discover the big wide world after a life in a small town, I couldn't ever picture myself going back and after three years of deferrals, eventually withdrew from the course.  By that time, I had a pretty good job and six solid years of work experience, so it wasn't that much of a problem.

My second degree was not so much a degree, but rather an Advanced Diploma of Performance (Acting).  About as far away from a Business degree as you could get.  I had aspirations of being a brilliant actress and was firmly convinced (as most drama school students are) that I would go straight from the dusty halls where we toiled over vocal warm ups, stage combat sword fights and 'trust' exercises, to the main stage at STC.  Never happened.  Sure, I've had some decent jobs, but constantly being told by casting directors that your 'look' doesn't really suit the Australian film and television landscape eventually wears you down.  Plus, I'm no good at being a jobbing actor in the independent theatre scene.  I like to eat.  I like to not live in a squalid share house with nine other people.  I like to go on overseas holidays.  Shallow?  Possibly.  But I'm on the wrong side of forty now.  I like my comforts.

This time around, I really want to go back (somewhat) to my original choice of degree. A BA majoring in Creative Writing or English Literature, with a minor in Art History.  What could I "do" with this degree?  How "practical" is it?  Who cares?  I want to study for study's sake.  I want to expand my mind.  Learn new things.  And finally, after more than 20 years, do the degree I wanted to do in the first place.  After all (and to quote Our Kylie), it's never too late, right?

It may not happen.  But it may.  In any case, I'm putting it out into the universe and seeing what happens.

I'll keep you posted.


1 comment:

Chai said...

Pushing 40 from the other side, aye? Well, all I can say is that the body starts failing. The aches take longer to go away etc etc :-(

Anyways, I reckon if you have the opportunity to go back to school, why not?
I would if I could.

Though the eyesight is going, so nothing with too much reading :-)

Good luck!