University is over for the year! Woo! This is how I feel having completed my first part-time module and first year of Open Uni…
Of course, I feel a sense of relief. That pressure, that fear and unease is gone. I did all my assignments and got mostly 2:1s and one 1st (great grades!). I can stop worrying about deadlines, pages to read, and proving myself for a few months, which is a weight off my shoulders.
And naturally, I feel proud of myself. As I explained in my decision to study again post, I felt scared to do this; I felt unsure of whether it would be a mistake and I’d quit. Now to be on the other side of that, and so quickly too, I feel so happy and proud.
Having studied a Creative Writing module this year, there was the added pressure to prove to myself (and others, I admit) that “yes, see, I’m a good writer!” If I’d gotten bad grades, I was worried about what that would have meant to me. If it would have caused me to doubt myself and how I define myself. It’s fair to say, a lot of pressure was on me with this module; all internal, of course.
New perspective on “Intelligence” (values and metrics)
I have realised lately that I have had a wonky view of intelligence all these years…
- Intelligence is good grades
- Intelligence is being the best and smartest person in a room
- Intelligence is validation from others about how intelligent you are
- Intelligence is having a good job
- Intelligence is speaking well, knowing big words, and having the best perspective on life
- Intelligence is a marker for your worthiness
Whoa…No, no, no Siana *slaps forehead*
I’ll keep this short, as I might do a separate post on this specifically, but intelligence is none of these things. Intelligence is not truly measurable in this way.
Intelligence is how we think, not what we know. Intelligence is how we think about and apply what we know. Intelligence is learning, growing, openness, and awareness.
Studying helped me realise this, alongside some amazing books (a post coming later). And now, I have a greater appreciation for solo study and the degree. I’m not doing it for grades or status; to prove my intelligence to myself or others. But to learn, simple.
Appreciation for my mom
I have a new appreciation for what my mom has achieved, too. She did Open University herself and took nearly 9 years to get her degree, while suffering with her mental health and being a single parent. She studied a more difficult subject and did so all alone.
I applaud her dedication, focus, resilience, self-discipline, sacrifice, confidence, commitment and urgh just everything! She is always learning and doing, yet she is never appreciated for it (by herself or others).
Mom, all the appreciation!!!
I feel like I have grown as a person and a writer. I have had the title/status of student (guess I still do) for 7 months now, and that has changed me a lot. I did a post about my 6-month transformation and I strongly believe studying was a pivotal part of that and an incredible choice to have made. It took a lot for me to take that step and admit that it was something I needed and wanted that wouldn’t come easy. To admit that, sign up, and complete it was an impressive action of growth, self-awareness and self-love.
Well done, Siana!
And lastly, I’ll admit, I feel unsure. I haven’t got my official final grade for the module yet (I think that’ll be July) and so I’m sort of in limbo; it all feels a little anticlimactic.
And I said to myself in doing this module that I would take it year by year instead of thinking about the end, so this makes me feel uneasy. I didn’t want to commit, in my mind, to doing the full 4 years (it’s all part-time) it would take to complete my degree. And so that begs the question: am I going to do another module, another year?
The answer is…I think so?
I mean, I now know what it feels like to study by myself and complete a module. I did it, I can do it again. I think the next module I will be doing (analysing novels and how stories work) will be interesting, enjoyable, educational, and important for my vocation and potential future career (being an author/writer).
But one of the big reasons I chose to study in the first place was because I had nothing else going on. I was unemployed, ended my self-employment, decided I didn’t want to work as a writer in an office, and didn’t know what to do. It felt like the right thing at the right time.
Now…everything is different. I’m in a job I enjoy, which could be a career with progression. It doesn’t require a degree, although one could help with future progression or becoming a Teacher. But I don’t think I want that…I just don’t know.
A degree gives me options as well as self-development = all good things that are still true now. But it would take up my evenings and weekends, take me away from my own personal writing, and that feels like the biggest downside when (again) I don’t feel as drawn to it as something I need like I did before…
We’ll see…I have about 3-4 months to decide so it’s all good!
For now, I did it, I’m proud, I’ve grown, and I’m glad I did it. I’ll keep you updated further at a later date.
Thanks for reading, friends.