Oh how quickly we forget eh? I’ve been high on life since about 9.09 last Wednesday morning when I completed (and passed) the final assessment of Year 1 at BCNH. In between sipping glasses of bubbly I’ve been fizzing over with downright euphoria. This is, of course, without question the best thing I have ever done.
But oh how I so selectively romanticise. I mean, the severe case of Pityriasis rosea (I bet you Google it…) that reached parts not even my bikini waxer has ventured to won’t make for motivating or sexy reading, will it? An immune system descending into free fall isn’t quite what the college’s prospectus promises. Our marital vows didn’t factor in anything to do with the all too frequent and quite frankly pointless bickering that accompanies the once Good Wife enrolling in further education. But here’s the thing, none of that matters any more.
The rash has cleared (after 12 mortifying weeks), we’re back doing the dishes together in blissful harmony *cough*. And if I were Augustus Waters’ parents I’d be decking the halls with innumerable Motivations.
This past academic year has been one of so many learnings. And whilst I wouldn’t have it any other way I’m a firm believer forewarned is forearmed and I wish someone had told me:
1. You’re going to take a financial hit.
It’s perfectly doable – and I’m sure there are many people that don’t shop at Ocado or take taxis that do it a lot better than me – but re-training comes at a cost. I make no bones about the fact my parents help(ed) with my fees and the only way to sustain a lifestyle we’ve become unfortunately accustomed to was to relocate (from London to Cardiff) where the cost of living is half and then some! We live off one salary that covers fundamental outgoings and anything I add to that takes care of the ‘extras’.
2. You can’t do it all
I merrily set about building a freelance PR empire, took on numerous other responsibilities and totally lost sight of my main priorities. It resulted in all the aforementioned emotional distress and physical ailments and I was, quite frankly, run ragged. My studies lost out, I became frustrated that I wasn’t making the top cut of the class and I was so anxious about pretty much everything that filled my day to day life. It was grim and not ever how I’d imagined this exciting stage of my life to be! Scale back, give the studies your undivided attention and the rest becomes a lot easier.
3. You need to be absolutely certain this is for you
Thankfully I’m still so focused on setting up a nutritional therapy practice that I’ve managed to pull through those dreaded moments of wanting to throw in the towel. But I’m glad it took two years for me to make the decision to commit to these further studies. Whilst time flies it’s a long old slog and I’m very aware I’m only a quarter of the way through. So much can change in four years but I hope more than anything I’m still as passionate about this area when I finish as I was when I started.
4. You definitely can’t do this on your own
Or perhaps you can. But I most certainly couldn’t. I have been totally blessed with an army of supportive friends, family, colleagues, clients, blog readers, heck even the bikini waxer listened to my essay writing related woe as I winced on the couch! So many people have been so much more patient with me; cut me insane amounts of slack to accommodate this huge undertaking. Each and every single one of you is acknowledged, celebrated and recognised for everything you’ve done to get me through this. Thank you.
Have you ever been tempted to try your hand at something different? What holds you back?