Money, online working and outside pressures

Week one is complete. The MSc nursing course is approximately two years long with a total of six weeks holiday a year (yes that’s right, just six weeks for the whole year. There is so much content and so many placement hours to squeeze in that something had to give and that something is holiday time) meaning that the entire course is roughly 92 weeks of intense schooling. I have finished the first of those and am now halfway through the second. So 92 is now down to 90 and ½, I’m virtually registered = :]

It is really good to feel as though I am now properly on the course. I’m still transitioning into student mode, which is going fine, but so very tiring. I’m spending crazy amounts of time studying and I’m not even that much of a studier. There is just so much content to get through though that there aren’t enough hours in the day to get through all the recommended reading and exercises. So, I pick and choose. I do what definitely needs doing such as session prep and session post reading, but the other stuff is down to how long I can keep my eyes open for and how much time I have. Its just not humanly possible to go through everything. I keep telling myself this anyway. What I have found though is that my iPad has been an absolute diamond. All of my study and note taking has been done using the apple pencil and goodnotes 5. It is so easy to mix media content and to organise everything. If nothing else I am becoming very organised. I’ve not used my MacBook so much, but I’m sure once I’m working on essays it will be a lifesaver. I hope so, it cost enough. For now, it sits in a very protective case just looking pretty. My insane brain is now telling me I need to get an iPhone so that I’m completely emersed in the apple ecosystem. I didn’t really like my last iPhone, however, my stupid brain wont shut up and I’ve come to accept when this is the case, I need to appease it else I’ll never get any sleep. Goddamn you apple.

The good news is that my student finances finally came through and are now sitting pretty in my bank account. I am fully aware though that now my weekly wage has dropped significantly, that money has to last. A couple of additional things to consider if any readers are worrying about finances going into their own degree course, as a full-time student, apparently, I’m entitled to a 25% discount on council tax. Nice. The university sent me a signed and stamped letter to send off to the council to make such a claim, so I’m now awaiting their response. Fingers crossed. Additionally, since I have seen my weekly employment hours reduced, I’ve also started receiving some tax back which is another bonus. So, at the moment finances are all sorted. Check back in a month when I’m selling my liver because I’ve spanked it all on a new iPhone.

This week I’ve attended lectures on Monday, with further lectures on Thursday and Friday. The middle of the week has been for self-guided study, of which I’ve had tons. Monday was all online, as was all last week. This has all been a new experience for me, and one I was not looking forward to. I really don’t like being on video, and especially any form of public speaking or even interaction. But, I sucked it up and went for it. Fortunately, the whole experience has been pleasant. I’m not sure how its going to go as we work towards group work and group presentations, but I’m not even thinking about that yet. I’ve had it in my mind to just accept blindly what is expected of me and to just go with it. The spirit of loved ones giving me the strength to go above and beyond my own limitations. Like I said, so far so good. Tomorrow is my first session at the university. An early start involving 2 bus journeys and having to actually meet people in person. Again, I’m not thinking about it else I’ll end up getting anxious. It doesn’t help that I’ve not really been out for the last six months what with coronavirus.

One thing I was pretty adamant about was that I am far too busy to take on additional academic responsibilities. What with the intense course, working a part-time job, working as an editor for a magazine, and being under contract to finish off a trilogy of novellas for my publisher (including a recorded reading and interview which is not going well), I barely have time to scratch my arse, let alone do anything else. I certainly don’t have any social life. However, despite my better judgement I have found myself as the student union rep for the MSc LD cohort. Meaning what? I’m not quite sure yet, however I do know it requires additional training sessions, and having to attend so many union meetings and associated events. I’m told by my course leader that I will be fine, and I hope I will, but I really am pushing myself outside of my comfort zone with this course. I think that’s maybe a good thing. We will see. I’m told though there are freebies. And cake.

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