Search This Blog

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The art of mature age study

My expectations for my boys and their schooling have always been high and I’ve usually been disappointed with their results. They are all intelligent and I know they would do well if they just put their minds to it, but all of them found it easier to cruise through school doing just enough work to keep their GPAs above the minimum level. Although, I have to admit that my middle son was able to get high marks in the subjects he liked without doing much study at all.

I shouldn’t be surprised at their study habits. It must be genetic. I just have to look at myself to see where they get it from. I was never one for intense study. I was very much like my middle son; it didn’t take me a great deal of effort to do well in the subjects I liked. I would cram the day before for exams and pass. There were far more interesting things to do with my life than sit in front of textbooks.

I didn’t go to University when I left high school. I deferred an Arts Degree and never took up the option. The beach was calling and I spent the next couple of years volunteering for arts festivals and earning enough to keep me going with casual and part time jobs. I didn’t need much money. My friends and I made our own fun.

Years later, at the ripe old age of 37, I decided to apply to study a Graduate Diploma in Arts and Entertainment Management. Despite not having an undergraduate degree, I was accepted based on my work experience and, two years later, I graduated. Besides achieving a piece of paper which now hangs in my hallway, I realised how much I enjoyed study. At the end of 2007 I applied to do a BA in Communications as an off campus student at the University where I work. I was accepted and will eventually finish the degree midway through 2013. It now seems like a long time to be studying and I question my motives nearly every day.

It’s not easy to fit in the small amount of study I do. I take my books along to my sons’ sporting matches, I read them at night in front of the TV and at times I try to sneak in some study at work. But my haphazard methods seem to work for me, lord knows how! My study habits remain very close to those of my sons. I don’t study much at all. I read the bare minimum of the recommended readings and often skim through those. I race through assignments in the last couple of days before they are due. I have just decided that I really should study for my exams next week, as I still haven’t finished all the readings... I’m just not good at the whole studying bit!

My motivation is not the piece of paper at the end; instead it is the learning of new things. There are some subjects where I am so interested that I can get lost in tangents looking up different facts and figures on the internet. There are other subjects where I metaphorically throw up my hands and ask “why”? As a writer I often wonder why anyone would want to dissect someone else’s work and I just know I would hate my own work to be dissected!

But I’m getting reasonable marks and passing the subjects. That’s really all I want to do. And I’m already looking around for what I can study next. I couldn’t imagine not learning. I think I’m addicted!


  1. I think that's really great that you are back in school and learning purely because you want to be doing it!

  2. Congratulations! It's never too late and as a girl in my 40's I feel like my best years have just begun. The journey of life is so much better when you are constantly learning.

  3. I am back in in my 40s too! Good luck!

  4. Robyn - at least I have the luxury to do what I do!

    Joann - Thank you and I totally agree.

    Kazzy - Well done and good luck to you too!