Many people would likely balk at the suggestion of going back to uni five years after graduating. You can’t really do halls when you’re 27 and nights like ‘Fun Factory’ and ‘Rubber Duck’ just don’t seem to have the shiny allure that they once did. However when you find yourself stuck in a career rut, there’s no solution quite like getting into a few grand’s worth of debt. But there are a few other reasons to be cheerful about getting back in the student game. Here they are.
1. The Bargains
Everyone knows you can get away with having a railcard just past the 26 cut-off, but when you’re a mature student you get one for a whole extra year. And it only costs the same as it would anyone. And there’s the student discount: Topshop, asos etc. Only thing is, I generally forget to use the card. Sometimes I actively avoid using it for 2 reasons: 1. the horrendous photo and 2. more to my shame, I’m a bit embarrassed to be a student.
2. The Free Time
I remember when I first got my undergraduate timetable. 12 hours a week. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Course, a few weeks in it was all par for the course and the occasional times when you had to be in for 9 were seen as some kind of inhumane penalty. In the first few months of my masters, I became reaccquainted with daytime TV. It was definitely meant to be a one-hour lunch break, but sometimes those rolling episodes of Come Dine With Me are just too hard to turn off. Unfortunately things have taken a turn for the busy. Come Dine With Me days have been regretfully replaced with weekend library sessions. It shouldn’t be allowed.
3. Looking Down on The Undergrads
Studenthood is a funny thing. When you’re in it, it’s the best thing ever, but step outside of it and all students are pretty much scum. Naturally this doesn’t include postgrads like myself. We operate on a higher echelon. Now that I’m once more in amongst the fold I can look at the undergrads like David Attenborough watching wildebeest, only with less awe. During undergrad term time I make a fuss about the noise and chaos in the library full of students having way more fun than me and comfort myself with the knowledge that I have real world experience. REAL WORLD EXPERIENCE. Who needs pound a pint night anyway? I drink craft beer…
4. The Brain Food
One of my bosses once sympathised with me that I probably felt like my brain was melting. He was right. Doing the same thing day in, day out, does seem to drain you of all intellectual resources. I got to the point where I – once a champion speller (in year 6 tests) – was no longer confident spelling out simple words like ‘spoon’. OK, I may be exaggerating, but you catch my drift. Opening up my brain to studying has been a welcome reminder that I can think beyond a target and even write about stuff that doesn’t involve celebrities or cats. Think I’ll be off to MENSA soon. Cheerio.
(REASONS TO BE PISSED OFF: Lectures starting at 9. Bleurgh)