Thursday, 17 May 2018

Going Back to college at 27!

Hi everyone! 
How has your week been?
So I am officially finished my 1st Year of College. I originally began this post in January, but life got very busy. And I thought, now that I've one year down, it was the perfect time to post this blog. 

So, if you've been a regular reader here on my website or over on instagram, you will already know, I went back to college part-time September 2017! 

Going back to college was always something I wanted to do! I completed a FETAC Level 5 course in Pre-Nursing back in 2009/2010 and the plan was to go do Nursing! But I didn't get enough Distinctions! I had gotten 5 out of 8 but still wasn't enough! So I continued working in the nursing home, and hoped to go back to do Nursing when I was 23! One thing led to another, I moved out of home, loved having my wages coming in every fortnight! Loved my holidays etc! So going back to college was just forgotten about! I did, however, do Beauty Therapy and Make-Up Artistry part time in college, during my time in the nursing home, in the hope that I'd one day work in that area! 
And I did, but I wasn't long finding out, that it wasn't for me!

In April 2016, I began working in the disability sector! As the months went on, I got to learn of a whole new career that I never knew existed- a Social Care Worker! I had heard of it, but never knew what it was! And it just got me thinking. I loved the sector I was working in and started to wonder, could I progress my own career! The issue of Finance was, again, a factor I was worried about! So as time went on, I did some research! And this research showed me I could study Applied Social in Science in Social Care PART TIME! So in June 2017, I updated my CV, wrote a 500 word essay talking about my experience and sent it off to Waterford Institute of Technology! I waited months for a reply, and I was convinced I didn't get in! 

It was a Friday evening in September, I was in the Nail salon, getting my nails done, because we were flying to Las Vegas on the Sunday for 10 days, when my phone notified me about an e-mail! I only saw the first 3 lines and it basically said I had been accepted! I'm not going to lie, I had so many mixed emotions right there! As soon as I had read the email when I came out, I learned that the induction was the following Friday! So I was going to miss the first 2 days! I started to freak out, worrying that, that would cause a problem, but after sending a quick e-mail, I got a reply on the Tuesday saying that was no problem! So it was stressful to start with, as I had to get Mam to submit my fees as I was unable! But I got there in the end! 

I had a week to prepare for myself for the complete unknown! I hadn't an absolute notion what to expect! Mam and myself drove down a few days before as I wanted to know where to park and how long it would take me to get there etc! 

It was not at all what I expected! I expected massive lecture halls like you see on TV! Nope, it was just a normal classroom! On the 3rd floor, and 6 flights of stairs! Lol! But I was made feel so welcome by everyone in the class! I was added to a whatsapp group immediately! I actually had to download the app as it was never one that I used! So that's the little story behind actually getting into college! 

Getting through Semester 1? Was a tough one! I really struggled with the referencing system! It caused me some anxiety and I had myself almost convinced that I wasn't able for it! I considered dropping out, I felt so out of my comfort zone! I'm not sure how I over came it, if I'm honest! 
I talked! I talked to my parents, to Anthony and to friends! I went back the following week and I didn't feel as overwhelmed, so I put my head down and tried to work out the referencing system! 
And I got there!!  And managed to finish semester 2 as well. 

Going back to college at 27 might not seem a big deal to many, but I Had not sat in a classroom for about 7 years and in a total different setting! I had never experienced the style of writing that was required for this course! I never had to do research before! In any other courses, we were given our notes and then to study and practice for the exams! So this was a whole new ball game!  

If you want to know whether you should go back to college or not? I would tell you go for it! Try it out, see how the first few months go! If you hate it, then try something else! But if it's something you think you want, do it! You will get overwhelmed, you will doubt yourself, but it's when you get that email to say you've passed even 1 semester, that will be the drive to keep going! You will be your own motivation!  And if like me, you don't want to give up wok full time, talk to people, use google, look up college websites, there is always a way to get in! I NEVER knew you would be able to get a degree by going to college part time! 

So don't give up hope, whether your 27 or 57, if it's something you want, you will push yourself to get it! By doing this course, it will open up many more avenues for me career wise. I will [hopefully] be able to work in sectors such as Mental Health, Prison services, Homeless Services, Social Services and so on! I can go on and specialize in an area! But lets not get ahead of ourselves now! Haha! 

I think it's the right decision for me and my future! And there's only one way to find out-keep moving forward! And Keep learning! 

If you have any questions at all, on my course or on how I physically Juggle everything, please feel free to dm me on instagram or send me an e-mail. 

But if you really want something, go get it. You more than likely will make some sacrifices, but I'm hoping those sacrifices I've made so far will have paid off in 2 years time. 

Have a lovely Wednesday!!

Orla
xx

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