My little family and I just spent a weekend in Brisbane visiting my mum and dad. For those who didn’t read my first post my dad is battling leukaemia and things aren’t looking good. We go to Brisbane every second weekend to visit them, make me feel better and give my mum a little break. For the first time in my life I packed my uni books (EEEEK!!) and my work computer in the hope to find some time to read the study guide for ACCT11059 Accounting, Learning and Online Communication Unit. My dad had a tough Saturday so we just stayed home in the unit and while my husband played board games with our children I sat down with dad and started the reading the study guide.
I took Martin’s advice on board that each chapter contains 10,000 words broken into 4 sections of 2,500 words and it takes him approximately 40 minutes to read one chapter and to have a break between the sections if needed. I was trying to re-read the introduction chapter because I had a huge week at work and even though I read one part each night before I settled into bed I felt that I wasn’t retaining the information…. Freak out moment number 1… that can’t be a good sign! If I can’t retain the information in the first chapter of the first unit that I am studying how on earth and I going to finish this degree!
Dad was drifting in and out of sleep and quietly watched me from the sidelines while I was trying my hardest to stay on track with reading but I kept re-reading the paragraphs because it felt like I was still not retaining any information … Freak out moment number 2… I finished the introduction feeling uncomfortable and disheartened. Even though I really enjoy reading the way Martin writes I just felt like nothing sank in and I wasn’t “deep learning”. I then watched a movie and had a break. After we ate some lunch I picked up the study guide again and started reading Chapter 1. Dad commented that I looked worried and I started to tell him my concerns that I don’t feel like I am retaining information. Mum and dad then told me “not to worry” that taking on university is a huge step and that it will be a learned skill. They did what parents do and reassured me that I will be fine and that I can’t expect too much of myself on the very first subject.
I thought about this for a little while and realised that I was stressing about something that hasn’t even officially started! Of course I will need time to adjust to this new lifestyle choice. After all it has taken me 6 years to master the skills for my job and my decision to pursue a degree started because I wanted to improve and build on my skills that I require for my job. I think acknowledging that I am finding the thought of studying frightening and the fear that I will be wasting money that I could be investing into my family home is the first step to adjusting to this university choice. Up until now it has been all about the excitement for preparing to work on achieving my goal of wanting the Bachelor of Business (Human Resources and Public Relations) Degree and now it’s here I am stressing!
So I finished the first chapter for the second time and still had that uncomfortable disheartening feeling in the bottom of my stomach. I decided that it was time to put the books away and spend some time with my family.
Fast forward to Sunday night and as I put my kids to bed I thought “Ooo, I’ll jump on peerwise and see how I go answering some questions” So I did, and as I skipped to the last page of the unanswered questions I was flicking through the questions and thought the only way I will start to learn is to face my fears. I answered some questions and I was so excited that the first 4 I answered I answered correctly without referring to the study guide! This may seem crazy to those who learn quickly or those who can retain information easily but for me it was a huge “winning” moment. I think Martin is correct in saying that we should all utilise peerwise daily. I think for me personally this program will help me with this adjustment to studying and to enhance my knowledge. I think it will also help me to break the communication barriers of studying at a distance and feeling like a lone-ranger.
I think the message I am trying to get across is for those of you who are starting for the first time remember to give yourself time to adjust and trust in yourself that you will retain information in your own time and if you feel like you’re not then jump on peerwise and use that awesome program to convince yourself that you are learning!