Over the past five months of becoming a college student, I’ve had to make a lot of changes to my basic daily routine, as well as my lifestyle. It certainly has been a major adjustment to go from working full time, to being unemployed and studying full time. I’ve known for years that I wanted to go back to school and I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but the truth is you really don’t know what it’s going to be like until it actually happens. For the longest time I thought mainly about what school would be like and less about how it would impact my life for 60 weeks.
Perhaps the most difficult change that I’ve had to get used too, is the fact that I no longer have a job. I got my first job at the age of fifteen and I’ve basically been working ever since, so needless to say it’s been an adjustment to have no steady income to rely on. My parents live in Kelowna so moving back in with them was never an option, but fortunately I’m lucky enough to have an incredible boyfriend to help keep things afloat. As the months and courses go by, I often consider obtaining a part time job, but the tough part about being a student is it dramatically limits your choices. In fact, I did try to return to my old job but unfortunately I couldn’t make the necessary weekly-hour commitment to make it possible. I don’t want this blog to deter you away from joining the program, because some of my classmates are successfully maintaining their jobs and still getting good grades. I personally made the decision to make school my full time job and so far things are going pretty good. The difference is when they want to get together for lunch after class, I go home to cook a bowl of soup instead. It works for me because I can focus all of my time on my studies and I don’t have to worry about juggling multiple responsibilities. Working during full time studies in an intensive course such as Cardiology Technology, is a choice that every potential student must make.
Another change that I’ve had to adjust too is my new daily routine and schedule. After years of working a variety of shifts (mornings, evenings, overnights) I now finally have the luxury of waking up at the same time everyday. It’s a predictable consistency that I absolutely enjoy as it makes sticking to a routine foolproof. In the past I had to set five alarm clocks to get me out of bed, but now I’m finding myself waking up before my alarm even rings. My dog certainly loves my new schedule because it means he’s home alone for less time during the day. I also cannot emphasis enough how wonderful it is to have weekends off… at last! Friday’s have meaning for me. Creating an efficient study schedule took a little while to nestle into, but it’s beginning to feel more natural. I’ve learned that I have the greatest focus and concentration in the morning, so I wake up early to fit in an extra hour of studying before class. I’ve also played around with a variety of different study methods and have discovered what works best for me.
An amusing twist to my new college lifestyle, is that my dialogue has changed. I talk about, think about, and dream about school. When I go home to visit family, I get excited to share any updates on my progress and the new courses that I’ve learned. When class ends and I go home, I just end up texting my study buddy (Christina) to talk about school some more. I’m sure I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again… never did I think I would enjoy being a student this much. It’s true what they say about how studying something you’re interested in changes things. I want to learn and I can’t wait to start practicing my new skills.
All in all, the changes I’ve had to make over these past months have been good for me. I’m more organized, energized, and positive then I have been in a long time. I’ve also built up quite the self-control when I go window shopping. As with anything in life, being in college has its pros and cons, Pro: I don’t have to go to work vs. Con: I’m not making money. Pro: My classes are four hours long vs. Con: I have to come home and study for six hours after. At this point in the program, so far all of my courses have been solely theory and textbook-based. In a month from now, the practical hands-on learning begins which could potentially bring on a whole new set of changes to adapt too, but I plan to keep an open mind and take it one day at a time.