Earlier this year I began my Masters study journey. At that time I was nervously excited about tackling this long-time goal, but was also conscious on the impact it would have on my work-life balance.
I had three months to complete my first paper and was assisted by my awesome facilitator Trish, who had regular Skype catch-ups with me. Admittedly the Skype functionality crashed and froze a lot (I don’t think Trish is usually catatonic) but we had many fruitful discussions when it was working well. What it demonstrated to me is that learning can take place from anywhere – How cool that Trish was based in Dunedin and I in Auckland.
During those months, my workload was becoming increasingly busy and I was managing two new teams and preparing for our intended building move in July. Despite this I coped with the study demands and completed the work within the three months. Woo hoo! Tick off the box – paper 1.
My second paper commenced in July and again I am fortunate to work alongside Dr Heather Carpenter, my assigned Academic Mentor. What feels different this time is that my work balance is less seamless… over the past few months I’ve been entrenched in the building move issues (timelines were extended) and I am now working with a new manager. The constant changes at work are positive and an attempt to support our transformation, but boy can it be fatiguing.
As a result I felt out of rhythm with my studies and feel daunted at this very time.
Last night I attended my good friend’s graduation ceremony and truly felt the pride and determination of all the graduates in attendance. It reminded me of my previous experiences – study is not meant to be easy and requires tenacity, courage and motivation to get through the journey. We all have peaks and lows throughout.
Right now I feel like the ‘Jack and Jill’ who fell down a hill. Whilst not pleasant, I acknowledge the overwhelming feelings I have right now towards my study.
So where to from here?
- Today I have taken an annual leave day and intend to watch several movies at the Film Festival. This is my time to zone out.
- Work has been full-on but there are things that will alleviate this. Very soon I will be in the new building (woo hoo!) and over time I will develop an operating rhythm with my team and manager.
- Over the next few days I will centre myself and find quiet time to review the requirements of my paper. A clear head can help to view things more objectively.
- I will identify any areas I need support with and chat to either Heather, or others for their perspective.
- I will remind myself that I am capable. I have completed studies before and I am so determined to achieve this goal.
Wow, it feels so cathartic to even write this blog post.
I know there are many of you who are working and studying and trying tremendously hard to balance both things. May you persist in your endeavours and make sure you have a breather when you can!
Anyhoo, time to head to the cinema x