To be honest it seems slightly strange to write about being the ‘one who stayed’ when I’m currently sat in a cosy seafront cottage watching the sunset over the Welsh coast. Because y’know, however much I wish I did, I don’t actually live here. Sob. So ‘The One Who Stayed’ is actually ‘The One Who Stayed Most of the Time and Goes on Last Minute Trips When Possible’. Close enough.
Anyhow, I’m only one month into life as a distance learning student/blogger/whatever the hell I am, but I thought I’d have a chat about how my decision’s made me feel so far. Bar the actual Open University specific stuff – saving that for another post.
For starters, it’s weird describing ‘what you do’ when you’re at home most days. I mean, obviously I’m a full time student by nature of studying 120 credits in one year, but I don’t quite feel like I am. Daft, I know. Probably just because I still kinda associate ‘student’ with actually sitting in a classroom, which I’ve only done 3 times. So far the content’s been reasonably easy and hasn’t taken me full-time hours either, so I don’t quite feel like a full-time student just yet even though I’m submitting assignments and stuff. Even when walking around the University of Manchester campus for a tutorial I felt like a fraud student lol. It’s weird.
I spend loads of time on my blog (and yet still don’t manage tons of posts… quick writers how U do dis???) but I’m not a full-time blogger. Full-time bloggers make full-time salaries (and I obviously don’t) but the flexibility of what I’m doing means I can kinda act like one, to test the waters. Mainly with travel blogging; being a full-time student who can pack her bags and go away at short notice has worked out pretty well so far! Getting my foot in the travel blogging door was one of my main goals for this year, and with a couple more trips left before the end of the year still, I can say I’m very happy to be on my way there. So yeah, I don’t feel like a newbie blogger and with the time invested it’s way more than a hobby, but I’m not full-time either. Again, it’s weird.
As for the actual ‘staying at home and not going to uni’ part, there are a few things I’ve realised.
Not everybody actually goes away. Despite the fact that you’re told university is the be all and end all a million times over, more people have actually done different things and stuck around near home for one reason or other. Shock horror, university life isn’t for everybody!
Motivation isn’t difficult. I was warned a bajillion times that motivating myself to work whilst home alone during the day would be difficult, but I haven’t struggled with motivation at all. Procrastination though? Whole ‘nother story. I don’t struggle to motivate myself to get started, I just struggle not to get distracted by ‘Ooh look a twitter notification and how about I make a brew and whilst I’m at it the dishwasher needs emptying’. I am such a wild child, can you tell?
Jealous times happen, but so do ridiculously grateful ones. Yep, seeing my friends away having so much fun, so many crazy nights, and meeting a constant supply of new people makes me a lil’ bit jelly sometimes. Always works out that everybody else’s lives seem most interesting when yours is at its dullest too, obviously. But the experiences I can have (that I wouldn’t if I’d gone away to university), are 100% worth it. I’m ridiculously glad to have made the decision I did and hopefully there will be more new fun experiences to come!
I’m not missing out on learning to look after myself. No, I’m not learning what it’s like to miss home for long periods of time and not have your mum and dad downstairs to talk to. But it’s not like being at home means I don’t know how to cook, clean, do washing, blah blah blah – I still have to do all that adulting stuff, just for 4 people not 1. So y’know.
Everyone is at different stages of adulting now. It’s odd when you realise that people you went to school with seem to be at such different stages in life now. Some are at uni, some have full-time jobs, some have moved out into their own place, one or two even have a baby – varying amounts of adulting going on! Sometimes I feel like a proper grown up and sometimes I do such stupid things that I question whether I’m mentally still 7. But that probably isn’t going to change any time soon. Will be an idiotic 80 year old and proud. 😀
So that’s a little life update brought to ya from Wales. I’d be interested to hear what other people living slightly unconventional lives think – do you feel like a drifting this/that/the other?
lily kate x