2015 has been one strange year for me. I started the year going working 40-60 hours a week in a phone shop, spend most of it writing articles and shopping on 7Jo... now I'm starting back at university.
I say starting back at university, in all honesty I have never attended university before in my life. After 11 years away from any kind of education I've decided to jump right in at the deep end and start an undergraduate degree with the Open University.
It's exciting but going back to education is very difficult. For a start, dealing with Student Finance England is much more difficult than it should ever be. Why it takes 6-8 weeks to approve or deny a loan is completely beyond me. Surely they have a computer system which says:
"Is this person living in England?"
"Is this person really doing a degree?"
"Has this person had a loan before?"
"Should this person get a loan?"
I get the feeling that Student Finance England must be using 2 decade old Amiga 600's to process the loan. Perhaps I should loan them one of my old laptops to help speed up the whole process.
The second hard part is getting used to the idea of studying again. I was never the best at studying when I was at school and college. I used to have a habit of daydreaming throughout my lessons and I would usually complete my assignments at 8:55 on the morning it was due.
I'm not sure I'll be able to get away with this on my new course, but I'm not going to rule it out happening.
I just wish that I still had my best mate studying with me. When I was last in education we used to spend the night before any assignment was due talking on MSN (so you know how long ago this was!) as we completed our work. It's going to be a pretty lonely experience working on my assignments till the early hours of the morning without anyone to talk to.
I think I'm going to have to find a lot of new student friends who are as bad at their time management as I am!
Finally, I have to start reading again. Now, don't get me wrong, I love reading. I own way, way, way too many books and I've read most of them more than once. But I usually get to choose what and when I am going to read.
I don't like being told what to do, which is the reason I no longer work for anyone else!
I've already received my workbooks and my rebellious streak already is rearing its head. "You will use this book throughout the year" - will I, will I now? You don't know how I respond to authority! I might decide to read the book after the year instead, I might never read the book.
OK, I won't... I've got student loans to think about now... I don't think I want to waste them just for a little bit of rebellion.
Good luck to everyone else embarking on their studious. Hopefully you will all enjoy your next few years - and don't spend too much of it drunk and hungover!