I’m very excited to announce that I’m officially a Uni student! The plan was always to go to Uni and 6 TEE subjects were diligently┬ástudied in preparation for higher education. However some early indecision over career direction, marriage at 19, the pursuit of paid employment, a move to the country and starting a small business all put Uni on the back burner.

I suspect this situation is fairly typical for many Australians, with only the content of the ‘excuse list’ varying slightly. Certainly the ages and number of students in my classes indicates this is the case.

The fact that I had never advanced beyond Yr12 qualifications always bothered me and if I’m honest led to some self doubt surrounding competence and adequacy. I had a teacher in primary school who told us one day that it is an insult to be told ‘you have potential’, or at very best a hollow compliment. The inference being that potential means you may have the ability, but you haven’t bothered to apply yourself to achieve the possible goal or prove any meaningful ability. It struck me as harsh at the time, but the more I consider it, the more I find it to hold true in the majority of contexts. I have always held a genuine desire to go to university – but am I destined to live my life as a potential graduate? My TEE score and TER suggest I could cope with Uni – but so what? It’s no good talking about what I could potentially do….RMIT Homepage Screenshot

In July last year I finally took the plunge and signed up with Open Universities Australia. I’ve been working in IT for 10 years now and it’s a field that I mostly find fascinating, rewarding and challenging. It’s time to fill in the missing gaps in my knowledge and get that sought after piece of paper that says ‘Bachelor of xxxxx’.

So I’m studying a Bachelor of Technology from RMIT through Open Universities Australia. OUA split the year into 4 study periods running 365 days a year, a full time workload means two units at a time – totalling 8 for the year . While this doesn’t give the nice big breaks as enjoyed by our on-campus counterparts, it does spread the workload somewhat to allow Uni to fit in with the rest of life’s demands. Content delivery is all online and via textbook, with assignment submission, quizzes and tests online as well. Exams so far have all been paper based.

To date I’ve managed a nice run of ‘High Distinctions’ for all my units. It would be great to continue that for as long as possible but I realise that I’ll complete all the level 1 units soon and it’s going to get harder from here. I’m thoroughly enjoying the learning process and cannot recommend mature age study highly enough. I’m currently experiencing two very exciting by-products; one is that knowledge gained is already proving useful in everyday working life. The other is that my understanding, fascination and excitement regarding the world of IT and technology that surrounds us all is growing exponentially. It’s like a curtain that I never knew existed is being lifted and it just makes me want to learn more.

I am reminded of a quote from the Hogfather:

Human beings make life so interesting. Do you know, that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to invent boredom? – Terry Pratchett