When I started my Bachelor of Arts degree I did so after being out of school for many years. This isn’t unusual, especially for students at Athabasca University. Making the decision came with a round of anxiety, and taking that first step in planning and ordering a course came with a second. I wasn’t sure how the courses were structured, how to work through them, or how to find my way around Moodle.
It has only been just over a year since I was taking courses full-time to complete my BA. I found my balance within the courses, I found community within The Voice Magazine, and I was comfortable. Comfortable in the sense that I felt I could find the answers when I was uncertain. I have been surprised that all those feelings of anxiety and uncertainty have come rushing back with the decision to pursue an MA: I’m not sure how the courses will be structured, I’m feeling lost in Moodle, and I am anxious about trying to plan the program. I remind myself how far I came from when I started my BA to the end of it. I still have the fabulous writing community with The Voice Magazine and I know I can still find the answers –it just might take me a bit longer while I find the path to them.
I am excited to get back into studying, while I have been keeping busy and learning as much as I can about the industry I want to be a part of, there is something thrilling about taking this step and furthering myself. I believe that this will be key in getting into the position I want. Since applying, and being accepted, as a non-program student it has been a reorganization of sorts. I downsized my desk since I graduated, and the current one will not hold all the books and binders that it will have to (–small desks are great for not collecting clutter, but poor for trying to study) the old desk/kitchen table that I used for my undergrad has since been otherwise repurposed, so the search began. I have also found and saved my “studying playlists” on Spotify, got a new planner, and made room on my shelves.
While distracting myself with these small organizational “tasks” I have been trying to plan my program. There are a few obstacles that I can see coming: my first group-study courses, for one. But, I remind myself that all these feelings, the fear or not knowing how to work through the course, not feeling like I will be able to do it, feeling in over my head, are all things that I felt before, and I succeeded. It is one step at a time, one course, one assignment, one day, one hour. These feelings of uncertainty won’t go away, there will always be something, but like every time before there will be resources to help guide me, and I will make my way through, one thing at a time.
Going back to school, it seems, is a mix of excitement and fear. But as long as that fear doesn’t overpower and paralyze then it is okay. It isn’t a bad thing to feel, I don’t think, it keeps me humble and motivated. I cannot wait to start challenging myself and pushing myself in the midst of these new courses.