Shifting, Shifting…

I feel stubbornly dedicated to the driving theme.

Picture me driving a stick shift, and I have to keep changing gears. I don’t stay in any one gear all that long. I’m continually shifting, shifting gears and it’s a bit tiring, challenging and requires some pull-overs so I can stop, walk around and stretch. Enjoy the view.

This is my summer so far as a student.

Not only do I have two 400-level electives on the go, but I have my practicum, as well. Mix that in with my daily life. Many mature students who are also partners and parents will identify with this scenario:

(this is kind of to the tune of This Little Piggy…)
Monday and Fridays are dedicated to coursework!
Tuesday to Thursdays are dedicated to practicum work!
Everyday is dedicated to getting in loads of laundry,
And at the end of each day, one is very tired!
And the student ran yelling “Aaaaaahhh!” far away from her textbooks!

Sound familiar?

Semesters like this one are immensely fulfilling, definitely demanding, certainly challenging and without question, require self-care and at least an attempt at balance.

So, along with shifting, I keep balancing: schoolwork, practicum days, family life, summertime activities, self-care…not necessarily in that order.

One thing I keep handy is my Daytimer. I splurged and bought one. It lives with my purse and school bag. It`s where I try to sync everything and is as important as my school calendar by the computer, with all of my assignment due dates and deadlines for learning activities.

I look forward to chucking it unceremoniously, come September (when UVIC MSW application info becomes available).

Here’s my two bits about summer school, including practicum work: give yourself a map to follow, marked with your work days, course due dates and assignment deadlines. If you can, make sure your practicum placement offers some flexibility, if you need it. You may need to take a day here and there, and make it up later, to complete some coursework.

If this all sounds like a bit of a grind, well, it is, to some extent. Learning is hard work. It’s exhilarating and tiring, at the same time. And, when one is learning in so many areas – theory and practice and life – it can be a bit overwhelming.

Don’t forget it’s summer. When you’ve had your fill of shifting, pull over and admire the view. T

Then, as my tea cup says, Keep Calm and Carry On!

***Some feedback I’ll later share with an instructor I will now share with you:

I wish instructors would not intimate to students just how hard and demanding their courses will be. Rather, notes that are welcoming and actually encouraging are much more appropriate. If, after reading the `”welcome note” from one’s instructor, one then wants to drop that course, (even if one is a very dedicated student) means that the note was not really all that welcoming!