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The Adventures of a Mature-Aged Student

Updated: Jun 2, 2019

Now, I am normally a pretty confident person in most situations, however, I will admit that I was feeling a tad anxious about returning to uni to do post grad study after having taken several years away from academia to raise my two (then) young children.

I did have the advantage of being familiar with Swinburne, having completed my Bachelor of Social Science (psychology) here earlier in my life, but there were still many questions. Will I be able to slip back into study mode? How have things at Swinburne changed? What will it be like being part of a different faculty? And perhaps one of the biggest concerns for me… How will I cope with being, shall we say, not very tech savvy? As I’d been focussing more on things like how to get my children to eat vegetables over the past few years rather than keeping up with technological development.

I’m happy to say, that although there were these initial anxieties and challenges, for the most part they were alleviated pretty quickly. It did take me a month or so to get back into good study habits while also being a single mum and looking after my children. And I would put a large part of adapting so quickly down to the way the syllabus is structured in the Masters of Media and Communication, as well as the content being so interesting and stimulating.

There is a great deal of flexibility within the course and I found that staff and students alike were open and understanding making things far less anxiety provoking.

And the dreaded ‘lack of tech skills and knowledge’? Well, even that hasn’t been a big issue so far either (thank goodness!). The community feel that is fostered in the course was definitely highlighted for me with this, as my fellow savvier than I students were understanding, didn’t judge me and just offered to help me instead.

I have had to miss a lecture of two because children have been ill, and then I got what they got etc., which tends to be every parents plight. However, the open lines of communication between staff and students makes this possible to work around pretty easily without feeling like I’m falling behind. So, despite my fears, it has by far been one of the best decisions I have made, and I am so loving both the intellectual and social stimulation of being part of the Post Grad Media and Comms community at Swinburne, and I’m ready to hit the ground running for Semester two.

Oh, and for those who are interested…even though I’m studying, my children are eating their vegetables, even when I have an evening class and I’m not there to supervise!

- Judi Reed

You can follow Judi Reed on Facebook here.

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