So as some of you know or don’t know, I have decided to further my education and have gone back to studying. It’s a totally different experience going as a mature student, with other mature students. My experience as an undergrad was probably one of the most bizarre ones. Being in a new city (London), the whole concept of university was just foreign to me. I was so used to the high school mentality that I had all my friends nearby, some lived in my neighborhood, and a few I had to drive to see. Also this was in Harare, which to be honest is a growth point. The fact that you can drive from one side of the city to another in under 30min and 40km says it all.
All of a sudden I was thrust into the concrete jungle FULL of people from EVERYWHERE and to be honest it was quite daunting. I would show you my student picture, but it is a shocker. For a reason that I will share another time, the day before enrollment I slept in a car in the car park for where we had just moved to in London…. it was a cold ass night.
I was a very reclusive person for the first and half of the second semester at university. In fact I didn’t have any friends on my course. I used to eat my lunch on my own, hardly spoke to people, barely went to the uni bar. I actually used to play with one of my friends who I went to high school with whose university just happened to be right behind mine. I eventually made friends with a few people on my course in the last few weeks of the second semester of my first year who are now quite dear to me. The main reason for this is that my degree forced me to do a presentation with them. We were forced to work together and then eventually socialise.
It’s not like I’m socially awkward (as far as I am concerned) or that I can’t make friends. I think at that time I didn’t really know how to make new friends and that’s why I didn’t make much of an effort and was happy just in my own little bubble.
So you can imagine that when I started my diploma there were many of the same feelings of anxiety. I walked into the class and I was convinced that I would have to deal with the same old strained conversations about things, trying to find familiarity where it clearly wasn’t and eventually getting so frustrated you decide to just give up and sit in a corner, earphones in place and ignore the rest of the class…
But then something amazing happened. As I was in a room of adults, everyone behaved like adults. We all greeted each other, asked each other where they worked, what they did, didn’t have superficial conversations about what they did on the weekend (mainly coz we spend our weekend in class so we don’t have much of a weekend), some people grumbled about the HR managers, their procurement managers and generally normal things.
Ultimately I am there to get an education and not to make friends. If I do become friends with anyone then that will be an added bonus. The one thing I learnt is that school is something that you can do at any age. As you get older, your priorities change. It is going to be an interesting experience over the next year. If I find the time, I will keep you updated as the goings on.
Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught – Oscar Wilde