I created this blog in April 2015, when I was close to leaving my job and planning on enrolling in university as a mature student. Apart from wanting to write about my interests, my blogging intention was also to improve my writing skills and to explore topics that could be slightly less mainstream in the blogosphere and more closely related to academia.
Therefore, my blog is intrinsically connected to education, especially to my personal educational journey. But can these two spheres – blogging and education – be put together? Will creating a blog help a college student in any way?
This post is dedicated to fellow student bloggers, as well as aspiring university students. Here I will prove that, yes, blogging can indeed affect and improve your academic life.
But first, let’s take a look at some similarities and some differences between writing a blog post and writing an academic paper.
Now that I have gone through the first semester without any hiccups, after passing all my exams with relatively good grades, I feel the need to write about the doubts and the wrong way of thinking of some freshmen in university (including myself).
I want to highlight some misconceptions which students have that tend to push them backwards, hindering their chances of a healthy and progressive journey throughout tertiary education.
When I first enrolled in university 10 years ago, I had the same erroneous thoughts and it was this negative way of going about my studies that led me to failure. Now, as a mature student, I know better and I strive (and struggle) to remain positive and level-headed at all times. Yet, it seems that crisis is always waiting for me around the corner, and this year was no different.
I am sure that many other university students go through such a phase, particularly during the first year as they are still transitioning from high school. Despite the universality of such a situation, while writing this, I am focusing on my own experience and on the words that I have heard uttered from classmates, most of them being 18-year-olds. Therefore, keep in mind that my classmates and I are Humanities students in Malta, where university education is free.
I was never a fan of holidays and New Year’s Eve was one of those days that used to drive me insane. I could never get why people felt so positive about the start of a new year.
Or rather, I never understood why they had to wait for the turn of the calendar to do – or just hope for – something better, when changes can happen at any time of the year.
After all, what is so different from one year to another? Won’t we have the same problems to face? The same hypocrisies to defeat?
The same failed resolutions by the end of the first month of that year?
Nowadays I have toned down my pessimism. I am starting to understand that perhaps the human mind does need to grasp at a particular fixed moment to motivate itself into action. It really needs that symbolic “new year, new me”, especially after surviving a bad year.
In my case, 2015 has been a year of changes and challenges. I moved in with Matt, I quit my job, I achieved a good grade in an exam for which I had to study in a record three months, and I finally returned to university.
I have learned not to be afraid of changes and now it motivates me to challenge myself even more in 2016. That is why I have decided to set 20 goals to achieve during the coming year.
Note that I have started all the 20 phrases with “I will“. It may sound presumptuous but later on you will understand my intention.
This coming week marks the end of November and also the end of my second month back in university. It’s practically half of the semester done and dusted. Incredible!
I felt the need to write about my experience so far, taking stock of the positive and negative sides of my situation. In case you missed the detail I had mentioned in one of my previous Weekender’s posts, I had already enrolled in university 10 years ago, but it didn’t go well. Therefore, it is only natural for me to make comparisons between then and now.
With this post, I’d also love to reach out to other mature students or to those persons well past scholastic age who are still pondering the possibility of enrolling in a formal course to further their education. May it serve you as an encouragement.