My Step Into Higher Education

I always felt I had missed out on higher education, one of the reasons was because, at the age of 16, I really didn’t know what I wanted to study. My best friend at the time went off to study Psychology. I don’t think she had a career direction in mind but it was something that interested her so she went for it.

I always felt I had missed out on higher education, one of the reasons was because, at the age of 16, I really didn’t know what I wanted to study. My best friend at the time went off to study Psychology. I don’t think she had a career direction in mind but it was something that interested her so she went for it.

What to study…
This September, I’m due to turn 39 and 12 months (ahem) and over the last six months, I’ve been looking at the Open University website and the undergraduate degree in Environmental Science has been jumping out at me. I always enjoyed geography at school, I loved learning about ecosystems, environmental patterns and how everything is interlinked. Now with global warming and climate change becoming a major aspect of our everyday lives, I didn’t want to get my ‘facts’ from the internet or the government telling me what they wanted me to hear. I want to learn the facts myself. I want in-depth knowledge about how ecosystems actually work, how the earth ‘breathes’, the importance of the Arctic and the Amazon, what we, as humans, are doing to the planet and the different variables associated with the effects of climate change.  No one actually knows what will happen in the future, if we had a crystal ball, we would have our answers but we don’t.

There was a quote I recently came across “Future generations will be justified in blaming us for creating problems what were foreseeable; but they can hardly hold us responsible for eventualities that none of us could have anticipated”. I honestly can’t remember where I saw it but it’s always stuck in my mind. It’s very thought provoking.

And I start…
I start my course in October 2019 and I can hardly wait. I haven’t been a student for over 20 years so I’m excited and nervous at the same time. I’m a bit of a stationery geek so I’m looking to buying my ‘student’ stationery, I’ve got my Open University email sorted, laptop is ready to go and I’ve found a Facebook group with other students who will be starting the course at the same time. My course textbooks are due to arrive in September.

Time management
I run my own business as a Virtual Assistant and have been full-time since April 2016. You’re probably wondering how am I going to fit in studying part-time? Well, I am a football widow. The football season starts in August so my studying will be done during the evenings and weekends. Being a VA means managing my own time, as well as my clients’, is second nature to me. I’m not worried about managing my own time, I’ve got that down.

My end goal
A few people have asked me whether doing this course was a business decision. And the honest answer is, no. The primary reason for doing this course is because it’s something I am interested in. I want to learn and expand my mind. I will be learning about a subject that genuinely interests me. If I end up getting clients because their work in that field requires support from someone like myself and what I’m learning, that’s just a bonus.

About the author
Raakhee Stratton runs her own business RS Virtual Assistant, which is based in Ashford, Kent. She provides Virtual Assistant support to small businesses, entrepreneurs and authors and is also studying towards a BSc (Honours) Environmental Science. You can contact her at raakhee@rsvirtualassitant.co.uk

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