I’m down to my last two exams of my first semester of my four-year degree (Bachelor of Social Work)
I have been a busy little study bee but thought I would destress by having a break and writing a blog post of what I have learnt in the past few months
I have learnt: ….
– that whatever class you take on the day after chemo, you are never going to absorb as much as in your other classes. You will hear a theory or concept and go: “Was I there for that lecture – I don’t remember anything about it.”
– that no matter how organised you are at the beginning of the semester if you don’t put some proper structure into the way you organise your readings/notes/time – once the assignment due dates came rolling round everything else falls to pieces
– if you are in treatment for half the semester with chemo remember from the last time how you crash energy-wise when it finishes. You stop running on adrenalin and you are tired and more prone to get sick etc
– that you can achieve regardless of these problems as long as you give yourself enough time and space to concentrate
– that you are naturally a group organiser – organising a Facebook group and contact list for the class within the first few weeks.
– that if you put yourself out there, being as authentic as possible people will respond to that and you will make a lot of new friends
– that you will be so busy with Uni that you will forget to make plans with your other friends – sorry J and S etc, I promise I will try better next semester
– that you also need to structure some me time into the timetable, and some us time for me and OH.
– that its ok to say no to YD and put yourself first
– that you need to make some time for physical exercise – sitting in lecture rooms or in the library, on trains and sitting at home doing assignments does not keep you fit. Working up and down the stairs at Uni helps but all the sitting doesn’t and not only does it make your general fitness worse but it increases the severity of your lymphodema as well.
– to remember key phrases for exams make up silly things for them. Using Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy to help remember something about ethics. In the HH2G ’42’ was the answer to the question of life, the universe and everything, and one of the things I want to use in the exam is that ‘ in order to learn about safe social work practice we need to explore our ideas and beliefs about right and wrong, good and bad, life and death and basically the meaning of life and everything” so if I remember 42 I should be sweet – LOL
– be realistic about study for exam – realise when your eyes are glazing over and you are not absorbing/understanding anything. Take short breaks when you need them but set time limits to both study and breaks otherwise you can just get sidetracked.
The two main things I have learnt this semester is
– that this semester has just reaffirmed Social Work is what I should be doing
– and that I am going to be ok whatever happens with Gertrude, that I am now in a place where although the fear of recurrence is still there, it has no place in my everyday life.