Saturday 28 November 2015

Success of a Plan - and planning to continue

OK - happy to say that following my plan has led to successful submission of the TMA - with four days to spare.

So now I just need to keep making promises to myself as to the expected level of achievement - and with a good bit of careful planning might actually manage to survive the winter without stressing entirely too much about assignments and such like.

I don't feel like I've been this focused (or this kind to myself) with regards to my studies for a long time - a bit like the washing basket - it was either empty or full, either cramming like crazy or avoiding the whole thing entirely!  The balance of freedom and study time has been quite nice, so long may it continue (well until the summer break at least!!)

Wednesday 25 November 2015

Staying true

Well almost a week onward and I am staying true to my promises to myself....which is kind of nice actually.

The TMA is progressing, bit by bit, I have a week left in which to submit it, and I am on target to be finished by my own self-imposed deadline of the end of the preceding weekend.  (I rarely like to leave a TMA submission until the last minute, as invariably the internet would go down or some such disaster - so I like to be done by the end of the weekend before the actual deadline - with an absolute last day of the Monday before it's due).

And I have, every single time without fail, stopped at my internally 'agreed' points, and put down the computer and walked away.  And I feel much better for it!

I'll still be glad once it's done and submitted and I can veg on the sofa or in the bath for a few nights again.

OK - story time calls - time to be Mammy for a while instead of Student.

Saturday 21 November 2015

Promises Kept (or Sounds Like a Plan to Me...)

Well - tis the end of the week - well - the weekend anyway.

And so far I have managed to keep all my promises to myself with regards to my TMA and progress etc:
  • Studied on the commute
  • Progressed the TMA on the evenings when I could study
  • Stopped when I had promised myself to (and enjoyed the resulting free time without guilt or remorse)  
  • Got in some daytime study - this one requires the most commitment I think - using 'free time' during the day on the weekend to study is a big pull.  I didn't do any on Friday, but as the promise was only to 'get some in' not do it on both days, I pulled it back by progressing to the end of the next question today.
Tomorrow I have a Sunday morning tutorial, but for tonight I have more quality time planned - my little brother and his girlfriend are coming round for tea and an evening of board games and hilarity.

There's still a fair chunk of TMA to get through, but I think that if I can plan and structure both time and activities the way I have this week, then I will manage it relatively unscathed!!

Make a plan - stick to the plan - reward oneself for sticking to plan.  Sounds like a plan to me!!

(and the resulting guilt free quality time with the BFF gave me inspiration and thoughts about how to carry out other 'plans' in my life - of a crafty nature)

Tuesday 17 November 2015

Keeping of Promises

In an oddly reflective mood lately, hence a post title that sounds more serious than I intended.  What am I talking about then?

It being 15 days from TMA deadline (and counting), it's about getting back to those commitments to study time.  Cos we all know that there's lots of times we 'should' and then don't (whether that be study or any of the many other things we fill our busy lives with).  But do you know - when we live up to our promise to do something, no matter how much we may not have wanted to do it in the first place - we usually feel better at the other end.

So - my promises for this week were:

  • To get some study in on the long commute - it's time that I usually get to sit down, and therefore perfect for taking in some extra reading.  Lately though I had been reverting more to mystery novels instead of the mysteries of Software Engineering.

    Result - About an extra 4.5 hours reading got me caught up to where I should be
  • To make some written progress on my TMA on the evenings - I know that the commute is great for reading, but it isn't an environment where I can type or make notes etc (no tables on the Metro) - so I still need to get in some evening study where I can.

    Result - a couple of days in and about 1 and a half questions down (out of 5 in total).
  • To get in some daytime study - after the long day and commute and eating/washing up/being Mammy and reading a bedtime story, I'm understandably tired - and that doesn't necessarily result in the most fantastic thinking abilities.  So this week I promise myself some daytime study time - probably Friday/Saturday when I have no other set commitments (so far) (and when I have other commitments on the night-time

    Result - to be confirmed at the end of the week!!
  • To allow myself to take a break and to stop when I have achieved the particular mini-goals I have set myself - for example - I will work on Question 2 tonight and stop when I finish, not moving on to the next question whatever time it is on the clock.

    Result - tonight I stopped at the end of Question 2, saved and closed my work, and came here to blog about it.  And tomorrow night I am going to take the night off altogether, and spend some quality time with my best friend, although I will still study-read on half my commute during the day.


Tuesday 3 November 2015

Button pushing and standing on ceremony

Well, officially today I have pushed the button to confirm formal acceptance of my degree.  Why so long?  I guess a last little degree of terror that something would go wrong at this late stage, that pushing the button would affect my transitional funding.  I even made a call to the Student helpdesk to double-check before finally allowing myself the pleasure.

I've definitely decided to delay the actual graduation ceremony till 2017 when I graduate with honours.  There's not a ceremony till next September that would be local enough for my lovely family to attend, which somehow feels like too close to the end of the whole thing, as I'd be getting ready to start the final module by then.

But I have to admit, I've shared my new-found graduate status with anyone who'll listen!!  It was one of those moments I was grateful for the presence of Facebook, to be able to share the joy with all the people who have been so supportive throughout the journey so far.

And yeah, somehow I still can't quite believe it's true and real, I have printed out the confirmation of my qualification acceptance to stick on the study wall and keep me inspired through the darker days of these final two modules.

Veronica Colling BSc Open (if I say it enough maybe it will become more real in my head!!?)