My name is Lily-Sue, but my mummy calls me Munchkin (or 'Munch' for short!) I am 8 years old, and this is where my mummy will help me write all about all the fun things we do together. I hope you enjoy reading about the adventures of my mummy and me, Munchkin, with the occasional appearance from the siblings - Beastie and Plumlet.

Friday, 18 January 2013

To study or not to study ...?!

Training for Dreams!

Back in the day, in the days before there were huge responsibilities, before long term relationships and definitely before the mere thought of Munchkin came about, there was another priority in my life. I went through Junior school wanting to be a teacher, and as I continued my education at secondary school, sat my GCSE's and opted to progress my qualifications through A'Levels, my ambition to teach continued to strengthen and flourish. 

I took a huge amount of inspiration from my Great Aunt, Auntie Pat, who was a Primary School Teacher throughout my childhood. I remember knowing from a very young age, as my brother and I spent many school holidays staying with her, that I wanted to be a teacher, just like her! Although, I will admit to still believing to this day that no amount of training could turn me into a teacher and role model as fantastic as she was!

As a result of spending entire evenings with my nose in a text book and head immersed in some Fictional or Classical setting, I achieved the grades that I needed to officially enrol at my chosen University to pursue my dream! 

September 1997, and my days as a London undergraduate began in Surrey, London. And in 2002, after some years full of memorable events (some good and some not so good) I finally graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Education Studies and English. It was a proud day for me and my family, and one that was the outcome of a great deal of hard work and perseverance. Every single bit of it well worth it!

Graduating from University allowed me to fulfil my goals and I went on to develop my dream of teaching. After some years of working within education and teaching some of the most amazing children I could ever hope to encounter, I can honestly say that there has not been a single day when I haven't been thankful that I had the opportunity to study towards my chosen vocation, and that I was lucky enough to complete my degree in London.

I lived in Halls of Residence for the first year of my course, which was the best decision I made. This was one of the best years of my life and I will always hold the fondest of memories from living in Old House Halls of Residence. A bonus for me was that I was close enough to travel back to my family home via public transport at weekends and holidays. It was the perfect set up. I was within a short train journey to Central London, which worked wonders for my social life! We were never short of something to do or somewhere to go, and by the end of my first year, I was a professional 'window shopper' from wondering up and down the busy streets of London, mentally spending money I never had! Living and studying this close to London was fantastic. Always full of adventure!
Now, I went to University straight from Sixth Form. I sat my A'Level exams at the school I had attended since Year 7, and therefore was lucky enough to have unlimited support during the application process into further education. They helped with choosing the right course, the right institution and with the entire application, as well as with our available options should our plans not work out as we'd hoped. Today, with more and more people entering further education later in life, after taking time out between school and University (for whatever reason), some would not have this solid framework of support and would need to seek help elsewhere. Thankfully, this help is available online, with various reviews, search sites and other forms of popular media which offer advice, information and tips on finding the right route for the individual. Choosing and applying to go to college in London needn't be a daunting or confusing experience at all, and for me, was one of the best choices I made in life.

Ok, so I may not be teaching in a professional capacity right now, although being mummy to Munchkin feels as though I am at the front of a classroom every day, but my BA (hons) Education Studies & English is something I will never lose and is something I have always intended to go back to. I am so pleased I had the chance and the support to select this route. The season for teenagers all over the country to sit examinations and eagerly await results is just around the corner, and many will decide after taking some time out from studying that they would like to enrol later on. There is no 'right' or 'wrong' decision for everyone, as further education is such a personal choice. But there is the support available for anyone needing advice on which path to take.

One day, I will be advising Munchkin on the path she would choose to take. Even then, it will be a decision she will have to make for herself. All I can hope to do is to share my own experiences with her and hope that she is as happy with her options as I was. My days as a 'Simmarian' at St Mary's University College in London will stay with me forever, as will the qualification I left there with. Maybe one day I will choose to further the education that I already have, and colleges in London will be at the very top of my list of institutions.

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