By Sarah Ellem
Six years, one international move, three houses, one wedding, one honeymoon, two new jobs, one pregnancy, one child, a handful of medical misadventures, one dead 18-year-old cat, a 40th birthday, the odd holiday, hundreds of trips to the supermarket, and one recently completed degree in media communications. Life can throw a lot at you in that timeframe.
Fitting in a degree during that time meant study was done in the evenings, chapters read in bed late at night or when the baby slept; lectures watched on an iPhone while breastfeeding or preparing dinner; assignments drafted after work and before day care pick-up and written on weekends while my husband took our little girl to the park for a few hours. Finding time to better yourself, up-skill or to give yourself improved career prospects isn’t always easy.
If I’m honest, it has been one of the hardest things I’ve undertaken in my life (and I’ve hiked the Inca trail, raced a Lamborghini at 220kph and delivered a child), BUT studying with CSU has made it achievable. Being able to take a leave of absence for a major life event with a few clicks of a mouse, or to get an extension on an assignment (or two, or three) when life’s thrown you a complete curveball is worth its weight in gold. Add in empathetic and understanding lecturers who’ve ‘been there, done that’ and you have a university that works to enable your success.
As an adult, part-time, online student who started my degree in Amsterdam, Netherlands as a 34-year-old and finished it as a 40-year-old Marketing Executive and mother, I can tell you that if you’re looking for a university that has subjects that are relevant and practical to the real world working environment and one that understands that in today’s busy world, flexibility is paramount to success – then CSU is the type of university you should consider. You never know where life will take you so start now. I never thought I could do it. But I did.
I’m graduating this December. One trans-Tasman flight, a few hundred kilometres in a rental car, numerous toilet stops for the toddler, Eye of the Tiger on shuffle, one academic gown, one handshake, a doff of the cap, one piece of paper and one mighty celebration.