It’s me! Years ago I was doing some external study with Open Universities Australia and one of the topics I was doing happened to be chemistry. At the end of the lab we were playing around, by that I mean we added too much of one chemical to make the fluid turn pink, so that we could take pictures with brightly coloured substances like the one in the picture.
Why? Because this was a novelty. It was the only interaction I ever had with the students…It was two days of an entire semester.
It did make me realise that studying externally wasn’t really making me feel like I was getting value out of doing a science degree. I wasn’t getting that level of interaction with students or teaching staff and wasn’t getting experience working in a laboratory. I ended up taking a year off after that to reassess what I wanted to do with my study. If I should continue doing it, and whether I should just suck it up and do it online or if I should see if I could physically attend university.
Fortunately, Flinders University offers a sort of compromise. Their lectures are available online, which means I don’t need to go into university say three times a week. There are of course lab practicals and tutorials, but for the most part the university provides ones that are outside of work hours, or are close enough to that I only need to leave work half an hour early.
For me this is a perfect fit. I haven’t had to reduce my working hours at all, and I’m able to physically attend those important practicals and tutorials because of the times uni makes them available. Win, win!
Have you had to manage this sort of a juggling act? What compromises have you made for it?