Harsh Realities… 

… of starting to study towards a career as an adult.

I might make a Harsh Realities series of posts… we’ll see how far my commitment to the cause goes.

If, like me, you didn’t quite know what you wanted to be known as (apart from THE LOUD FRIEND) by your friends and family when you stepped out of high school. And your parents also didn’t quite know what to do with their genius but lazy rebellious child. You traveled the world… ok, like a bit of southern Africa and the UK… worked a few jobs. Till you found yourself being 25 and in the middle of a quarter life crisis, looking at younger more accomplished people, traveling to places like Prague and Croatia!! That’s when you realise, this brain cannot go to waste, you shall conquer some field of study, get a degree and build a career. Onward and upward, baby!!

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BAM!!! Watch me go… 

Only flaw in your plan is, you is an adult!! You has adult responsibilities and adult bills to pay. Lucky for you, (me in this case) UNISA (University of South Africa) is a distance learning facility that is considerably cheaper than most other universities in the country. Distance learning enables you to still adult on with your life during the day, and by night… you can be Study Girl/Boy… If ever there was a useless superhero, THIS would be it. I feel that even Tutor Boy/Girl would be a better superhero.

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Actually… this one is worse!! I mean wow!

Your life is now way more interesting, you’re struggling to juggle the pre-student life that you lived (with it’s set of responsibilities, both social and emotional) with the now student life of assignments, studying and oh yes, PAYING FOR YOUR OWN DAMN STUDIES. Cos you is an adult and adults pay for their own shittuff.

Then you realise that the line of work you are in does not coincide with the degree you are studying towards. Job hunting can now be added to the list of things that you, as an adult, now have to do for yourself. As most of us know, job hunting is a rather unrewarding exercise. In this case, the case where you are studying TOWARDS the degree that the company needs you to have BEFORE they consider you for the position, it is even worse. You’ve been in the working adult pool for a while, you have grown accustomed to it’s depths, now you have to go to the kiddie pool… have you SEEN what kids do in a kiddie pool???

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Honestly, kids have all the damn fun!! 

Come with me, if you please, imagine you are working as a teacher and you feel that arguing with a bunch of know-it-all teenagers, all day everyday, has boosted your lawyering skills and you feel like studying a law degree is the thing for you. Entry level law internships pay next to nothing, if they pay at all. You have absolutely no actual experience to offer the field (lesbihonest, it’s not like arguing with teenagers is any form of lawyer experience, maybe for parenting?) and you haven’t got the degree yet either. This makes you less of a commodity and more of a liability to them, instead of just training you they have to train, teach AND spoon feed you.

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It doesn’t work that way…

I get that, I really do, but as an adult there is little to no time to be playing around in the internship pool. One cannot pay for rent, food, car, petrol, medical stuffs, SCHOOL and all the wine one would need to cope with the stress of not being able to pay for everything, with an intern’s salary. Ok, maybe you find a company willing to spoon feed and teach/train you (bless their hearts) bet money, they are most certainly not willing to match your salary. Now you are faced with the dilemma… do you finish your degree and only THEN start working in your chosen field, making the whole thing take so much longer. Or, do you cut costs, stop eating, start walking everywhere and take that internship?

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Working towards that career!!

All of that aside, there is the case of, no parents to FORCE you to study as in the days of old. You have to discipline yourself, buddy, AND distance learning comes with the added benefit of you being your own teacher. Sure, they offer classes, during your working hours. So yay!! Also, all your adult friends want to do adult stuff like cheese and wine parties and stuff, (not really cheese and wine parties, it just sounded better than drinking games and crackers parties), to which you can no longer go because “studies”. You are now known as the hermit friend, the friend that no one sees anymore apart from when you are in search of food, or a highlighter. Truthfully, your friends and family would probably be super supportive and understanding. Because, hey, they have done what you are now doing. It’s the friends who are not in your age pool that are less sympathetic and more “Dude, you are boring now”.

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Welcome to the 1st annual Study Games!

If you are studying towards a degree and you consider yourself an adult (click here to see if you qualify in my mind). Props to you, my friend, may the force be with you, may the odds be ever in your favour. May you receive a spirit of wisdom and revelation. May you KICK ass!

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