Studying as the Years Roll on

By Michelle Dennison

Studying is harder the older you get. This is obvious, but still a fact of life, and happens to be a huge part of my life. And it’s not because our brains get older, it’s because our brains get busier. When I was 18, I started a Diploma in Horticulture. I had a busy social life, and had a weekend job, but I still cracked distinctions in most subjects.

That’s because I was staying with my parents still. I didn’t have to worry about cooking or cleaning or ironing or washing clothes.

Then came the next qualification, a Theology Degree when I was 30. This time I was married, and living 17 hours away from my family in Cape Town. If I didn’t do it, or remind the person who was supposed to be doing it, it didn’t get done.

I stayed up until 12am most days. I put on weight due to the nightly 11pm visits to the 7/11. But I still got several distinctions.

Now, my school is paying for me to do a year Post Graduate Certificate in Education, and this is when the rubber hits the fan.

Now I’m 40, divorced, busy editing my first novel, busy writing my second novel, planning a teaching syllabus for three grades, and trying to get my daughter through Grade Four.

This is why I forget to write my blog on time; a pressing matter of two assignments to hand in this week.

And it doesn’t help that the institution I’m studying at do not seem to be very good at admin. And marking. And getting the address of the exam venues right. And all sorts of other things.

So on top of all the usual stress, is the worry that they might mix my assignment answers up with someone else, and give me 35% when I did enough work to get 75%. It happened to someone I know.

But at least I’m getting the chance to get more educated.

I think that’s why I weigh more than I did when I was 18. My brain is just that much more packed with knowledge. Brains are muscles after all, and muscle weighs more than fat!

Female Student With Books Stock Photo


One thought on “Studying as the Years Roll on

  1. Susan says:

    I like your reasoning about why you weigh more now, Michelle – muscles are definitely heavier than fat! I went back to studying when I was 40, and it wasn’t the walkover that I had assumed it would be. I had to put myself on a strict time management scheme, but it paid off. When I get slack with my writing, that’s the time management scheme that I force myself to get back into, and it really works. Humans can accomplish so much if they put their minds to it. Of course, a 7/11 or an all night Steers around the corner helps as well!

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