MARK'S (NOT SO) DAILY BLOG
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You're never too old to study again.

The last time I wrote a varsity exam the hit TV show Twin Peaks was still on TV. About a year ago I started getting this niggle to start studying again. Not because my job required it, but I just wanted to get the neurons firing again.

We often don't follow the urge though, because life often gets in the way and we feel we don't have time and/or financial resources and/or emotional strength to start all over again.

Twin PeaksThat happened to me back in the early nineties. The year after completing my degree I enrolled to do a second degree in  Criminology... it lasted 4 months. I just couldn't muster up the passion to do it all over again. I preferred just chilling on the couch at night waiting for the next episode of Twin Peaks (because I wouldn't need an actual Criminology degree to figure out who killed Laura Palmer). Sometimes you need a clean break from studying. Mine was 24 years.

At the beginning of last year though I felt I was finally up for the challenge to do it all over again.

When I do motivational talks at corporates, I often use the example of learning to play a musical instrument. How many of us wish we had learned to play the piano or another instrument when we were younger, but just never committed to lessons? Well, why not start now? I decided to do it a few years ago. I'm a terrible player and am on Grade level 2, but by the time I'm in the old age home I'm gonna rock that place.

Mark Pilgrim
So in June last year I enrolled to do a MBA (Masters in Business Administration) through Edinburgh Business School (a division of the prestigious Heriot-Watt University in the UK). Jumping in the deep end while my enthusiasm was high, I started with one of the more feared subjects: ACCOUNTING. I spent many a morning over the past few months getting up at 4.30am to get in 2 hours of studying before the day started (and my girls woke up). There were days I wondered if I had what it took and if I really understood the material enough to pass the rigorous exam.

Honestly, I walked into the exam room in December with a lot of trepidation. If I failed, would I have the fortitude to re-write and also continue with the course? Would Nicole think of me as a failure? After 3 hours I walked out not quite knowing if I passed or failed (the joy of Accounting).

I got my results yesterday... 84%. In the varsity's classification system it is an "A with distinction". Thank God!

So now I'm back to getting up at 4.30am to tackle the next subject in the course.

I'm not alone in thinking it's never too late to go back to varsity. My old mate from 5FM days Steve Kirker (same age as me) just graduated with his Honours in Journalism at the end of last year (nice one brother!). My old class mate Lauren Gardener has just enrolled at WITS this year for a post-grad in Psychology.

I guess the point of this blog is, if you have the emotional fortitude, the message is... You CAN find the time. You're NEVER too old to study again. You've just got to WANT to do it.

Ironically, my wife never watched Twin Peaks back in the nineties, and with the new 2017 season coming up, I'm watching all the old episodes of the show again with her. If you bump into Nicole, don't tell her who killed Laura Palmer.



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