I am fully prepared to admit that I am not smartest guy on the planet, but so far the process of weighing up wether to go to Waikato University or Wintec has been a pretty enjoyable one, all be it hugely crucial in getting right which is still continuing to dominate much of the conversation as myself and “the team” try to decide what the best option is for me and more importantly my health in the long term.
So I just wanted to give you guys and update on where we are at.
The plan is to study Journalism. Obviously right.
I can either study what is called a Bachelor Of Media Arts majoring in Communication (at Wintec) or a Bachelor Of Arts majoring in Writing Studies (at University). There is also a little thought of doing Social Work at some point, but for now it is the Bachelor degree which I am aiming for.
With me so far? Cool beans.
Primarily, the two degrees are much the same, but right now it is Wintec which is pulling me in slightly more than University because from what I believe and have been told, University is more theory based where as Wintec is a little more practical. In easier terms, Wintec will be slightly more hands on sit down at the computer and work sort of style, where as with University there are lectures and the likes, then some computer or lab work afterwards.
That’s not to say Wintec doesn’t have lectures also, because there are a few of those there as well.
With both, there will be a lot of work and a lot of study both at campus and at home. I will be busy, busier than I have ever been.
Full time study vs Part time study is also a major factor in this whole decision during the talks we are having right now. In an ideal world I would like to study full time, but with a degree such as the one I am going to be doing, the schedule is very demanding, however Wintec’s timetable is a little easier to manage full time verses the one University has to offer.
Tegan made a great point the other day on Facebook and I really should have worded my status a little better.
Obviously my energy levels are not that of most other people my age, and that has to be taken into account with the decisions I will need to make over the next few weeks. University is closer to home than Wintec, but the “hands on” approach of Wintec suits me a little better than the more “sit in a lecture but also do some hands on” approach that University has offered me. Clearly I am not trying to make an excuse for myself because both Wintec and University have both said that I have the brain power, enthusiasm, and energy to fly through the 3-year degree and pass with terrific marks, both saying I have the talent and will to land a top job in Journalism in the near future post degree, but a full time schedule over the course of 3 years would have an effect on my health and disability long term, there is simply no denying that.
At Wintec, studying the Bachelor Of Media Arts (Communication) a full time schedule looks like this:
Monday: 8am – 12pm
Tuesday: 8.30am – 12pm
Wednesday: 9am – 1pm
Thursday: DAY OFF
Friday: 12pm – 5pm
University were not so clear in their timetable and didn’t offer concrete set times for me, where as Wintec did and also offered alternatives to the schedule long term for myself depending on the fluctuations of my health, which will undoubtably have their own ups and downs.
University offers much of what Wintec does, in my mind the degrees are a little better there, as are the social opportunities, but it is just a bit of a worry with the number of lectures because if I wake up and feel really sick one morning, which honestly happens a lot, and I have a lecture to go to, the fatigue and sickness, tire of muscles, and pain in the limbs I suffer will make it difficult to be 100% attentive throughout what would be a crucial lecture. Even with the support of a PA. Where as at Wintec, I may have more chance of working through that lack of comfort if I am at the computer working that way, which by the sounds of it at this stage Wintec offers more of than Uni does.
It is all such a mind field. But an exciting one.
Sure, doing 4 hours in the morning three days a week and 5 hours in the afternoon on a Friday is more than doable, that is what the full time schedule will look like for me if I go to Wintec, but that is not counting homework and other things.
I think I could manage the full time schedule, but for three years on the trot?
I mean, I don’t know where I am going to be healthwise in six months let alone three years, but I don’t want to let that hold me back either because if I get sick, I get sick. If I die at 25 because my health fails quickly while still working on my degree, then so be it. At least I had a go at it. That really is the mindset now, I am disabled but I don’t think I am really, so I try not to let it effect the will to try and achieve my goals, while at the same time remaining practical in how I live my life day to day. That is really how I feel, I don’t want to let my disability effect my dreams, and I certainly don’t want to go down the path of studying part time without trying full time first, just because I am worried my health my drop earlier rather than later.
I guess I am reserved to the fact that sometime in the next 10 years my health will take a serious hit. That was a big reason why I moved here in the first place, I want to experience while I can, and that includes studying.
Basically, if I study full time and hopefully do well, I will be extremely busy most of the time, but I can have the degree in 3 years. If I study part time it will be easier on my body, my health, and the fatigue, but it will take 6 years.
To have had both the University and Wintec tell me that I have the smarts to do very well in a degree as high as this is a wonderful boost for my confidence, but at this stage I am leaning towards Wintec over University, which is certainly a surprise because University was really the goal when I knew I was moving to Hamilton, so in many respects it has done a bit of a 180.
In terms of on site support, I am golden. I will have a full time PA (personal assistant) with me throughout my studies, at all times on campus to do everything from help me with note taking, to opening doors or getting me a coffee.
It’s actually looking like a pretty sweet deal. I am very lucky.
So the workload may be big, especially if I go full time over part time. I really am pushing for the full time schedule, but I will have to sit down with Mum in particular and see what she thinks. I will certainly do what she feels is the right way to go for my health, because she is the expert on what I am capable of, I have a bit of a habbit of overworking my body at times with my enthusiasm and drive for life.
At the end of the day, my health is important and I don’t want to burn out in six months. I can start at full time and then cut back to part time if the schedule is taking a toll on my general health, but I really don’t want to set the bar low from the outset.
More to come on this.