My midlife crisis thread.....

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by MichaelM, 12 Dec 2007.

  1. MichaelM

    MichaelM Veteran

    Having done my time in the forces and being pensioned off, I decided on a change of career. So off to Uni I went....

    Completed year two, got a bit restless during a long summer break, then went back for the first semester of year three.

    Since September, I can say in all honesty that I've tried my best. I've put in all the time I can at the expense of everything else. That includes biking, and even speaking to my wife! But the reality is that after 3 exams I'm facing two resits next Aug (fact). What's so frustrating is that all the coursework has gone well and indicates I was on for an A in two modules and a B in the third -but I've blown this with the exams.

    So, I'm faced with another semester in over my head, not biking, frustrated, and putting on weight at the rate of 4kg /semester. Followed by a summer of resits, which means that should I choose to do the fourth year my overall grade won't be too hot.

    Or, I can try again with the OU. Credit transfer and previous OU study means I have enough points to go in at level 3, take things a bit slower, and maybe come away with a better degree.

    FWIW, my wife is behind me whatever I choose - in fact she often asks why I don't go and work in a bike shop :tongue:

    Now I was going to ask some sort of question. But writing that down sort of makes it pretty clear what I should do.

    Thanks for the advice ;)
  2. Twenty Inch

    Twenty Inch New Member

    Behind a desk
    OU is more accessible, but not taken very seriously unfortunately.

    Take a break, take a breather, work for peanuts in a bike shop. It'll help you get some perspective, and dead-end jobs are great motivation to improve your prospects.
  3. will

    will Senior Member

    you should make fitting in some exercise/cycling a priority. It will make you far happier/effective in your other activities.

    No matter how busy you are, it is worth the "effort"

    best of luck
  4. OP

    MichaelM Veteran

    Forgot the midlife crisis bit:

    At the begining of September, before the semester started, I went to see a friend who has cancer. He was about to start the chemotherapy, and was hopeful about recovering. I promised I'd visit him again, but mentioned that once the work started time just flies and I don't get around to doing much else other than studying.

    I went to see him on Sat. He's dying, and I had to hold my head close to make out what he was saying.

    Before he retired, I remember him talking about his plans to go motorbike touring around America with his gf. He was diagnosed with cancer within a few months of retirement and never did go.

    My point being, while it's good to put in the work to achieve something, there's a life to be lived as well. I've been thinking like this for a while now, but visiting my friend did seem to confirm my thoughts.
  5. barq

    barq Senior Member

    Birmingham, UK
    I would probably try and identify why you perform so differently at exams compared with coursework. Is there something about your technique? Or do they require different types of knowledge and understanding? You may already have tried this, but it might be worth speaking to your tutor, head of year, head of studies...

    Best of luck, I hope you find the right solution for you.
  6. Bigtallfatbloke

    Bigtallfatbloke New Member

    Put the bike on top of your daily to do list...even if only for 30 minutes a day it will make everything else easier
  7. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    Any chance of a foreign holiday Michael? A couple of weeks on a beach in Tenerife or somewhere would sort you out. You could then some back and focus on your studying reinvigorated and just get it out of the way. Motivation does start to slip as you go through a three or four year Uni course, it is such a shame to throw it away, you will regret it I promise you.
  8. NickM

    NickM Veteran

    Some dead-end jobs are as comfy as it is possible for employment to be; I keep turning up for mine not because it is highly paid (it isn't), but because it has an exceptionally high ratio of remuneration to responsibility.

    I don't know what subject you are studying, Michael, but in mine (Exercise Science) exam technique was just as important as knowledge. Without my system of mnemonics (which all the schoolkid students reckoned was just a typical mature student eccentricity until I scored 92% in one exam), I wouldn't have got the result I wanted from my investment of time and energy in university study.

    Not that having a degree has made a materially positive difference to my life - I don't have a job I want as a consequence of getting one (but then I am an awkward case when it comes to employment...).
  9. OU is more accessible, but not taken very seriously unfortunately.

    Says who?
    OU business school is one of only three in the UK whose MBA programme has pretty much every accreditation going...all of its specialist MScs have accreditation from their respective professional bodies. Its undergraduate programme examines to the same standard as any other good undergraduate business degree available.
  10. Tim Bennet.

    Tim Bennet. Entirely Average Member

    S of Kendal
    I always regard OU graduates with far more credibility than those who attending 'full time' courses.

    Merely managing to graduate from the OU often says something about them as people.
  11. Joe24

    Joe24 More serious cyclist than Bonj

    My motivation for my school work has gone. I cant really be botherd to do, and my levels have slipped. In fact in science i seem to end up just looking at the front and woundering why i am botherng doing this, i cant really see a point of it.
    Sometimes putting in alot of time and not doing things you like makes it worst, because you end up thinking about the things you want to do. I think its better to get out there, do what you enjoy, and do some work, so you have a clear mind.
    I would happily work in a bike shop when i finish school or even now. I dont even think that what ever GCSE or A-Level i get at school will help me get the job i want.
    If you find a way to get motivation back, then i would try it. Holidays dont work.
  12. craigwend

    craigwend Grimpeur des Holderness

    The problem with exams, is very rarely are people taught how to revise.

    As above you can try mnemonics - however I'm rubbish at this.

    Luckily when I was at uni one of my lecturers gave us a cunning plan...

    Divide your week up into a big grid of time to revise - then colour in 40% of it, as you won't realistically revise in this time (exercise / pub etc)

    The get whatever your notes are for the term - reduce them to say 3 or 4 pages, then when you've done this and learnt it, get it down to one page a week before exam (it can be done as headings etc....)

    Also look at old test papers, join study groups (they do actually work), try not to get stressed by the exam, you probably only need 40 -50% to pass,

    (short) points make prizes (PASSES) - not the most in
    depth argument.

    find out what works for you.

    good luck
  13. yenrod

    yenrod Guest

    MichaelM - just do what you wanna do !!!!!!!!!!!
  14. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    I certainly agree with the above in bold.
    I'd read my notes, highlight the key points.
    Copy the key points onto a book/folder, use colour/patterns whatever to make each page memorable.
    Finally make the 1 pager per subject with the key headlines/bullets.
    Go and pass exam.

    Have to say, I was never as good a student as I should have been having squandered my opportunity surfing , partying and chasing girls..but I persevered and if it hadn't been for the above crash study method I'd never had got anything.
    25 years after leaving academia my one regret is that I did not focus more on my studies at the time...that I've done OK subsequently is more luck than judgement.

    FWIW give it everything for the next few months to complete your studies. Once you have the qualification you have it for life...if you want to go and work in a bike-shop fine, but if later you want something else you have a benchmark for your abilities. I did a Biochemistry degree on a day-release was chuffin' hard, but ultimately worth it.
    Qualify, then have a really big mid-life crisis afterwards ;)
  15. Plax

    Plax Veteran


    Good advice here. FWIW in my first year at Uni I managed to get a condoned failure. I was too busy doing more interesting things than revise, then the night before it was like "Ooops". Managed to blag one question and hadn't a clue with the other one so I just handed in my one answered essay Q and went to the pub. Got 38% so maybe in hindsight I should have made a paragraph of the other one up.

    Definitely look at past exam papers too. I used to "question spot" and tried to guess what question would turn up again in a different guise. Then I'd revise by writing an essay for it. Worked a treat for my A'Level Psychology exam.
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