By Margaret Amos:
I felt that I had to write an article for the special Diversity Fest edition of the crUWSible now that I have experienced three semesters at UWS (plus Summer School).
What makes us all the same?
Firstly, we are all at UWS trying to complete a degree! Most of us put many hours into reading, studying, drinking coffee, attending classes and lectures (or listening to them online). I say most of us because I notice that half way through each semester more than half the class has dropped out. Perseverance seems to be the key to success at University. Some seem to have it and others don’t.
Endurance appears to be another key to success at University. It’s as if we are athletes who are competing and striving for the end of the race. Our motivation may waiver but if we stick to it, we will achieve our goal!
It doesn’t matter which degree we are doing, our cultural background, age or gender, etc., what makes us the same is that we are all striving for the end result – completion of our degree. Some of the people we meet along the way will help keep us motivated, and that is a good thing.
What makes us different?
Well I’m 48 years old and I feel very old at UWS and feel like I sometimes just don’t fit in. I’d love to join in the pool table competition and play table tennis but who’d ask me for a game? I’ve never even had the opportunity to be in one of those booked rooms with others having a discussion, which seem like fun.
Yes there are other ‘old’ people at UWS but I could count them on one hand. People often confuse me for a teacher because of my age. I have even been told that I could use the staff toilets – now that’s a perk! The funny thing is that I work for a church organisation and I’m the youngest person there, so at UWS I feel old and at work I feel young. It’s weird because I don’t feel old (everybody over 40 will say that – wait till you get there). Unfortunately, our outward appearance is the first thing people judge us by.
Luckily our tutorials and lectures are filled with all sorts of people and when we are forced to talk to others (you know what I mean), I really do enjoy the interaction. I could have chosen to do an online degree and never faced anyone, but I chose to study at UWS to meet people and mingle. Advice that I’ve received from people who I’ve spoken to in my tutorials and lectures has always been helpful and appreciated and we’ve had lots of laughs too. I am certain that everyone has something to offer.
So listen up! We are the same because we attend the same campus, study, sleep, eat and breathe, but we are also different in many ways, and that’s okay because that’s what makes this journey, interesting and worthwhile. My two teenage sons think I’m cool, lol, so please don’t judge someone by their outward appearance and don’t just interact with people who are the same age as you or from the same cultural background because you will really gain from socialising with people who are very different to what you are used to. The people you meet at UWS will encourage you, help you succeed and keep you going when it all seems too much. Yes I know, my essay skills need improving – that’s one of the reasons I’m here so don’t judge me, just try and reach out to others, please : )
Studying BA (Psych.)
IMAGE: Grover Webb