Weekly Blog: It’s All Coming Together

Greetings humble reader and welcome to my third weekly blog on the run-up to starting university. There’s been plenty of progress made this week in regard to getting back to education. So without further lollygagging let’s get to it!

Confirmation of My Student Loan

Gov Student finance Guide Screenshot

I received a letter from Student Finance England confirming my student loan is ready and waiting to be paid to my university when I start my course. This was quite a big weight off my mind, I had been worried that something would go wrong here, despite assurances from people in the know that all would be fine.

I was surprised to find I’m eligible for certain adult learner grants as well which will go some way to alleviating pressure on the finances if I need to drop any hours at work. I’ll see how things go in the short term and evaluate how I feel once I’ve been at uni for a few months.

Start Date and Enrollment Received

Sheffield Hallam University Picture

Sheffield Hallam University got in touch to say I’d be starting on Monday the 24th of September. They have a two-part enrollment system according to that information.

I’ll be getting an email one to three weeks before starting to complete an online pre-enrollment. This is followed by a final enrollment session on the 24th on campus. A friend who is also starting university at Cardiff this year completed the entire process online, so it seems different universities have different policies.

Request for Flexible Working Submitted

Sunset while setting off for work

I’ve officially requested a change in hours at work starting at the beginning of October (I’ve booked freshers week off as leave). The only downside I can think of is less heading to work during pretty sunsets! My manager has been really supportive of my return to education and even wrote me a glowing reference to go along with my UCAS personal statement.

I work four nine-hour night shifts a week and the plan is to reduce that to three during term time. I plan to make up the hours during the twenty-two weeks a year when the university is closed. I’ll be playing this by ear initially, perhaps with a view to properly reducing my hours in exchange for a salary reduction in the future.

I’ll keep you updated about how it all goes. For now, keep them fingers crossed!

Swotting Up for My Course

Working on a MacBook Pro

I’ve put a little time into starting to exercise the old grey matter before uni starts. I bought some physics books suggested by the wonderful Simon Clark, a student who just finished his PhD and runs a YouTube channel on the subject. Here’s the video if you’re interested.

I’ve also started refreshing my maths skills. There are some pretty good courses for that kind of thing on the Open University’s free to use Open Learn website. They cover all manner of subjects, so if you’ve been out of school for a while like me, it could be worth a look.

Finally, there’s a surprising amount of quality YouTube content out there these days covering all sorts of academia. Most of the classic Feynman lectures are there in their entirety!

The Week Ahead

This week certainly wasn’t an extravagant photographic masterpiece like the last, but as I’ve been back at work I’m just glad to see everything slowly falling into place.

By next week we should know if my lovely other half Chammy has been accepted into uni too. She’s been dreaming of working in nutrition for years and we figured if we’re going to re-train, we may as well do it together! She blogs too – at ChammyIRL.co.uk.

I’m hell-bent on giving my new bicycle (My chosen form of university traversal) a run down this weekend – stay tuned for how that goes…

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Virtual Wombat

Hi, I'm Aaron. I'm a full time working dad and a student studying Physics in Sheffield. This blog is an account of my adventures as a busy, working mature student.

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