Still can't believe that a whole year has flown by, but we had a moment to reflect on it over some coffee this morning. I've formally completed the first year of my diploma with the Institution of Railway Operators. The grades for my papers submitted to my most recent module came through and I've passed the first year comfortably with no resits and a lot of good feedback. This second year has fewer modules, but a large part of this year's study will form part of a work-based project.
Meanwhile, some celebratory pat-on-the-back retail therapy was in order for getting through the first year, though I think today's modern-world human should receive a fucking Nobel Prize for achieving zen when it comes to cable management...
I'm still deciding on whether or not to bother with a degree now that I'm in my late-20s. At the moment, learning another language is challenging enough and perhaps more useful than a degree or pissing around with any additional study, especially with Brexit – I've been switching between German and Japanese over the last 18 months (because everyone loathes the British person that insists on speaking English everywhere they go). However, with regards to industry-related academia (and seeing as I have a sponsor), I was toying with the idea of sitting the IRSE exam, though the Signalling the layout paper makes me feel physically ill just looking at it. Still, the railway is always a good topic to cover if looking for professional courses because of the ever-changing technology and working practices, and there's always an incentive to expand on industry knowledge, as there are plenty of former London Transport staff that have become consultants elsewhere (an example being the lead tutor on my most recent module, and several other previous tutors).
When it comes to doing a degree; the ability is there and my tutors are forever telling me that I'm more than capable, but I'm terribly lazy and easily bored; there's only so many on-the-day-meeting-of-deadlines I can have when it comes to mandatory academic submissions, and the boredom is what causes me to leave everything until the last minute. Undertaking an additional two years study for a degree will of course mean that the reading lists will expand immensely, and so will the need to be even more critical when it comes to referencing – though I've only ever had to use Harvard Referencing, and even that becomes tedious and exhausting once you get into the realms of having to cite over 20 different sources, never mind trying to do a dissertation. Whilst some of my on-the-day submissions have resulted in miraculous distinctions (which apparently shows a knack when it comes to analysing information and/or working well under pressure), it probably doesn't do my blood pressure or stress levels any good. That said, I've still got a good while to go before I need to consider degree enrolment, but at some point next year that decision will need to be made. And then of course, there's having to fund the whole thing, and I'm constantly having to re-assess choices like this, especially with the process of property upsizing in London looming, and though further education carries less risk, it is still an investment of time and a lot of money.
(Though meeting deadlines for academic submissions is probably less stressful than attempting to deal with cable management at the back of a television set, FML.)