Today I thought I’d kick start a series I’m going to be hosting on my blog called Exploring Education: In the Life of X. In these series I hope to feature a bunch of lovely bloggers who are going to be sharing what their chosen education path looks like.
(If you’re interested in taking part in this series, please let me know in the comments or shoot me an email via the contact page and I shall be in contact with further details!)
I’ve always been curious to see how other countries differ in how their education system runs, but also intrigued to weigh the pros and cons of it all. Likewise, I hope these series are able to open your eyes to the world of education, and help you realise there is more than one path to securing the career of your dreams! Whilst I was going through school, the option of university was thrown a lot at me, and only in the later years did the option of doing apprenticeships start being promoted to us. However, even then, I felt there wasn’t as much support available with my chosen path. It pretty much was something I went out, researched, and secured for myself with no input from the school.
Anyways, before I dive straight into this post, here’s a brief background story that will help sketch my path out for you all.
So I’m currently 20, live in the UK, and work fulltime whilst studying to qualify as an accountant. I was initially taken on as a trainee, and I’ve spent around 1.5 years working at my current job. Within that time period, I’ve transitioned from one job role into another, and helped train someone up too. But let’s rewind to how I got here shall we?
I attended secondary school like most kids and sat my GCSES aged 16. Afterwards, I moved onto sixth form (two years) and after completing my A-Levels began applying for apprenticeships. I somehow managed to secure the perfect trainee job for me with the right academic support I was looking for. Alongside working in an accounts department, I am studying towards my ACCA qualifications through a specialist provider (that I refer to as college) for accounting/financial qualifications.
The number of tutorial classes I have to attend for each exam varies. The fewest I’ve had was four, and the most I’ve had so far is six or seven. Harder papers have revision sessions and mock exam dates. My study plan currently is to aim to sit one exam every three months.
To make my chosen path as insightful as possible, and reflect what I get up to more accurately I have attempted to journal my study routine for the current exam I am studying towards. Typically, I work Monday to Friday in an accounts department, and attend college on the weekend. When I get the time, I try to fit in volunteer work where I can but sadly that’s not as frequently. It’s quite hard to sync up. Hopefully that explains how spontaneous/unstructured my journal may seem.
Monday 6th Jan, Wednesday 8th Jan, Monday 13th Jan, Wednesday 15th Jan, Wednesday 29th Jan & Monday 3rd Feb:
8:30am – 5:30pm: work
6pm – 8:30pm: online college lectures
I usually attend college classes on campus during the weekends, but this term I decided to give online learning a go. The reasons behind this decision were a combination of:
- not enjoying the commute to college (especially when it’s in London ends)
- how tiring it was working full time and then going college on the weekends
- the timetabling of classes and exams
- my preferred campus not running the syllabus this term
- wanting to have an open mind and challenge myself
After finishing my classes for the syllabus, I can say it was a somewhat more relaxing experience. I found it much easier to stay on top, as I was able to tune in and out of the lectures, and make my notes on the go, leaving outside of class time to revise, and practice questions. However, I felt like I was teaching myself mostly and wasn’t really retaining whatever was being taught in realtime; I was just listening but more passively if that makes sense? I missed the interactive side of lessons, and the ability to communicate in person. There was also a lack of class generated discussions that can’t be replicated as effectively through online classes in my opinion. I think I will give online learning consideration but only when the content is heavily theory based. For more practical or mathematical exams, I would prefer to be in class for lessons.
During the online classes the tutor talks us through the content and guides us through questions. There’s a panel where students can ask questions, and the lecture has visuals the tutor annotates. Then it is up to us to go away and consolidate the knowledge, and make use of the resources provided, and submit assignments.
8am – 4:30pm: work
6pm – 9pm: self-studying
During this time I review my notes, answer questions from the textbook, attempt exam questions, read relevant articles, complete assignments, tests, mocks and try grow my understanding of the topic.
Thursday 6th Feb:
9:30am – 3pm: attended training at the National Trust property I volunteer at
I volunteer at a National Trust property and have been for a few years. I usually dedicate my time to research projects, crafting, events for kids and summer camps. However, today I attended training which covered teaching material and safeguarding procedures in order for me to begin volunteering at the school visits that take place.
Thursday 13th Feb, Friday 14th Feb & Monday 17th Feb:
9:30am – 4:30pm: college revision classes on campus
Call me dedicated if you want, but yes, your girl uses her holidays to attend college classes! For the syllabus I’m currently studying, I chose to attend three revision classes. In these sessions, the tutor walked through exam questions with us all, and gave us pointers to effectively secure marks, and helped improve our time management. The actual exam is three hours long with 70% of the exam dedicated to written responses! Sometimes after class, I’ll walk down the river bank and sit on the pier kinda thing they have and deep life, or sometimes I go to a nearby Church just to feel some peace.
Sunday 23rd Feb:
9:30am – 4:30pm: college mock exam day on campus
A gruelling day where we do exam question after exam question…which get marked by an actual examiner on campus. This is helpful in giving you a reality check on how well you’re progressing and what areas to fix up before the real exam. It’s also a great way to expose yourself to the exam environment and having a chance to practice using the exam software, and reflect how your time management of questions is going. Also, getting actual feedback is helpful as opposed to self marking.
Friday 28th February:
I’ve spent the day going through exam papers and noting down key pointers. I will review my notes over the weekend, and attempt to do the remaining mock paper.
Monday 2nd March:
Exam day for the Audit ACCA paper
QUESTIONS FOR YOU ||
- what career path are you hoping to head down?
- what’s your study routine like currently?
- what are you studying currently?
- what kinda education path are you following?
- is there anything you’d like to ask me regarding my post?
also, i’m planning to do a Q&A post soon…so if you do have any questions, leave them in the comments below. likewise, i’m open to collabing with anyone, and do have a few projects ongoing that you can get involved in. if your curiosity has been seduced, feel free to shoot me an email or drop by in the comments.