With the last few months focused exclusively upon the challenge of getting accepted, I hadn’t devoted much time to considering what would happen afterwards. But now, having secured my place, I’m suddenly confronted with the mental step-change of shifting from a remote ambition to a solid reality, and the practical life changes that it will entail. How on earth do I make room in my already busy schedule for study time, exam prep, and travelling to and from Oxford?
Firstly, my voluntary work is going to have to be scaled back to the essentials, so I’ve delegated a chunk of this to others. Then there’s my social life. Cutting down on pub time every week may not be a bad thing, but I’d go mad without a few good sessions of kicking back with friends over a few drinks. I’ve also identified other dead time in my day. The commute is an obvious one – 45 uninterrupted train time each morning will lend itself well to reading or listening.
Then there’s the magic hour, after close of business, when the office is quiet, and I can get some decent study time under my belt before heading home.
It’s easy to focus on the benefits of going back to study, but serious consideration must be given to the family, social, and work time that will be sacrificed before taking the next steps.