It’s a Thursday evening and I’ve just finished my third ten hour 9-7 shift of the week. With 40 minutes travel home I walk in the house utterly exhausted at 7:40 and wanting nothing more than to crawl into my bed and sleep. I can’t however, life for me unfortunately like most people doesn’t just stop after the work day is done.
First I have to warm up my dinner and eat it, I’m lucky in that I still live at home and my dinners usually cooked and just needs a blitz in the microwave but the preparation and eating takes up another 20 minutes of my evening and I’m now on 8pm. By the time I’ve gone through the ritual of showering, removing makeup, cleansing, toning, moisturising and spending 20 minutes blow drying my horrendously thick hair its 9pm. For most people at this point it’s probably time to sit back and watch TV or enjoy another simple pastime like reading, but for me it’s now time to start my second work of the day; my degree.
It was set in stone throughout my younger life that I would go through school and college and then move onto university, but a series of unfortunate events meant I had to put it off for a while so I came to the party a little late at 23. I joined the Open University and while working term time only in a school this worked particularly well. I had weekends free and then all the school holidays to get assignments produced and work on my course material leaving my weekday evenings free to enjoy a little TV and reading time. For various reasons mostly financial I have now found myself working full time in a call centre and for my university commitments this is causing quite the problem.
I work on flexi time which means my shifts can be anytime between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 6pm on Saturdays. This means not only do I not have the school holidays off but I’ve also lost my weekends. As I usually go out with friends on a Saturday night by Sunday I’m too hungover and tired to concentrate on studying. This means the majority of my studying goes on in the evening when I get in from work. Some weeks when my shifts are good it works well I can put in a couple of hours in the week and on my days off try and produce a half decent assignment. Other weeks like this week when the shifts are long, start early and finish late it’s a real struggle. Blurred vision, a tired mind and no inspiration beyond getting under my covers makes it difficult to put any real effort into what I perceive as being the most important part of my life right now.
Getting my degree is still the most important part of my life, using it to get my dream job in publishing or journalism is the only thing that really keeps me going on nights like this when it’s physically painful to try and keep awake. In a sense going to work is what keeps that dream alive, the thought of working shifts and taking angry calls for the rest of my life is enough to remind me what I’m doing this for, it reminds me that we only live once and there is nothing more important than knowing your path and doing everything in your power to make sure you achieve your goals in life no matter what.