I’m at the “business end” of the university semester, and consequently I’ve found myself bunkered down in the uni library the  past two weekends. I’ve had a couple of assignments due that I actually enjoyed, and found myself getting carried away with searching for journal articles and later poring over them. I haven’t spent that much time on campus since I was studying for my first degree… and back then, I tried to avoid the university grounds where possible.

It got me thinking about a time when life was much simpler, even if it didn’t always seem like it at the time. My study came first, and work (nannying for a family {that I loved} during the day, and working in a cafe {that I didn’t love} at night or on weekends) was considered an optional extra (but let’s face it, it wasn’t really optional – it was a necessity).

If I had too many assignments due at once, I could swap a shift at the cafe, or study while the children I looked after were napping, or I could slam a few sugar-free red bulls as well as some No-Doz and pull an all-nighter without having to worry so much about whether I would be able to function the next day. These days, I can’t just take a personal day when an assignment is due, work always needs doing (I wish some of my clients would nap…), and if I get less than six eight hours sleep, I’m a crabby mess.

Study is such a luxury these days. Something I fit in between full-time work and domestic duties. I didn’t realise until I sat down and actually thought about it, really thought about it, how much I missed it. Missed actually studying, researching, writing; not just finishing an assignment for the sake of getting through it, but really immersing myself in it.

I feel sad that when I was at university full-time, I just wanted to get it over with; it was a means to an end. I didn’t really soak it all up like I should have, I just wanted to finish and get out into the workforce. Now that my priorities have shifted, now that work comes first, and study is an optional extra, I find myself green with envy. Envious of my younger self, envious of those who have so much more time to study than I.

I suppose the grass really is always greener, isn’t it?