Next week, I go back to uni to start a PGDE in primary education. Am I ready? In short… Hell no.
This is what I have wanted for as long as I can remember. It’s always been my end goal to become a primary school teacher so I am super excited to finally accomplish this (hopefully… 36 weeks, 4 placements and I don’t know how many assessments are currently in my way)!
Truthfully, I feel way out of my depth to be embarking on this journey but sometimes you just have to throw yourself into things. If I waited until I felt ‘ready’, I’d probably never have applied for this course. I’m trying hard not to let these feelings get the better of me because this is exactly why I didn’t accept my undergrad teaching place 6 years ago (WOW, I did not realise it had been so many years). I’m older and (somewhat) wiser now, although I’m sure many people will disagree with this. I have more life experience, I’ve lived, I’ve got an amazing undergrad behind me with so many modules relevant to teaching and childhood development. My job has been a huge eye opener in terms of patience and communication that I wouldn’t change for the world. I know it’s going to be okay. I am so eager to get on placement and connect with the pupils in my class and get them excited about learning. I already have some really cool lesson ideas in mind that link more than one subject which I cannot wait to introduce. So overall, I know it will be fine, I know I will pass and I know this time next year I will be excited and crazy nervous to have my first, very own class for my probation year!
But none of this stops me feeling nervous and anxious about going back to uni.
So why don’t I feel ready to go back?
For so many reasons the prospect of going back to uni is scary. I don’t have the comforts or the constants in terms of location, lecturers, or course mates I’ve had for the past four years. Navigating somewhere new and understanding new lecturers teaching style is daunting.
The prospect of new friends?
Sorry to sound like a 5-year-old (in fact, probably worse because making friends doesn’t seem to bother them but…) Making friends at uni can be difficult. We’re only at uni for four weeks before starting our first placement and I don’t feel that’s much time to form proper friendships. I don’t want to be completely alone and isolated between breaks etc. A part of me feels silly putting this out into the world but I feel like it’s a valid thing to panic about and just because I’m 23 it doesn’t make it any less of an issue.
Similarly to navigating new lecturers, I’m nervous about the jump between undergrad and postgrad coursework. It might be fine but it also might be horrendous and the fear of the unknown is stressful.
It’s ANOTHER year of stress.
I’m literally just finished four stressful years and I am away to willingly put myself through a fifth? In some ways, I do wish I’d taken a year out. Worked full-time for a year and got a decent amount of money behind me but realistically? I knew if I took a year out I’d never go back. The idea of returning to student life after a year of full-time work (and wage!) doesn’t seem appealing so with only a couple months of summer in between the two degrees… I’m doing it and doing it now.
So yeah… I apologise. This post is a bit rambly but sometimes it’s great to just get things off your chest. I don’t want to come across ungrateful for my place on this course at all. Getting in is competitive and I know there’s hundreds of people who applied this year that didn’t get accepted. I worked so hard to get in and I am grateful and excited to start but yes, equally… I am nervous and not convinced I’m ready for another year of uni. Despite that, I know I will smash it and I cannot wait for graduation number two next Summer!
Have you done the PGDE? Are you away to start? I’d love to hear your experiences!