When I was a child, I was always the academic one. I loved school and genuinely enjoyed my lessons. My only life plan was to do A-levels and then go to university as I couldn’t really imagine spending my days doing something other than learning. My younger sister was very different to me in those days. Going to school was all about spending time with her friends, and lessons were just something you had to do. Exams were met with a shrug and an “oh, it’ll be fine”. Despite our differences, we always got along. OK, there were arguments and we found each other infuriating at times, but we always found common ground in the end. I went to university and my sister got a job, just like we both expected.
Since I finished university, I have continued to learn. I’ve taken short courses, workshops and evening classes – I love filling my brain with new things. One important thing that I picked up from all this was that everybody learns best in different ways, and at different times in their lives. Some people hit their learning high while at school, but it can come much later for others. And so, when my sister told me that she had jumped at the chance to do a part-time MBA funded by her employer, I knew this was her time. Learning seemingly irrelevant facts at school because you have to is a world away from learning useful skills at a business college because you want to. I knew she could do it.
So, that’s how my ‘little’ sister started to learn alongside a full-time job. Not only that, during the first year of her course, she bought a house. During her second year, she planned her wedding. And then, just days after she handed her final dissertation in, my nephew Jack arrived in the world! By the time her graduation ceremony came around, Fiona had a team of supporters in tow – her husband and son, me, and our parents. I’ve always been proud of her, but this was a very special day indeed. We celebrated her dedication, focus and drive. We celebrated her successes – academic and personal – and we celebrated the fact that school does not always shape who you are. After all, we are all a work-in-progress.
PRIZE DRAW: Would you like to win an iPad Mini (worth £249, and kindly provided by Lloyds Bank)? All you need to do to be in with a chance is to write a post of at least 200 words on your own blog, about the moments that mattered most to you in 2013. It could be the birth of a child, achieving a goal, meeting someone special… something good that happened in 2013 and really affected your life. Once you’ve published it, leave a comment below with the URL of your post. Make sure you let me know that it’s a link to your entry and I’ll add you to my list. The closing date is Thursday 6th February 2014 and a winner will be chosen at random after that date. Please note: The draw is open to UK bloggers only. Blogs must have existed for a minimum of three months before the commencement of the prize draw. (Click here for full terms and conditions.)
UPDATE: And the winner is… Louise S! Thanks very much to everyone who entered the draw.