The first time I wrote about this undertaking in my life, I had been on campus for a total of three days and was completely panic stricken and full of fear. I am a mature student, back in college, now virtually, with two young kids. Now, with a little over a fortnight left of my Post Grad, I can’t believe it’s gone so quickly. I committed myself to abandon all fears and inhibitions and simply muck in. Since starting the Post Grad, I have put together several videos-with and without class pals, written four articles for the college newspaper, the hip one (this is the fifth), presented  a business idea over zoom to the class and facilitators and started said business, a small little number on Instagram but a business nonetheless; I have embraced LinkedIn, Instagram, and connected with some really amazing, fascinating and inspiring individuals, who, much to my relief at not being alone, find themselves in a similar situation with similar feelings and fears. Oh, and did I mention the pandemic? Yes 2020 is a noteworthy year in the annals.

So here I am in the depths of module 3 of my Post Grad Cert in the Innovation Academy at UCD. My thoughts are unsettled as the course nears its end. To be frank, part of me wants to wallow in student life forever and ever but equally I can’t wait for it to end. 

But back to Module 3 – Career Development. The module that I couldn’t wait to get my teeth into but equally could quite happily have avoided confronting for eternity; and just to put the icing on the cake, out come the dreaded, dusty and out dated CVs. Barf. UCD careers network have also been wheeled in, in an attempt to save our desperate souls. ‘Make an appointment with us!’. Click. Done. And I’ll be there with virtual bells on because in truth, I need all the help I can get on this one. ‘Done is better than perfect. Done is better than perfect.’ I keep reminding myself of the phrase used often by our course facilitator as I scrutinise my LinkedIn profile within an inch of its life. 

Back to the Insta business. It is by no means a bread winner but an itch that required scratching. To be blunt, it will not pay the mortgage or feed my feral, savage offspring. The kind suggestions from friends on where to bring the business next is akin to telling me that my baby is ugly. I quietly nod and smile and say nothing but scream very loudly in my head. It’s a week old!!

The anxiety that owning/starting/attempting your own business brings makes me question why on earth I decided to do it in the first place. Sleepless nights are my new thing and rescue remedy now has a permanent fixture beside my bed. I just want to get it right; although I’m sure this has a lot to do with everything else that’s going on: being a PA to my children’s online social life, teacher, parent, student and it seems, a climbing frame for my children. They have turned into bona fide barnacles and the claustrophobia is setting in swiftly. The world is a very peaceful place at 3.47am, until two small people rear from their beds looking to break their fasts. 

My thoughts on this pandemic have also gone full circle too. From overheating devices and fighting over desk space, to simply not getting dressed some days and looking forward to our recently established daily family tea ritual, to desperately seeking out time by myself and faces other than those belonging to pseudo husband and the offspring. This has led me to rethink my desire for a part time, cushty number, close to my domicile to something full time, far away with heaps of foreign travel required. How about that lighthouse job…in New Zealand?


Rachel Thornburgh – Columnist