Life is busy. In our hurly burly world modern technology has ushered in an always-on era that has unwittingly extended work hours. We’ve become so connected – remote access email, work calls, school WhatsApp groups – that despite being rich in some areas of our lives, we’ve actually become quite time poor.
Striking a healthy work-life balance is essential, but also very difficult to achieve. Caught up in the throes of working a 9-5 while raising kids puts plenty of family-focussed demands on a parent’s time and personal projects often have to take the backseat – for a while anyway.
Glynis Klein, 50, can relate to this work-life juggle dilemma. She waited 20 years before she took the plunge and explored her “vocational calling.” She’s about to complete the final module of her Bachelor of Applied Social Science (BAppSocSci), which she’s studying through SACAP’s Online Campus. We caught up with Glynis and asked her about the benefits of studying later in life and what she’s valued most about her online learning experience.
“My interest in psychology surfaced in my mid twenties while volunteering at an adolescent centre for high school girls,” recalls Glynis. “Although I had a passion for helping, I felt ill-equipped to offer adequate support to the girls who were placed at the centre because of a breakdown in their family structures.”
At the time Glynis was juggling the demands of a full-time job with her growing family needs. “My personal aspirations were deferred,” she explains. “With any vocational calling, however, the seed was planted and it was just a matter of waiting for the opportune time to nurture it.“
As her daughters became more independent Glynis began spending her freed-up time on extending her horizons academically. She was concerned about studying at her age, she concedes, so to allay her fears she decided to enrol in SACAP’s one-year Higher Certificate in Communications and Counselling Skills. “It afforded me the opportunity to test my ability to resume academics as a returning adult student and to gauge my aptitude to pursue psychology,” she says.
Despite her apprehensions Glynis received the Academic Dean’s Merit Award for her extraordinary results in the Higher Certificate programme. “Enrolling to complete the full degree seemed like a natural progression,” she explains.
Taking the plunge
Glynis says her decision to study for her BAppSocSci online was informed by her immediate family needs. “The online option offered the flexibility I wanted to maintain the family-work-study balance.”
The convenience of being able to customise and adapt study hours to suit her particular context has been one of the most appealing features of the online learning environment, says Glynis. “It’s great for a lark like me who is most productive between 5am-11am.”
Beyond its flexibility Glynis feels there are many other attractive elements to studying virtually through SACAP: “The online platform delivers educational material in a streamlined digital format – which simplifies the retrieval and organizing of study resources; SACAP’s Student Portal is available seven days a week so you can access course content and review or upload assessments easily; and live webinars are scheduled to suit vigorous work-study schedules,” she says.
The interactivity of her online experience has been a highlight for Glynis, too. “I’ve loved the discussion forums with module facilitators and peers, team projects and access to chat groups. I have never felt like I missed out not being on a physical campus because the Online Campus is so vibrant – it doesn’t deter face-to-face interaction or meeting up with peers informally.”
Love to learn
As a child Glynis dreamt of becoming a teacher. “Growing up embedded in relative poverty in an impoverished community my first structured learning environment was a grade one school classroom. I was fascinated by the teaching materials and they enticed me to the world of education,” she says.
“After school my childhood best friend and I spent endless hours around the side of her house teaching our neatly stacked rows of red clay bricks (imaginary learners),” Glynis adds. “We used charcoal for chalk and the wall of her unpainted brick house was our writing board.”
For someone who values education deeply it seems fitting that Glynis rates her experience of the SACAP educators highly. “They have been pivotal to my academic and personal development,” she says. “I appreciate the calibre of my SACAP educators, their professional approach is both supportive and constructive, which fosters growth. I feel they are mentors who want to see students flourish and succeed.”
Glynis says her other life-long love affair has been with books. Over the years her affinity for reading and journaling has evolved into a passion for non-fiction writing, specifically about personal growth and development. “Before embarking on my studies at SACAP I completed a creative writing course, which inadvertently prepared me for academic writing,” she says.
Five years from now Glynis hopes to weave her enthusiasm for education, writing and self-development into a beguiling business. “My aim is to establish a suitable outlet that facilitates personal growth and integrate it through creative writing,” she says. “I hope future projects include a variety of educational formats that incorporate self-development programmes and resources for individuals and groups.”
Glynis is looking forward to refining ways to realise her career goals after she graduates. What are your plans for the future? As we adapt to our new Covid-19 reality, digital education has never been more relevant. Now really is the time to study online!
“I would highly recommend studying psychology online with SACAP because of the flexibility it offers to balance the work-family-study dynamic,” emphasises Glynis. “The Online Campus is utilised by many returning adult students with full-time jobs and young families. It’s fantastic for those who wish to pursue continued learning opportunities.”
The next Online Campus intake is in September, SACAP’s Term 3, and course registrations are open now. Want the convenience of being able to study whenever, wherever you are? You can, no matter your age! SACAP’s range of highly revered and accredited online courses are top drawer. Check them out here.