Old readers will know that Andrew decided to go back to uni for the next ten years at the start of last year. The decision to go back to uni was one that haunted Andrew for years. Being a dentist for the rest of his life did not sit right with him and therefore chose to go back to uni to study medicine with the idea that he will one day be a Maxillofacial Surgeon.
Last year was his first year and a hard year for him. We lived apart, Andrew studying in Adelaide while I lived and worked in Melbourne. He found being away from Toby and I hard. For the whole year, pretty much every day, he questioned whether what he was doing was the right thing. I was pregnant and knowing Thomas was on the way, Andrew wondered if he was being selfish by putting our family in a difficult financial situation. He was also worried that being a medical student, he wouldn’t have enough time to spend with Thomas.
Many of our phone conversations last year were of Andrew saying, ‘I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing.’ And my response was always, ‘Wait until we’re in Adelaide and give it another year to see what life is like with a newborn and go from there.’
Andrew is now in his second year and has just completed 1 of 3 semesters for the year. He is now 100% sure he is doing the right thing. His worry about how we would cope financially, the time he would have for us and how living away from family and friends have all but disappeared.
I am loving ‘Andrew the uni student’ as he is always at home. We haven’t been able to hang out this much since we were teenagers. We both love it. Andrew is hardly at uni, his lectures are all online so he only attends compulsory classes. Although he isn’t at uni much at the moment, he still studies pretty much all day, every day. But at least his physical presence is at home with us.
Most mornings we wake up slowly and all 4 of us snuggle for ages before we get out of bed. Those moments are the best and it makes me so thankful that we are in a position to be able to spend so much time together. If Andrew was working instead of studying we would never see him.
Ever since I have known Andrew he has strongly rejected the notion of having to spend most of his time at work. He has always believed that there should be more to life than getting up every day and working, even when it’s work you love. Being with family and friends and being free has always been high on Andrew’s list of priorities, not stuck at work or working just to have a life.
So, being a uni student is really ticking all the boxes for him. He has lots of time to be with his family and friends, and he is free to do something he loves every day which is learning. Gosh, that man loves to learn, it’s insane.
It’s funny, this year we have realised that you don’t need a lot in life to be happy. At the moment we aren’t in the greatest financial position, and things will only get harder in the next few years but we are happier than ever. We have a little family that is full of love. We all have something to do that we enjoy every day, me hanging out with Thomas and Toby and Andrew studying. And we are hoping one day we can reap the rewards of a decade of sacrifice when Andrew fulfils his dream of being a surgeon.
There is a quote by Tom Bodett that goes, ‘They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do and something to hope for.”
And we have all those things right now.