Perseverance pays off - Jeanne Jebson

I am finally on my last month of my Masters by research, archaeological studies at the University of York and preparing a PhD application as we speak- scary stuff! I am thrilled about anything archaeological but my real interest lies in Conflict archaeology, specifically the very limited field of Holocaust archaeology.

I would be fair to say that I was a late arrival to higher education. I started my undergraduate degree in archaeology in my forties with a variety of different life experiences, from shop assistant to zoo- keeper then learning mentor to mum of four! I never gave up on academia and pursued A levels, NVQs, Open University qualifications and various short courses.

I vividly remember my first day as an undergraduate and spent the first few weeks hiding at the back of the lecture hall feeling awkward and like I stood out like a sore thumb. I gradually got accepted and promoted to the front row which was a huge bonus as I struggled to see the main screen from the back haha! I like to think I squeezed in quite a lot in my first six months including some seriously poor formative essays, an anaphylactic shock after a fight with a wasp, and a heart attack but I powered on. I was probably a liability but managed the field excavations and surveys weeks later. Academic challenges are obviously expected during a degree programme and it can be daunting at every age. Constant self-doubt and secretly comparing your assessment marks with those who scored higher despite them starting and finishing the night before the deadline, compared to your blood sweat and tears over three weeks! Personally, I was in to my second year before I realised the wizardry of copy and paste! Keep going, you will see marks improve but crucially, even in these strange times-enjoy!   


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Jeanne Jebson
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