It's quite amazing how out-of-sorts I've felt in the six months or so between finishing my last piece of formal work for the diploma and starting formal college work again. I've been reading journal papers at home for a couple of months; but there's a gap nonetheless, which no amount of work for money or work by myself can breach. Having some sort of focus, support and direction makes me feel like I have a purpose to my whole life, rather than just existing.
I'm even having a certain amount of sympathy with the student of mine who's resitting A-levels while working part-time in a department store and doing voluntary work to improve her university prospects. I've been annoyed at her for her apparent lack of effort (why spend money on having tutorials if you aren't going to do any work of your own inbetween lessons?). But today I realised how different my own attitude and ability to get on have been at home compared to in college. No longer sure I can blame her for finding it so difficult to get useful work done.