Reflections on being a student – guest post from Hana Yunnus

Hana was a participant in the last ILN round and has shared some of her story here with us as a guest post:

Reflections…..on being a Masters student.

I registered for my master’s degree for the first time in 2009. I had to de-register because my mom got ill, she had a quadruple bypass and I had to take care of her. The second time was in 2012. I was exceptionally indifferent. I deregistered, yet again. I wanted to do something exciting, something for me, something that would bring me happiness and make me content. I started painting and hand wood carving. I had the opportunity to exhibit with my fellow colleagues. I consider myself an accidental artist.

Hana's exhibition of Islamic calligraphy and harnd wood carvings

Hana’s exhibition of Islamic calligraphy and harnd wood carvings


I am mum to a teenager; he is in matric this year. When I enquired what he wants to study after matric, he says “I want to be like you mom, I want to do my masters and eventually my PhD and I want to lecture as well, just like you”……………WOW

This was more than enough motivation for me to register for my Masters this year. I am really enjoying this degree. I guess the purpose for doing it is different this time around. I have someone who looks up to me. I cannot disillusion him.

Hana is documenting her progress through her degree on her blog if you’d like to know more.



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  1. Hana, we must connect; our stories are so similar!

    After raising my daughter as a divorced mother, from the time she was 2 years old, and putting her through school (she has an MSI from the University of Michigan, and has been a university archivist for almost ten years), I am finally able to being my Master’s program this fall (in a few weeks!). Like you, I had a few false starts due to family issues (my elderly father had a stroke, my mother has had joint replacement surgeries, etc., and they live with me), so it’s been a challenge. I am very tired, physically and mentally, and sometimes feel like not bothering, especially being middle aged; however, I am not ready to retire, and still have much to offer the profession I have been part of for decades. I just hope I will have the energy to accomplish my long held goal! Thanks for sharing your story; I am looking forward to reading your blog.

  2. Dear Cynthia

    Please accept my sincere apologies for not replying timeously.
    Working a full day, attending lectures in the evenings and Saturdays was really hectic. Yet through it, all, not a day went by when I regretted doing my Masters. Not a day went by when I thought, ok that is it, I want out. I loved it. All my lectures and most especially working towards my mini thesis. I am almost complete with the thesis and I wish to graduate in September.

    I wish you all the best in your studies. If I can assist in any way please contact me.
    I would also like to know what you thought of the blog?

    Kind regards

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