Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Why do we study?

As a student in her second semester of uni, I've been thinking about this quite a lot. Why am I here, what worth does this have, all that kind of stuff. The scary questions, if you will. The days when a university degree meant you'd get a well paid job are long gone. Even the days when you'd be more likely to get a job graduating with a first from a reputable uni are fading fast. So, that kind of the begs the question: in a world obsessed with the acquisition of wealth, why am I paying in excess of £9,000 for my university degree.

Maybe it's because I want to postpone reality for a little bit longer? It's easy to be a student - not in the sense that the work load is easy, by any means, but in the sense that I get given money from the government to live on. I'm not expected to pay my way just yet, or to have a full time job. I don't have to worry about money problems - or at least not to the extent that "grown-ups" (and I use the term to mean adults who are not in full-time education) do. I live a relatively comfortable life - nothing is expected of me. This is very plausible.

Maybe it's because it's what I think I'm meant to do. All my life I've been told to go to uni and get a degree. That surely must have had an effect on me! But, I don't think this is the case with me. I am the first person in my family to go to uni (well, my dad got a degree with open university, but it's not exactly the same thing). I think in my parents eyes, this means I am still a child. They went straight into the world of work - they had far more responsibility at my age than I do now. But maybe they didn't - maybe it's just a different kind of responsibility?

The most likely answer I think, is a love of learning. I really enjoyed school. I know, it's strange, but I did. And I think to succeed at uni you need to enjoy learning - even if you didn't enjoy all of school, then you need to have enjoyed whatever it is you're studying. Me? I loved literature. I love sitting down and reading and for that to be an ok, worthwhile and encouraged thing. I love that I can sit and type this, and that this can be considered helpful for my degree. I enjoy lugging books around with me, seeing their beautiful spines lined up on my bookshelf, ready to be broken.

Ultimately, there's no real answer to this question. it's probably a bit of everything. But it's interesting to think about.

Best Wishes,


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