Confession: I love studying but I hate being a student.
I say this to people, and often get a confused look in response. “What do you mean you hate being a student?” They ask. “Isn’t that the same thing?”
Well no. Not really.
See, studying is the pursuit of excellence in a field. It’s learning about new topics and how it affects other topics, like the tendrils of a root reaching out into the dark earth. Like a root it requires refreshment and nourishment.
But being a student is different. Being a student means long hours working on one particular topic that no one asked you that you like but was told is was essential. It’s lengthy essays of waffle. It’s not being taken seriously because the image of students is one of lazy drunks (which hasn’t been my experience at all and I’m on my second degree). It’s being broke all the time because your financial help doesn’t help much at all. It’s, and maybe this is specific to people studying postgraduate courses, watching your peers get on with life while you’re stuck in a 2-5 year stasis. Don’t get me wrong, I’m so so happy and proud that my friends are getting married, moving into houses, starting businesses or getting promotions. It’s just hard to stay motivated when you have to memorise a whole chapter by Tuesday when you’d rather be getting paid and/or getting laid. Not that studying has occasionally driven me to consider becoming a lady of the night, of course.
I suppose it’s my fault for wording it the way I have, and the correct way to put it is “I love learning but I hate being in the position where learning is forced upon me.” For example, I had an exam yesterday on a module I genuinely enjoyed throughout the term. I attended every single lesson, did background reading, my notes look like heaven sang through my pen. It was great.
And then I had to study for the exam.
Cue the dramatic heartbreak music. I felt betrayed. It was as if Lemonade was written for me and this module, as opposed to Beyonce and Jay-Z. Hold up, I didn’t want to do a test for it. I just wanted to learn cool new info.
I guess this is why I identify as a nerd. I find learning fun, and has always wanted to pursue a career where I could learn and grow for the rest of my life. I love the pursuit of knowledge, and despite my main interests being in healthcare and medical advances I like reading and learning about what other fields are doing as well.
With that in mind, these are the things I do that keep me going through student life and keep me enthusiastic about studying.
- I look at flats on Zoopla and think about where I’d like to live when I can afford to rent (i.e. when I finish being a student). I mean, I’ll probably never be able to afford to live in London but a girl can dream, hey?
- I make a top 10 list of countries I’d like to visit when I have a disposable income (hold on, India, I’m coming!)
- I take a walk to the supermarket and get some studying snacks.
- I think to myself how lucky I am to be in a position where I can pursue a career in the first place, not everyone has that.
I’ve got 14 more months to go and I’m sure the time will fly by. Despite my whining and complaining, I’ve already got my eye on at least 2 different masters and a PhD so I guess I’ll be studying forever, except this time I’ll be in gainful employment and won’t feel guilty whenever I buy some mascara.
Anyway, this is just a long-winded way to apologise for taking the week off while I studied for my exam. I’ll be back to my regularly scheduled ranting and raving this Tuesday!