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If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never do anything original

I came across this video after reading a Guardian article on facebook. Despite the negative comments following the article (some of which I agree with), I do agree that there is too much emphasis placed on degrees and higher degrees, and for no real purpose. I will expand on this at some point, but in the meantime, Ken Robinson’s speech is quite amusing.

Disaster Management

Degrees

So I’ve been thinking recently, about education and work and stuff, and come to an interesting conclusion. If I were to do it all over again, I might not have gone to university first time around. I think I probably would have worked to raise money to travel and volunteer abroad. And maybe carried on doing that, and doing courses like PADI and Mountain Leader and languages and whatever.

At the moment I feel like I’m the most educated, the most in debt, but the least qualified I’ve ever been. I know this obviously isn’t the case, but when I’m applying for jobs and getting no response, and getting further into debt, I can’t really help but feel that way.

I feel like my next step is to work and do courses like search and rescue, and then probably volunteer abroad again. And I could easily have done that without either degree! So really, where have they got me? I honestly think I would’ve just been better off going for experience.

So anyone reading this who’s still in school or considering university, think long and hard about it. And don’t do it just because it’s expected or just because you’re intelligent. Don’t assume it’s the only option. Obviously there are some jobs you need a degree for, like medicine or law. And if you know that you want that, then by all means do it.

But don’t be afraid to take a bit longer deciding what you want.

Depression

Feeling a bit pathetic cuz my lecturer thought I should’ve done better in my last assignment.

I know he’s right. But I’m crap at academic writing. I started off thinking about this particular assignment purely in terms of real world situations, then decided I didn’t have enough theory, and it completely changed direction. Turns out that the one person I know who ignored theory for empirical stuff got a great mark.

It’s not about whether someone else did better than me. It’s not really about whether I did that well (even though I know I should). It’s really more about the fact that he told me I should’ve done better. About the fact that he seemed disappointed. His comments said it all: intellect of a distinction. Just not the clarity.

Vegan

Frustrations

What should’ve been a very enjoyable weekend at home, celebrating Pop’s 80th and seeing my friends for the first time in 2 months, was somewhat ruined. I’m getting just a little hacked off with two things in particular.

First of all, that people think that because I’m vegan I’m somehow starving or only able to eat food which has no taste. And that being vegan is the most difficult thing in the world. It really isn’t. Yes, my choices are constrained, but more so by the fact that you can have 10 choices of meat to put on a sandwich, but it is apparently impossible to get just salad. Ask me all the questions you want about being vegan and the food I eat, but please stop assuming I’m living a hard life because of it. If it carries on I might turn into a militant vegan and start telling you the nasty realities about the food you eat. I actually quite enjoy going to places and ordering my vegan food, or else being able to say, ‘well why can’t you do that?’. And if you happen to serve me food, stop looking at me strangely when I ask for ‘just salad’ on my sandwich.

Secondly, the automatic assumption that because I only have lectures on Thursdays and Fridays, that I’m doing no work and having an easy life as a student. I work hard. I’m in the library or at home reading every day of the week (yes, weekends too). I might not get to uni until 10am, but I don’t leave until late either. And as well as my coursework I also have RAG, Photosoc and course rep responsibilities, and I’m in several other societies. And I still want to go out volunteering. I enjoy my course and everything else that I’m doing. I enjoy being busy. But don’t assume that just because I enjoy it that it must be easy or that I’m never stressed.

I’m biting my tongue at the moment but I will start giving as good as I get if I have to put up with much more of it. You want to give me a knowing smile about how many taught hours I do? Please explain what exactly it is you do outside your 9 to 5, your hobbies and your social life? Oh, and you’re being paid? You didn’t have to save up, take out a loan and live on a budget? No, you’re right, I’m the one with the easy life. Please accept my apologies for being so narrow-minded.