The title of this post could as well be “why I’m not what you think I am”. But more on that later.
Since there’s only 6 months left of my undergraduate life (in sha Allah!!!) people have started to ask me if I’m going to do a masters degree and which one. And every time I tell them I’m not thinking of doing a masters degree any time soon I get reactions of surprise, unbelief and sometimes even clear disapproval. Especially my classmates tell me that I must be crazy for choosing not to continue my studies while I have the capability to do so. They think I’m not making a wise choice, that I’m wasting my intellect. Sometimes I feel bad about me not being motivated to do any more studying and consider a masters degree. But this is not a decision I made overnight, it’s actually got to do with my view on life which has changed quite a lot in the last few years.. This is for me and all those who feel pressurized by society.
So they say that it’s such a pity that I’ve come this far and refuse to study further and get a higher degree. There are tons of answers I would like to give to these people. First of all, I have absolutely nothing against studying, my religion has made it compulsory for me to study matters of religion and encourages me to acquire all other kinds of beneficial knowledge. For your info, the first thing I do when I’m bored is not to grab the remote control but rather open a book and read. Some of my most beautiful memories are from spending time in the library reading, at the mosque studying islam and Arabic, and at secondary school learning Spanish. I’ve also come to realise how much there’s to learn in this world, how little all of us actually know. But seriously, uni is not the only place where you can acquire knowledge. A diploma says so little about how much you know, but much more importantly: it says absolutely nothing about who you are! The day I receive my diploma I will not feel like a different person, true I have changed a lot during uni days, but that’s not because of the things I learned during lectures or seminars. I couldn’t let the knowledge get deep to me, because this is not really something I’m passionate about (linguistics a little, English language not at all) and to be completely honest with you, I hate everything that has to do with academic life. I remember the joy I felt when I wrote my last lab report a few years ago – poor me, I didn’t know that uni was all about learning how to do experiments and report on them. I respect those who have the patience and strength to do these things, I was simply not made for it. Same with writing essays, I will be frustrated and scared and depressed for days on end because a deadline is approaching. In every sense of the word, it makes me SUFFER. And I’m not exaggerating when I’m telling you that since the beginning of this year I’ve been worried about having to write my final paper next semester. And no it’s not only due to my personality, I’m quite a relaxed person in other areas of life, but ever since I left primary school education equals suffering to me. Okay okay I know that it has a lot to do with my personality, but if some things had been just a little different the whole experience would have been much less nightmarish.
I’m also being told that a masters degree will increase my chances to get a job. The only job I actually like is teaching, and I started doing that at the age of 15 without a degree (getting paid for it as well). What’s more, I don’t think any of us will easily find a job that suits your interests and your degree. We have to start looking at things differently, and not expect everything to stay the same while so many things are changing.
Finally coming to an end, I think my attitude to university is greatly shaped by my personality. I mean the combination of fear of failure and perfectionism were the things that actually made my learning process such a hard one, besides the fact that current education is so result oriented and therefore makes everyone feel like a loser whenever they fail to get high grades. That’s why I say that one day I might consider doing a masters degree, but I need time to work on myself. Get a brainwash, realise that others’ opinions of me don’t reflect who I really am. This realisation itself makes me want to take a looong break from formal education and turn back only when I’m ready to take it all with love. Maybe you shouldn’t take this post too seriously, but take one thing from me: you are more than what others think of you!