Decisions and Missing the Obvious

Ok, so I was a little bit sad yesterday. But guess what happened only moments after I wrote that post? I had a one on one tutorial with my Literature teacher and he was very pleased with me! It encouraged me in my decision. Which decision, you ask… well… Let me give you a short recap of the past few years of my life…

I have always read books and written (not books obviously… just written :P), but I didn’t realize that it was my “thing” until… well probably recently. For some weird reason, I chose to study law. So in 2009 I moved to Luleå, a city in northern Sweden. I was admitted to a program which directly translated from Swedish would be “Bachelor of Legal Science”. It’s basically a “lighter” version of L.L.B or other “proper” law programs which makes you a lawyer. You cannot be a lawyer with this degree. The reason I chose this program was because I couldn’t get into the “main” law program back in 2008 after I had graduated from high school; I didn’t have enough points. I could have stayed here and tried, there are exams you can do, but for some reason I thought that this program suited me better. It wouldn’t allow me to become a lawyer, but at least I could work with law… maybe in a corporate environment.

In the beginning, I think the first year, things went pretty well. But as time went forth, I screwed up. Not with the studies, the studies were affected by my screw-ups, but what I screwed up was my life. I ended up in bad company, strayed from my path and basically lost sight of who I was. So studying became a much heavier task and I had to give the same exams more than once.

In 2012 I decided I’ve had enough, so I moved back home (in March). My plan was that I’d somehow try to finish my studies here instead. I didn’t do anything that semester, I was focusing on getting a job instead. At the end of summer, all of a sudden I got a call from one of my former bosses asking me if I was interested in working where she works now (she had moved from one department to another). And so I worked till the end of the year.

Come spring semester 2013, and I decided to take the course ‘English I’ at Stockholm University, because beside writing my thesis and doing some “re-exams” I needed 30 more credits to graduate. And for the first time ever during my life as a college student, I found that I was good at something. Things weren’t as difficult anymore and learning started to get interesting again. They had a presentation of the English II course, where they said that if we were interested in taking a B.A in English, all we had to do was to study English for three semesters plus courses worth 90 credits (another three semesters). And I thought, hey, I already have courses worth 127,5 credits in my luggage… But I was angry at myself. I was angry at the time I had wasted running after something I actually never even wanted.

Picture courtesy: http://www.myngle.com

That was up to yesterday in the library. After that, when I went to see my Literature teacher, I was taken back to all the years with various language teachers, and especially my English teacher in middle school who called me a “professional student” (I wish I could see her again!). This was what I was used to. This was the way language teachers spoke to me. This was the kind of encouragement I haven’t encountered since high school. This was the reason I couldn’t move forth and this was what I was missing out all those years in Luleå. Yes, I was a teacher’s pet in school. And honestly I enjoyed being it. I was bullied, but it was worth it. I found a connection with teachers I never managed to find with my classmates. My Literature teacher said that I’m the kind of student they look for in the English department (not the bullied part, but you get what I mean :P).

And then I realized that what I have in my luggage doesn’t have to be a waste after all. Those are finished courses, and what if I work with something where those courses are counted as merits? Why am I beating myself up for this?

Now I understand that some of you must be laughing at me, thinking what is a BA in English going to get me anyway? Well, I’m actually thinking about a Masters in Literature. And once again, these degrees don’t guarantee anything really. And I don’t need them to. That’s the thing see, I’m studying because I want to learn. I’ve pushed away the pressure of career and focused on right now and what I’m good at. It might be unfortunate that I’m not good at science or cooking or anything else that leads to a fancy career, but I am good at something. And if that something is writing or languages, then so be it. I shouldn’t waste another moment away from the obvious truth.

Talking about the obvious… I might have some new readers who don’t really know anything about me… see when I’m talking about English, I mean English from a second language perspective. I’m born and raised in Sweden, so Swedish is my first language (well technically speaking it’s Bengali, as I learned it first, but my skills in Bengali are way beneath my skills in both Swedish and English).

Have you ever faced similar dilemmas? And if you’re young and still have a lot of time to make these decisions, what are your thoughts after reading this post (not about me, just generally regarding decisions as such)? Comment!

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Please never hesitate to comment! I would love to hear your opinions and answer your questions. If there’s anything that’s unclear in this post or something that needs to be corrected, please let me know!

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4 thoughts on “Decisions and Missing the Obvious

  1. Ah…I remember after 2 horrible years as a young man being bullied in my first real job, that I wanted to never leave education again. I too wanted to be a professional student! And you know what? I still am!!

    Either through studying for new qualifications, or through teaching or now, through writing as well, I am a perpetual student and proud of it after 21 years of being like this. It doesn’t mean you can’t get a ‘decent’ job or earn a good wage. It just means you don’t stop thinking. For that reason, I wholeheartedly approve of the direction your life is taking you Rinth. You have years to go yet before you can really get a feel for what you want to spend the rest of your life doing – study until that starts to make itself clearer – then study some more! I’ve changed career path three times now and I know many others who have done the same.

    The world is fast changing and the days when you did your degree and then ‘learning’ was over for the rest of your life are really now all but gone. Never stop studying – hey I’m even planning my next UNDERGRADUATE degree once my Masters is over – and that is my SECOND masters as it is! Not boasting – just saying some of us can’t get enough of learning about stuff we don’t know about yet but are really interested in 🙂

    So good luck with your adventures – I’m sorry you’ve had knocks along the way but they will make you stronger in the end and appreciate the good that happens all the more. I think you’re doing just great 😉

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    1. Thank you Ken! And yeah, I agree with what you’ve said. The only problem with all of this is that while you study, your income is minimal which makes it well… difficult to live. And I do want to travel and enjoy life now and not when I’m old and sick (thinking about all the diseases waiting for me after 40 :-|, that runs in my family). So a source of income is important, and it’s not always easy to manage both work and studies. Maybe later when studies come in second place – you can do net-based courses etc – but where I am it’s all very difficult to balance.

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      1. I know this well – you have my sympathies as it was no easier when I was your age! Finding that balance will probably be a lifelong struggle. I guess I want to say that pursuing your dream and having less money for a while is always the better option than going for the money and always thinking “what if?” – good luck with pursuing your dreams while figuring out how to balance the harsh realities of life. You and me both! :-/

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        1. Yeah you’re right. I’d rather do now and feel at peace later than wait till it’s too late and become a depressed old hag!

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