Learning how to learn - The Reboot
What surprised me most about myself, was my ability to absorb
new learning in the classroom, assimilate the information and apply it to
the fieldwork component that we had alongside.
Something that I’ve always admired about the individualistic spirit of the
Americans, is their eternal belief in “it’s never too late to start
something new”. It’s with this inspiration that I decided to apply for a
full-time, two year post graduation course at 28 years of age. In the
larger scheme of things it’s not that old, I know, but when you’ve been
working since 21, and your peers are reaching the respectable positions
at their various jobs, it can be quite daunting to give all those
possibilities up, and go back to student life.
It definitely wasn’t a spur of the moment decision. I know I’d wanted to
do my Masters degree for a while now, but I just didn’t know what in.
Every year I’d dream of going back to studying, writing assignments and
the likes, but the actual subject was a blank. Eventually, I decided that I
can’t keep waiting for the ‘right time to strike’, and instead just take the
plunge. So, Social Work it would be, and from college that's known to be
difficult to get into, nonetheless.
Master of one
Oh, did I mention, I’ve never given an entrance test before? I gave up my
job in April, moved to Delhi in May, and then studied for the test for a
month. It was nerve wracking; the wait for each round of results. The
interview, of course after which, like a typical millennial, I nitpicked at
every word I’d said and wish I’d said it better instead.
Of course, as you probably figured from the title, I got through. I was
excited, and really looking to make this count. I think that knowing what
I’m giving up and coming back to this space, I was more grateful to get
this chance – to have the stars aligned so perfectly that I can focus on
two years of pure studying and also get support to survive financially
and emotionally in a new city.
I did spot the differences from my time graduating and now – I came
with a big dollop of pessimism (I mean realism) as opposed to the
idealistic enthusiasm of earlier. I was excited, no doubt, to enter the
classroom again with a renewed sense of interest in learning.
What surprised me most about myself, was my ability to absorb new
learning in the classroom, assimilate the information and apply it to the
fieldwork component that we had alongside. Getting thrown into the deep end in every workplace, and waddling my own way out of it really
did have its perks, I assume.
It was definitely quite the dopamine rush, enjoying the challenges of the
classroom, discussions and debates. I realised that we need a system
that encourages youngsters to get work experience, and then come back
to study a masters or higher education. My entire perspective towards
what learning means had changed, and it also helped me understand
people around me much better.
All this enthusiasm doesn’t come without its own set of anxieties
though. I have questioned my decision a few times; there is a guilt that
comes along with being a dependent on my family again, and wondering
if this is going to be the right decision to take.
Every middle class-er who’s grown up knowing that sacrifice and struggle
is what life is, is probably nodding wisely right now. I wonder if I put
myself through this as a test of my ability to struggle – or is it the
restlessness in me that does not like to stay with status quo for too long.
But, the pros far outweigh the cons I suppose, and like every calculated
risk in life, one just needs to take a leap of faith.