Thursday, June 29, 2006

Pain & Pleasure

I have often wondered about the different cycles we go through in life. Education is one of them. Growing up, your parents want you to attend pre-school, luckily for some of us, we might just learn the alphabets on time. A few years down the line, you find yourself in secondary school and before you know what hit you, you are at the end of your A’ levels and you have been given a set of predicted grades. The next step is university, with an exception that you might not even be sure about what you would like to do. Your teacher thinks you are really good at Media studies, so you convince yourself that you were born to be a film maker, the next Spike Lee. So, you embark on a film studies degree. In your second year, you finally realise you hate the course. Alternatively, if your parents believe they know what’s best for you, then you must become a doctor because they have always wanted one in the family. You begin to fulfil their dream and not yours, gradually that dream begins to die and if you are not careful enough to realise on time, yours might die too. Without warning you are full of anger and resentment at the world. Truth be told, all is not lost because if at the weekends, you enjoy the dance and other recreational activities you do, claiming they are just your hobbies. It’s about time you sat down and take an audit of what your strengths are and maybe, just maybe that is where you passion most likely lies. Maybe you were not born to be a film maker or a doctor, maybe all your feet was created for, was to "Just dance." you will never know if you don't try. Frustrated and tired, you abandon your studies and start searching for that one thing you believe you were born to do.

Let’s be honest, not everyone with a film studies degree from university is a big time film maker today. They are most likely doing other things and enjoying it. The industry is so competitive, to survive, you might have to pull a stunt; maybe sell a member of your family or something. Oops, sorry just a joke but hey people are pretty crazy these days. They will do anything for 15 minutes of fame.

It has been on my mind for a while now, why we study, we slave over our books to make the grade and its hard work. Sometimes you don’t even make the grade you feel you deserve. No one tells you about the in-between, having the dream and working hard for it. They all tell you can do it. That is if you are lucky your dream wasn't rejected the first time. I learnt in the last month, that education or rather being a student has a lot to do with abilities and strengths. You must know what you are good at but it is also important to realise that being a student is about your mental strength and ability to survive the course work and exams. You may be the most intelligent person on earth but if you’re mentally lazy, you won’t make maximum use of your brain capacity. Being a student to me is about my ability to look past the pain of studying and the stress of it all and say to myself, if I can get past the pain and push the baby like a woman in labour with the tears flowing in the midnight hour. At the end of the three years course duration, I will give birth to my baby and that for me right now is my degree. After all, once the baby is born you forget the pain and guess what you might even miss being a student. Have you heard people say, I miss Uni? I think it’s because you now realise you are in the big bad world and you have to face up to it. The safety net of being a student is gone and the 10% discount you got at the shop is also gone. It is now you and Uncle John and you have no choice but to face up to him and take on responsibilities as they come.

Staying up to study for the past semester has left me with a messed up sleeping pattern. I wake up at 3am thinking I still have course work to get through. It doesn’t make much sense now but when I get my results, I want it to make sense. I want those days I was frustrated with tears in my eyes, pulled myself out of my misery and got on with the work, with the promise, that it will soon be over. I want it all to make sense when I check those grades and see the fruit of my labour. Only then will I be satisfied and maybe give myself a break or better pat myself on the back and say well done. I won't celebrate so much just yet though because third year of university still awaits me. The mental struggle continues and I know with the amount of light bulbs at the local shop that is yet to be sold, I will not run out of options for the type of lighting I want in my room to make studying easier.

In the mean time, I am looking forward to finishing well. Until then, the mental challenge continues.