Monday, May 28, 2012

The Stage and You

There are some pretty, well sough after academic institutions in South Africa that currently offer professional degrees, certificates, diplomas, and postgraduate qualifications for further study. You should choose the academy you prefer most, based on your social needs, adaptation, convenience, and environment; instead of seeking a qualification from an institution because of its reputation.

Your reputation is what matters, and how you market yourself and start creating your future, not the reputation of the place you graduate from. There are no laws to your education, except the responsibility you're supposed to undertake, and the oath, to yourself, that you will continue to show passion for what you are doing, as that in my opinion, is an indication of progress- and ultimately, success.

I have come to the final year of my Bachelor of Arts degree, having specialized in English Literature and Italian before being of the idea that Philosophy and International Relations would be my majors. In my first year, I had no idea where exactly it was I was headed, although I had long dreamed of enrolling as a student at Wits university. In my matric year, I had an inclination to apply for Dramatic Art or Fine Art; however, I was, under the impression that my degree choice would attract scrutiny, forced to pursue studies in a very general, and almost undefined field.

The BA, as beneficial as it has been to me over the past three years, has allowed me to explore areas of inquiry I would never had ventured into on my own, and has also allowed me to make multiple, and incorrect career choices that have led me towards the barrier I now stand before. I respect the degree and the amount of dedication and attention it demands, but I also maintain that, if you're going to be studying a Bachelor's degree; at least possess discipline.

I love the fact that I had encountered Philosophy in my degree. Before enrollment, I was oblivious to some of the contents philosophy offered, and I never imagined that I would nearly major in it. I stuck it out for 2 years before dropping it; pressurized by my need to divide my attention across my courses. Philosophy required every part of me- I thought about it even when I wasn't reading or studying it- yet still, I grew great admiration for the staff, and found myself loving the course; wishing even at a point that it could be my only subject.

International Relations appeared and I barely have any clue as to why I decided to study it. I heard of it from  my ex History teacher at high school, and thought; that should be interesting...and then I was studying it and I felt like I was stupid...all the time, because naturally, I am not that way inclined; I don't engage politically, politics don't make me lose my balance as I am filled with wonder from the mention of words like; "G20", "National" and "Policy", but I stuck it out for 2 years; up to the point where we were talking way too much about African relations. Dropping Philosophy, and International Relations at second year level implied that I would need to spend an extra year at the university, completing my newly chosen majors, which were; English Literature and Italian.

I guess I chose Italian because of a general love I always had, and still have, for the people and culture of Italy. I also think that Italian is a beautiful language- and see learning it, as my greatest accomplishment to date. English Literature is very difficult to critique- put together a room full of qualified academics who live and bathe themselves in poetry and literary content, and you have the English department. Although I had encountered two of the most beautiful, inspiring, and enchanting academics within the department. There's always an exception!

And so now, here I am, thinking of what a big mess I am in. Then again, as I think about it clearly, I am in no mess; I am making a lucrative career change- for the better! My BA wasn't a waste of time; there are so many skills I possess now, that I can attribute to my BA degree, and even though I came to this point of realization in my final year, I know that making this change will be instrumental in my happiness and willingness to obtain a qualification, and ultimately, make a name for myself.

It's not too late to do so either. Why would anyone think that? I am only 21 years old and I am still in the process of working towards my goals, and I am glad that I realized, and am fully aware of my potential, likes, and dislikes, so that I can make informative and beneficial decisions that would only end up mapping out a clear, and 'most-wanted' future. I am glad that I took it upon myself to question the significance of every course I had undertaken, because now I understand that, studying is not about learning towards graduation and then a dream job; studying requires all your senses to be present, so you can never get away with doing anything half-heartedly


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