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Personal Issue: About being a university student and why it doesn’t fulfill me

Today I want to open up to you about a topic which has been on my mind for quite some time. And yes, the title already spoils it all.

In 2012 I started to study Art History and Theatre science at the Freie Universität Berlin. Directly after finishing school I became a university student. My start wasn’t that great since just five days after the semester officially started I lost my father (you can read about this here).

But maybe I have to go back a little further so you can understand why I started studying these topics. During my last school year I decided that I would like to become a dancer and go to a school where I could be trained professionally. Due to all my studying for the final school exams I didn’t have enough time to train as you need to in order to get a spot at those institutions. Which is why I decided I would train for one year everyday and apply for the dancer program during the next year. But, as I always want to have something up one’s sleeve, I figured it would be good to start studying something “normal” besides training. Also because I think it is good to challenge our brains with academical knowledge. Just in order to keep going and learn.

Since I didn’t really think that I would finish those studies at all, I picked courses I felt the most attracted to. Not those where you would earn the most money with in the end. As my father died though, I decided to stay in Potsdam to be there for my Mum and to heal my broken heart. I was simply not able to leave out of shock, grief and love. I became addicted to training still but throw my dream to become a dancer away.

After my first year I changed my second course from Theatre Science to History, which is why I had to study one year longer in order to get all my credits. I probably could have finished by BA studies more quickly but I kept dancing and working at the studio as my first priority. But studying never fulfilled me. Which is also probably why I didn’t see the need to rush through it. In 2016 I finished by BA thesis and it was a hard decision for me to consider a Master study.

Luckily the Freie Universität offers a Master program called Dance Science. During my one year theatre studies I already knew about this program. And since it was my biggest dream to still have something with dance in my CV, I decided I would give this a chance. So, directly after finishing my BA I took up my MA.

I want to be honest with you, I like the studies and the fields we examine. But I’m simply not a scholar and I never want to become one. The professors way to often think that everyone will start working scientifically and become a PhD student after finishing the Master thesis. Which simply isn’t the case and I really beg all those professors out there to accept this.

So, why am I still studying? Actually being a student offers a lot of advantages and it is nice to still feel a little light-hearted at some point. But since a few months I have shifted my priorities and studying has become not one of them anymore. I will finish my MA but I will take the time I need and just give the time I have spare to take courses. I still love challenging my brain and learn new things about the field of dance. And, all the people I have met during my studies have become dear friends to me. I think they are my greatest accomplishment during my studies (which is why I decided to use images from those people as the header of this post; they truly shaped me).

Picking up new projects and put them into practice really fulfills me. I totally love working practical and sometimes feel that a dual training would have been more my cup of tea. But I was scared to leave the academical path. Until now. Now I’m more mature and grown-up about this topic and how I feel about it. And I can easily tell everyone that studying is not my priority, never has been and never will be.

It simply isn’t everything to become a student no matter what people tell you. It is important to follow something you really want and not keep back with it like I did for far too long. Of course I’m more than happy that I have this BA graduation now. And yes, it is good to learn and we can’t just go out there and believe that we can change something without getting our butts up. But we don’t need unhappy doctors, teachers, scholars and so on. Just don’t lie to yourself because you think the title will bring you the most money in the end.

I believe, if your are not happy in your work field, you won’t be able to do a good job. I think we work more efficient and hard if we can identify with what we do. Of course, this is a dream set-up. But how can we get there, if we don’t start to be honest with ourselves?

You probably ask yourself now: why didn’t she go for her dream of becoming a dancer? A good question I’m only able to answer since a year and a half. It took me quite some time to let go of this dream but today, I’m really happy that I didn’t go this way. Studying has also changed my point of view and I feel very lucky for everything that has happened. Even the worst situations showed new things to me and I know, that just dancing wouldn’t make me happy either.

And, after all, I didn’t lose during my studies. I gained new knowledge and the most amazing bunch of friends. Thank you for being there for me and being the most amazing people around!

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