The Value of a Degree

Sometimes it is a simple conversation that reminds us why we started this journey. A conversation about nothing regarding to studying, yet it can serve as a much needed reminder.

The other day I was chatting with my cousin about weekend plans and she casually mentioned not being able to find a book covering specific subject matter. I told her my philosophy is to write what you want to read (maybe she should write a book on it). Sometimes there is no book, or article, that says what you need to hear; this philosophy is what got me writing for The Voice Magazine in the beginning. I was struggling with certain aspects of distance education but finding articles sharing the experience were limited, and none touched on the struggles I was having. But, sometimes a person can get stuck in a rut, even when doing something we love, we lose sight of why we started. We may not even be conscious of this happening, until one day you have a simple conversation.

While this undoubtedly happens to me with writing, it also translates to schoolwork: we get tunnel vision. We are too busy focusing on the task at hand that we lose sight of the big picture. I don’t want to just pump out courses, or articles, I want to say something important, something worth writing; and I want to get as much information as possible from a course. If I have an opportunity to write an essay on a topic I am interested in I want to take that opportunity and really enjoy the process, not just get through it.

While not all essays will be on topics we are really interested in, most courses have enough leeway that you can make the essay into something you will enjoy. If it is a topic that is unknown then it is an opportunity to learn a topic that may become a new interest; or perhaps prove to yourself that it is not a topic that will ever interest you.

Write what you want to read, and study what you want to study. I must remind myself why I am doing this. It is too easy to get tunnel vision and forget the larger picture, the dream we are all working towards. I am often asked why I am pursuing this degree, when there is no guarantee of work, and my only answer is because it is something I am passionate about—something I love—and when I am done I will find a way to utilise it. I would rather struggle doing something I love than struggle through a topic I hate, only to get a job I hate.

Deanna Roney is an AU student who loves adventure in life and literature