Education: Should we give up on our dreams?

Dear readers,

If you catch-up with my blog regularly you will know that I’m a mature student, studying an MA in English Studies on a part-time basis. I love learning and recently got my grades back for last semester, and I am so close to receiving a distinction. I just really need to push myself in this last hurdle as I’m only missed out by 1-2%. I’m happy to receive a merit if this isn’t possible but I would absolutely love a distinction overall. In my English and Creative Writing BA (Hons) that I received back in 2014, I was graded a 2:1. The first-class degree was slightly out of my reach and I had so many personal issues with my husband becoming ill that I was really held back in that last semester. Even though the MA is a higher level, I’ve always received better grades but I think this is because we now cope with the illness better and with only studying part-time there isn’t as much pressure.

I think I’ve mentioned on other occasions that I would really like to study Ph.D. level. I have an awesome idea and I know that gaining this would be a dream. Although the idea of becoming a Doctor of Philosophy sounds surreal to me, it’s not the title that attracts me. I’ve always been driven and determined, and I’ve always believed that you should push yourself to your limit. I want to fulfill my full potential and if I’m capable of doing a Ph.D., then I want to do it! I consider a Ph.D. as an investment because if I can achieve a Ph.D. the career possibilities would be endless. After everything I went through at school, leaving with no qualifications due to a mental health issue, I can’t even describe how much a Ph.D. would mean to me when I often thought I would amount to nothing (I’m sure other people assumed this too).

A friend of mine is so talented, and I don’t actually think she realises how talented she is. She is more ‘mature’ than me and recently a lecturer told her that because of her age it was unlikely she would become a University lecturer after studying a Ph.D. I personally, think her talents would be wasted if she didn’t but now she faces a dilemma. She has taken the comment and on board and appreciates the honesty, but her dreams have been dashed in an instant and it seems to have knocked her confidence. I am not naive to the world and I don’t deny, finding any job these days is difficult but it isn’t impossible.

I’m sure that the aim of this tough-truth was an effort to bring us back to the harsh reality of life and to bring us to our senses and, of course, obtaining our dream is never easy. But without hope, aspirations, and dreams, what do we have left? I don’t mean this in relation to family, I mean it in a personal sense – our wants for ourselves. Would this lady of actually signed up to University in the first place if she wanted the easy route in life? I think that having life experience makes us all a little more acceptable of how hard things actually are but this certainly doesn’t mean we should give up on our dreams.

When you have overcome so many obstacles in your life (not necessarily in relation to education), it shows you are a fighter, and I say keep on fighting and striving for your dreams. If anything, I’m too old to give up, I gave up on too many things when I was younger, and I find the challenge of obtaining the unobtainable more appealing: if someone dashes your dreams, work harder to achieve them. If in this case, you have the opportunity to complete a Ph.D., even if you don’t get the exact job of your dreams, it’s still an achievement, and you can go to sleep at night satisfied, knowing that nothing stood in your way!



What do you think about this? Do you have a dream or goal you are working towards? Maybe you have obstacles in your life sent you off the path of your goal – do you give up or get back on track? Would you give up on your dream? Comment and let me know what you think!

Laters, Janet




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