The Pressure to Study versus Embracing what We Have

There’s a lot of fear out there of not knowing enough. Of needing to read more, study more, get things in order in your head before you start pressing on with the actual work of the thing you want to do.

Sometimes, people ask me if I’d go back to uni sometime and study. I always answer: I don’t know. I liked uni, but not for the study (obvious, given I did a year before failing out) – it was more for the community and maybe that aspect of being able to hide from the big world a little longer.

If I went back, what would I actually study? IT? Literature? Economics? Art? I have no idea – and of the course options I’ve seen, no idea appeals enough to sign up for a three-to-five year course of it.

What often bothers me, though, is the idea that study is something that you HAVE to do. Often implicit in that question about what I would study is that idea that I NEED to study something in order to get ahead. It’s study out of fear of a negative consequence. I Must Get A Piece Of Paper Or I Will Cripple My Earning Opportunities.

Me, I like the idea of studying something for the sheer joy of it. If I choose to go back to uni, In want to make that choice because it’s the most interesting next option in the list of options that relate to the things I’m digging at the moment.

If I’m going back because I feel I need to get “a degree” in something that I don’t really care about, or because I feel pressured into having to have that piece of paper, then I’m not going to enjoy the thing I’m studying and I’m certainly not going to feel that that three to five years was worthwhile. I’ll resent them, avoid them, procrastinate on the work, invest time in something whose end result is going to be mediocre at best.

I want to embrace the opposite of that feeling. That I don’t NEED a degree, or a specific set of skills that some external arbiter has imposed. That I don’t NEED to do something just because someone else says it’s a good idea.

I want to embrace the idea that I ALREADY HAVE WHAT I NEED. That my current interests, skills and enthusiasms are enough to get me working on the things that can being more money, more purpose, into my life, that all I need to do is do something other than worry about a qualification.

That all I need to do is just be me without doubting or fearing what I am.

That’s one of the things that this Society of Doing things is all about – doing the things that help us all be the “you” that we are instead of chasing some “ideal you” or a you that someone else reckons we need to be.