tatjna (tatjna) wrote,

I have much to think about

Studying. Yes, the season has arrived again, that being the season when Tats contemplates being the first in her family to have a degree. Not that I give a rat's arse for pieces of paper - however, I have found a passion that has multiple facets of potentially fascinating study, in a field where I think I could make a difference.


One of the main reasons I didn't finish my degree Back In The Day was that at age 17 I didn't have a clue what I wanted a degree in, so I just picked some random topics that had mild interest and went for it. Over the course of the year, mild interest waned to boredom and frustration with having to tell people what they wanted to hear instead of letting my brain come up with new stuff, and by December when I went home to work breaking in horses for the holidays, I realised that my passion for farming would never be realised by studying English Literature.

So off I went and chased sheep for a few years.

*insert interlude music with pastoral visualisations here while we fast forward 20 years*

OK, 20 years later, I've mellowed a little. I understand the importance of finding out what other people know before spouting your own ideas (blahblahreinventingthewheeletcyaddayadda), I've developed a little patience and some (just a little mind) maturity. I also have a few more clues about what I'm interested in pursuing.

One of the things that appeals about university is that it gives me access to more research already done, potential funding for my own research, and an organisational framework that would allow me access to much more information. These things all have appeal.

What doesn't have appeal is being a full time student. I mean, I like the hours of work and have no problem with the study requirements (when in rant mode and with my head straight on my topic I can bang out 3,000 cohesive words in less than an hour) - but I am accustomed to financial independence and I've worked hard for it. Having spent much of my life on the poverty line while chasing my dreams, I'd rather stalk my dreams quietly while living it up.

Feel free to judge me for that, by the way.

So anyway, for me to do formal study I'd be looking at doing one paper per semester, I guess. Which would mean a lot of years' commitment to get to the *cough* final goal.

My question - is it worth it? I could probably learn just as much stuff through 'dabbling', studying off my own bat. Already I have access to vast quantities of literature on my chosen topic, and some mighty powerful thinking minds to pick. But I would have nothing formal to wave at people, and any research I did would be self-funded in my own time.

Who wants to weigh in on the "Tell Tats What To Do" thread? I can enrol for the semester starting Feb 2008 if I want. At $500-$700 a paper, it's not prohibitive cost wise - I could do that without going into debt. But I need to decide soon, and get backing from my employer if I go ahead.

Anyone have words of wisdom?
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