A few days ago I had coffee with a friend and we were discussing my possible plans to do a Masters degree next year. Here’s how part of the conversation went:
Friend: “So what sort of jobs will it help you get?”
Me: “I don’t really think it’ll add to my job prospects at all.”
Friend: “So why do you want to do it?”
Me: “I want to learn for the sake of learning.”
Friend: “But there’s no point in that.”
Me: “Sorry… What?”
Friend: “You’re going to spend all that money just to learn?”
Tomorrow I start work. I’m not too excited about it, but it has to happen if I want to fund my Masters degree. I’m nervous like anyone is nervous before a new job, but I’m also afraid of the fact that I am no longer going to be taking in new information, I’m not going to soak in things about the world which will teach me why society is the way it is, I’m not going to be tested on what I know, I’m not going to write essays or read text books or do research. I miss studying a lot, which is funny because while I was in the middle of it I kind of hated it, I was almost bitter that I was paying to gain knowledge. But now? I want nothing more than to be back in a class room, a lecture theatre, paying to learn about the world around me.
People say that film and media degrees are pointless and stupid, but I spent four years learning about society, about why people do the things they do, about art and beautiful things. I learnt about what makes people tick, what they’re passionate about, what makes them passionate. I learnt to be passionate, to fall in love with something, to realise that art and creativity are some of the most important things this world will ever have to offer because they let us put down on paper and film reels and canvas and stage exactly what our hearts are saying, and allows the audience to know that they’re not alone. Humans are so similar and we don’t realise it until we reach a certain age and look at people younger than us and think, “Hey, I went through that too.” Art allows the human race to relate to each other.
This is why we need to learn.
I don’t care if you study arts and humanities, or sciences, or social sciences, or languages, or sport, but we all need to take in something, we all deserve to be educated. The British and American governments currently don’t agree, which is incredibly sad, because if they put more time and effort and money into their education systems instead of asking people to pay extortionate fees, they would have less problems with crime, alcoholism, drug abuse, and a whole host of other social issues.
So yes, I am going to spend all that money just to learn, because I think anyone who is able to have an education should grab on to it with both hands and never let go. We need to be educated so we can help those who aren’t lucky enough to have education to fight through the injustices of life. I want to use what I know, what I have learnt, to change the pain and struggles of the world, I want to learn about people, about life, about society, and change it from the inside.