Subjugation as motivation for education
In September, I started a four year joint honours foundation degree at my local university. Why, I hear people ask, do you want to go back to university as a mature student? I have a paid, full-time job – it’s true. Most of the jobs I’ve had have been ones I’ve ended up doing because they were convenient or I had some knowledge required. I’ve done them well, to the best of my abilities. However, looking back on diaries and journals I’ve kept for years, I’ve always wanted to do two things for a living, specifically (my dream job(s), you might say). These are to study Zoology and work with animals; and to write for a living about the things I’m passionate about (e.g Zoology, funnily enough).
The first lectures were nerve-wracking; the usual sweaty palms and anxiety accompanied my first couple of days. Three weeks in, I’m getting there. I feel comfortable in lectures, and happy generally. Ten years ago, I would not have been able to manage the anxiety of such a new and daunting environment and the resulting expectations placed upon me. But the last ten years have taught me some valuable lessons, and the urgency of life. If you really want to do something, do it. If you’ve always wanted to do it, do it sooner! This little, blue planet is suffering, and has been for decades.
Whilst we knew all about climate change some thirty years ago, thanks to organisations such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth offering us urgent facts and alternatives (which our governments all quietly ignored) what has changed to prevent it? Nothing…instead, our destruction of our home and all of life on it has continued at an ever-increasing pace. More and more of us need to help put the brakes on and shake human society awake.
The motivation for me to study for a degree has come – and continues to come – from conservation groups such as Sea Shepherd, who shine a light on atrocities and injustices against ocean wildlife and intelligent animals, along with many other conservation groups. The motivation has come from watching the steady subjugation of animals, and the rapid destruction of all natural spaces. We cannot continue. I would like to be another ‘expert’ voice offering facts, education, and the inspiration to cherish and preserve our natural world and develop and adopt real, ethical ways of living sustainably.
And so for the next four years, you’ll find me in uni, learning things that are a pleasure to learn. I am in my element! Literally! Loving those carbon atoms…