Thursday, 5 September 2013

I've lost my university mojo

I'm seriously considering dropping out of my honors degree.

Everytime I sit down to my current assignment, every ounce of motivation leaves me. It feels like this is the most boring, painful thing I could be doing. And it's not the content of the assignment, its the action of studying and writing, just grates with me right now.

I have felt like this before- in the early months of this year. I seriously questioned what I was doing at university still, and in the end decided to re-structure my degree. I wonder now if this re-structure was just a band-aid but I haven't really fixed the problem.

I've been studying for years, alongside working as an interpreter, and until this year I really enjoyed it. Yes, assignments were a pain, but often I really enjoyed doing them.

This year doubt has crept in, and now it's slapping me in the face.

What am I doing? Why am I really continuing with post-grad study? What are my goals?
The answer to all three questions-  I don't know.

I suppose when I qualified as an interpreter, I imagined myself one day in the distant future, working as an academic researcher. I enjoy research. I enjoy my field of work, and combining the two seemed perfect. And, fitting in study is easy while interpreting, so it was the perfect match.

But now I wonder. Do I want to be an academic? If I really do, I would have to do a PHD. As I am doing study part time, this would take EIGHT years (including time to do a Masters degree first.) Eight years, and thousands and thousands of dollars.

I am starting to wonder if being an academic is the only way I can be intellectually satisfied and contribute to the interpreting profession. I know plenty of interpreters who contribute heaps in other ways- taking an active role in our interpreter association, doing their own reading and professional development and passing this onto others, becoming very skilled in certain areas and passing on their knowledge.

Also, there has been an interpreter specific post-grad program offered before. I didn't take it at that time, but if it's offered again perhaps I could. Perhaps something much more specific to my work would be better for me.

Not to mention the fact that a baby is on the way (wohoo!), so Matt and I are at a stage of our lives where priorities are shifting. I won't be able to finish my honors degree any time soon (I have another year to go after this part time.) That's not to say you can't study with a baby. Of course you can. But with my motivation this low already, I don't think it would work for me.

Maybe if I take a break, I could come back in a few years if I miss it?

At the same time, I think I should just finish this paper. I won't get a refund if I quit. And I might as well do what I can before baby gets here. I wonder if I'm just lazy and I just need to push and do some hard work to get through. Sometimes we have to do things we don't like, and if I give up now it would be such a waste.

Sometimes I wish someone else would make my decisions for me!

What to do....?

Addendum: I've decided to stick with the paper I am doing as there is only 6 weeks left. After that I will put my study on hold and see how I feel after some time off.

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