Why do you study? Yep, you read that right. Why? Think about it.
For so many years of our school lives, we tell ourselves we have to. Until Year 10, it’s our parent’s decision, but after then, we can legally leave if we wanted - so why don’t we?
If you’re anything like me, you love to complain about the things you ‘have to do’. School-work, uni-work, work-work. The harder it is, the more I complain to myself. But over the years, I’ve learnt something important about studying. When it gets hard, when I can’t understand something or I get a bad result, all I need to do is return to this question – Why do I study?
The question snaps me out of playing victim and slaps a bit of reality into me. I don’t ‘have to’ do anything. It may seem unlikely when you’re half-asleep in a maths class, but education is a privilege, and many don’t have access to it.
Maybe you’re like Bailey (20, Head of Recruitment at RESN), and your why is something along the lines of “we all only get one shot at what we do each day, so we better make the most of it - if I can do well, then I feel obliged to”. If you know you’re capable of getting a certain grade, are you selling yourself short by settling for anything less? You might be like Jim (20, grew up in Wellington, rural NSW). Jim sees studying as a way to “break the chain and make sure I have options”. Jim grew up on his family farm but his passion lies in psychology. Studying allows him to pursue that.
Now, I know that it’s not always fun. We’ve all been there. Hamish (22, Head of Strategy at RESN) also remembers not enjoying many of his subjects in school, and feeling as though studying was just something he ‘had to do’. He has since realised that the skills he has learnt through education have “impacted my thinking and my views on the world. I feel far more informed and knowledgeable and that is worth everything to me”.
So next time you feel like giving up or setting your biology notes on fire, take a second and take a breath. Ask yourself why it is that you persist and keep this why at the core of your study. You’ve got this!
Words by Ella Katz