I would like to greatly thank Lisa Pierre for this title and this article. She has been an inspiration to me!
As Socrates so aptly said “the more I learn, the more I realise that I know nothing.” Knowledge has always been part of my life. I am not certain whether this is related to the way I grew up or the country I come from, but as long as I can remember, I was curious about everything. Though it was not always easy for the others to deal with my challenging questions, I felt really excited any time something was detected by my senses. I do believe now that my parents must have felt great relief when I learned how to read! Books unquestionably can give some answers.
As a child, I lived in my own little world, had few friends and could never follow the trend of my era. Growing up, I became a shy, introvert, and sometimes unsociable and stubborn adolescent who used to express herself through playing the accordion or keeping a diary. Nevertheless, these personality traits never stopped me from being part of traditional Greek dance teams that give performances both at home and abroad. Needless to say that this kind of experience changed me to a great extent and helped me realise the importance of co-operation and team spirit; a qualification I greatly need in my professional life, particularly since the day I became an authorised examiner of the French language.
“When man makes plans, god laughs!” (i)
Examiner? Professor? Translator? Me? Theatre has always been my passion, since I was a little girl! However, I needed something stable to earn my living, so I let this dream fly away! Yet, my adventurous nature has propelled me to jump at every chance of travelling, reinforcing my enthusiasm and eagerness to find out more about the world around me. Being a pilot or a flight attendant might have been the perfect solution to get away from reality! Therefore, I had to find a “solid ground” job. And, exactly for this reason, I became a translator. My life has never been intertwined with routine ever since!
Meanwhile, I started teaching English and French as a means to earn some money while studying, but this quickly evolved into a full-time occupation. It gives me great pleasure to teach because through teaching I may have a positive impact on the world and can provide guidance to my students. I particularly enjoy assisting individuals with learning difficulties and disorders; it helps me become more patient, compassionate and understanding.
Notwithstanding how much I have enjoyed translating and teaching, I felt I needed a change; something strong that would shake my everyday life: Philosophy was what I was looking for. It was a new challenge of enormous and enduring interest for me. But on the other hand, was I skilful enough to study philosophy? How could I be integrated into that world? Obviously, I could not. But at least I could peep through the keyhole! Studying philosophy affected the way I think and my personal development!
“Appetite comes with eating” (ii)
One year after I had finished my BA in Philosophy, I decided to continue my studies and start a master’s programme. An MSc in “Organizational Psychology”, a brand new world that has been developed at breakneck speed and brought new perspectives into my future and my mind.
My life has completely changed since I became a distance learning student of the University of London. It is not only knowledge what I have gained. A whole new philosophy has opened before my eyes. Nevertheless, each day has been a lonely struggle as I have to combine my job, personal life and studying. But “where there’s a will, there’s a way” (iii). It is not easy and very often despair comes knocking on my door, mainly because of tiredness. I came to the conclusion, however, that there are quite a few people like me with whom I share the same problems, experiences and sometimes even the same thoughts. People who can perfectly understand the ebb and flow that life can bring, especially when there are too many irons in the fire!
Writing for the student blog is an opportunity for me to come into contact with all these like-minded people, improve my analytical and writing skills and develop an eye for important things while reducing any possible anxieties. At the same time, it will help me become a more active member of this big academic team in which I belong for so many years.
“The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet” (Aristotle)
Anastasia is studying the MSc Organizational Psychology in Greece.
[i] Life is unpredictable, and unexpected changes will inevitably occur. (Psychology Today)
[ii] Desire or facility increases as an activity proceeds (The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs)
[iii] Used to mean that if you are determined enough, you can find a way to achieve what you want, even if it is very difficult (Cambridge Dictionary)