Over the last week, I’ve been thinking a lot about education. I always say that my greatest privilege is my education, but really, it should be a right – for everyone.
I’ve been so fortunate to earn two degrees – a Bachelors in Professional Musicianship and a Masters in Medieval Studies. They are both strangely linked my performance and music. I like how I started with the modern music and then went back 800 years to medieval music.
But I’ve noticed that a thread that has been weaved into my life is the need for constant learning. Whenever I’m learning something new, my head is always in a much better place and depression is kept at bay. After my first degree, I went downhill straightaway and for the longest time, I couldn’t work out why…
Eventually, I worked it out: it’s because I had nothing to learn anymore!
Since my Masters, I have tried to studying in various ways to keep the “grey cells working” as Hercules Poirot would say. I started with the online learning in 2013 with Coursera – back when it wasn’t a cool thing to do – mainly to improve my writing. Along with other ways, such as doing crosswords, learning a language (the hardest thing for a deafened person to do!), and trying out new skills.
I even consider travel a form of education because one learns about a new culture, a different way of life, and realises that people aren’t that different from each other at all. It kills ignorance and forces one to move past their comfort zone.
Personally, I find education life-changing, empowering, and can help one rewrite their life. Even all that study I’m doing now is opening up a whole new world that I didn’t even know existed, and I’m looking forward to the opportunities that are opening up to me. It’s keeping my mind fresh, excited, and supple. All of this wouldn’t have have happened if I hadn’t taken the plunge to study again – thanks for the Covid-19 Pandemic lockdown!
I want to encourage everyone to keep learning, no matter how small or big is it – it will help in more ways that you know. This TEDTalk particularly highlights how life-changing education is. Even though Ashweetha is from India and talking about her rural communities, I believe the principles of education she gives here are worldwide: