Friday, May 04, 2007

Contradictions all round

'So have you thought about changing your course for the next year?'. This question was thrown at me in my zombie like state. I laughed nervously and thought about complementing the person on saying such a funny joke. I didn't. I just grinned and said no. Obviously this wasn't the desired answer. I sat there, hoping for the conversation to stop. Hoping that maybe this one time I'll get let of the hook. That didn't happen.

'In 2 years time you're going to be wishing that you did listen to me'. No I thought to myself. If I do listen to you now, then in two years time I'll be looking back and wondering what if and blaming you. But then something else happened. Doubt. I started wondering, what if in 2 years I actually do regret doing Maths! What if in 2 years I wish that I hadn't been stubborn (something which maths has also instilled in me!). Am I being young and naive now? Are my aspirations empty, do they mean nothing? These questions continued to stir around in my head, whilst my heart started sinking. It didn't hit rock bottom as well- just continued to go lower and lower. I no longer felt anger, but an overwhelming sadness. Which I'm still feeling at this moment.

'My friend did engineering at university and she loved it. But now looking back she know she's made a mistake'. My lecturers did maths at university and loved it. They still do maths now and love it was what I wanted to respond with. However too often have I learnt that sometimes no matter what I say, my words fall onto deaf ears. But these words had the desired effect. I live in the clouds. This person lives in the real world. Who do I listen to? My head in the clouds, or this person? Now as I look toward the future, I realise that living in the clouds is not healthy. Some of my lecturers have motivated me in changing my aspirations, however they were never realistic. A quote that Jake's headteacher said springs to mind, 'Aim for the gutter and you'll never miss'. I want to do maths, but I don't know what I want to do at this moment anymore. We all look to the future and have a certain idea of what we want to be doing- I don't have any idea anymore. Teaching, maybe or maybe more maths. That'd be nice indeed!

'Money is obviously not your motivation, but do something like Radiology. You don't have to work that many hours and get paid loads!'. There's your contradiction. I don't want to do radiology. I wanted to do maths. My heart continued to sink. The problem is that this person believes that I should do an 'easy' degree. I will admit that maths requires a lot of dedication and time, and in my case more time than the normal person. However that doesn't mean that any other degree that I do will be easy! I mean at least I enjoy doing maths- imagine doing something you don't want to do for three years!

'Why do you do maths?' Because I enjoy it was the words I parted with.

I enjoy it. I have to keep on saying that to myself now, for obvious reasons to remind myself of why I'm doing maths. I look at other people on my course, and think that they don't have to deal with this pressure or stress and some of them are doing maths for the sake of it. Sod's law I guess. 10 minutes to the mechanics lecture and I have no interest in going to it. I'll probably be late. I smile, but it doesn't reach my eyes. So was it a lie when I said that this no longer bothers me. Why am I now scared? The prospect of regretting doing maths and not being able to continue doing maths is frightening. I can't see myself doing anything else. I've never wanted to work and earn money- obviously that's silly, but I always like to think of myself as a free spirit. You know, not bound down by greed for money, rather a greed for knowledge.

Who do I look to for inspiration now? Was it silly of this person to throw me off the rails when my exams are in two weeks. Normally I'd be more determined to do maths. However this time round, I can't seem to change gears. 7 minutes left. I don't want to go. You've probably realised that I'm not a normal bean. Obviously no ones life is a smooth curve, but my seems to have sharp edges in the most weird of places. In my heart I know that I will complete my maths degree, if I pass my exams. I believe this in my heart, but the balance of this belief has shifted. Now I just want this year to finish. Maybe this morning was deliberate, making this person thinks it's a joke. Am I taking things to seriously? Possibly, but like I said I'd rather prefer being angry over this than sad. My anger tends to come in bursts. One second I'm angry and the next I'm not. Being sad is different. You have carry sadness around with you.

I don't know what I've written and it probably doesn't make much sense. I can't control my racing heart. Do I wish I was normal- never. What do I wish for then? I wish that it was 9:50 rather than 9:58 so I wouldn't be late for my lecture, amongst other things. I could look towards maths for solitude, but indirectly my desire for this has probably been the problem. I'm late. That makes me feel worse, but I really don't want to go to the lecture and I don't like being late. :\

Ah, I guess I've got the example class to look forward to later today. That always manages to cheer me up. I mean I'm going to get loads of questions answered- woohoo!


egm said...

Tis been a while! I need to catch up on recent posts...

On this issue, I say chug along. You know you have a great passion for maths, so keep doing it. Why worry over whether this will go away in future or not? You can never tell. Do it now. And if in future you realise you want to do something different, then so be it. But at least the regret won't be that you had the opportunity to do what you loved and missed out on it.

Now, stop reading this and head off to that lecture! :)

Jean-Noël said...

I don't get why you should change courses even if you ended up disliking maths. I'm sure you can find people who wished they had studied something different regardless of what they studied. At least you enjoy your degree, that's not exactly a feeling shared by the majority. And it's not like one is unemployable with a maths degree, maths is used in the 'real world' too.

'Easy' subjects are also highly subjective. Furthermore if the general population considers a certain degree to be easy doesn't this somehow devalue that degree?

I'm not convinced that that person lives in the real world. I live in the real world and I've yet to meet someone who regrets having studied engineering. Fact is 10, 20 years down the road you may end up doing something you've never considered before and from that point of view you can then easily argue that you wasted years of your life doing the wrong things.

I think that regret is stupid. The only way to achieve anything is by moving forward and not by wasting your time wondering what could have been.

Whenever possible ignore control freaks with such a rotten attitude.

beans said...

Hey egm! :) Lol, there's not much to catch up on- it's mostly randome mumbo jumbo!

I did eventually head of to my lecture- late and out of breath!

Thanks for your advice, you see I don't tell other people these things so naturally having a blog is where I get it out of my system! I do intend to chug along, but it seems that people want to throw me of the path. I mean it's so easy for one (especially me!) to lose motivation, and this is what possibly happened today.

In the future I know that I won't want to be doing anything different. :D

beans said...

Jean-Noël: I don't think that this person is wanting to be a control control freak. They mean well, and I acknowledge that. It's this persons job to help and guide me, but as when you're learning to walk, you sometimes have to let go of that hand. This person is not letting me do that, and I understand why. I mean my experiences are going to take me to different places and not neccesarily the same as someone else.

This person thinks they're doing it for my benifit, and it's unfortunate that they dont see what I do. I'm not looking at 10 years from now- I'm looking at the next month! I think of the future in the clouds. :D

I do know people who study their course and don't like it, which makes me feel more lucky that I'm doing something I love! Truthfully my first year has been great, which I shall mention in the next post in a while!

I think it's unfortunate that degrees like sciences are classified as hard. However I'd find it extremely difficult and hard if I was to do an English degree! (sounds scary)

(I can assure you they do live in the real world :D I've also met someone who started of with engineering but then did a different degree!)

I agree- regret is stupid but sometimes the feeling of regret is inevitable. The best way I think upon it is that I've made mistakes and hopefully will learn from then.

Thanks for your comment. :)

beans said...

Upon talking to someone else, I have come to realise another reason why I was possibly 'over-sensitive' on this occasion.

I thought that I'd gotten used to it, and I had. But recently Milo has been thinking of doing a fourth year, and obviously my heart is wanting to do the same! I was 'upset' because I didn't know how this person would react if they were to hear that I wanted to do 3 more years of maths rather than 2. I'm probably not cut out for the fourth year, but Milo wanting to do a fourth year was enough to make me want to do it as well!

(I didn't know what came over me yesterday, because like I said I'd thought that I was used to the negative comments! I dare not discuss my plans of doing a fourth year with anyone at the moment! :D (might not happen but still don't want to give anyone a heart attack!))

It's like the pringles adverts... once you pop you can't stop!