Sitting in a room of politics and social justice students, I begin to feel like Elle Woods in a room full of Jane Goodall’s.
Stepping into a foreign building on campus, I look as if I am a first-year student lost in the masses. With the heel of my loafer clicking on the linoleum, I clutch my messenger bag and look for the lecture hall. Glancing at the map on my phone, I feel as if I am walking in circles. While I know that university is about higher learning, I have never experienced a scheduled reading over ten pages long. With 30 pages of knowledge on “The Basics of Developing Countries”, I stop in front of the lecture hall scared to enter. The doubt has finally set in.
“Why the hell am I in a political science course? Why am I putting myself through this?”
After careful deliberation, I chose courses separate from my own degree. This educational change came from my desire to embrace not for profit media and social justice and political public relations. I went into this class like an open minded child, for everything that I know about developing countries was taught to me by Americano, Tomb Raider, and several National Geographics. I am not as informed as I need to be.
Sitting down in a mid row seat, I feel like I have stepped into foreign territory. Listening to the professor lecture, I try to appear as an interested pupil. As the terms, capitalism, authoritarianism, nepotism, are thrown around, I feel as if these words are flying directly over my head. While these terms are widely known, I can guarantee to you that not many people could actively explain the definitions…I for one cannot.
Carpe Diem means to seize the day, and seizing the day despite the circumstances seems to be good advice! but how can I seize the day when I would rather stay in bed watching the good wife?
While I may be a tad overwhelmed looking at my current legal/political curriculum, I am trying to persevere. I am an ‘experience minority’ in this class. When using the term ‘minority’, I am by no means referring to this term on the basis of ethnic heritage, I am linking the term to the philosophical theory of empiricism. I have an utter lack of experience in this area of study, for I have not been victim to poverty, authoritarian governments, or lack of education and resources. I have not travelled to a developing country nor have I experienced extreme conflict! I am walking into this course as a Tabula Rasa (Blank Slate). I am acting as a untarnished mind looking for knowledge and experience.
This year I am undergoing a new educational journey, and I am not going to lie…I am terrified. Terrified of going at this alone, terrified of not understanding what is happening, and terrified of being so far out of what I know (The entertainment industry) that I am scared to fail.
The basis of failure is acceptance. You only fail if you accept failure in the rawest form! By no means can you classify an attempt at education as a failure if you have not given up. If you have not thrown in the towel or given up, you cannot fail. By persevering and attempting to ‘seize the day’, you have not failed…you have accomplished the contrary, for you have succeeded. Failure is not measured by the attempt, it is calculated by the result.
As I sit in this lecture listening to the basics of human rights issues and the politics of humanitarian intervention, I understand that failure is an option, It is a very real end, but it is not something I am willing to accept.