Posted in Personal Blogging

Life Update: Academics.

Hello, I am a shitty person and always forget what I’ve promised to do with the blog.

So here’s a new life update that I was supposed to write in November!!! Yay!!

So as whoever reads this might already know, I started to study a major back in 2012 and finished it in 2015. I also entered a teaching program in my university but crashed and burnt soon after, because of reasons that were already disclosed in another post.

That program took a lot out of me and made me question many things about myself and who I am and what I wanted to do. Basically it destroyed me as a person and it took a while for me to get back on my feet and into a frame of mind in which I could actually think about my future.

It’s been a while since that and I have used all this time to make sure the next step I take is the step to take.

Of course that I’ve second guessed absolutely everything about this.

  • Do I want to do this?
  • Can I do this?
  • Am I sure this is the right thing to do?
  • Am I even good enough for this?

The answer to all these questions were not always yes, but lately I’ve started to feel a lot more comfortable picturing this new future.

I am not always 100% confident about my writing skills, my talent, my intelligence or really anything at all. But I want this.

I want this as much as I wanted my major that first time. It’s not a want like other people want things. It’s not about being completely confident all the time, but the certainty that no matter what I will always want to do this. As I said, if I struggle, if I suffer, if I start to hesitate, it will not be in vain. Whatever happens, it will all be worth it. It will be for something important, something I love.

So, what am I exactly going to do with my future?

Well, I am going to apply to the University of Sussex. More specifically I will apply to two Masters.

Why 2?

Because you should always have more than one option when thinking about your future, and because both are things that I truly, really adore. Oh, and apparently the university gives me the option of “combining” them no matter which one I get into.

The programs are Creative and Critical Writing, and Sexual Dissidence.

Creative and Critical Writing is a program where apart from learning about the basics of writing (both in academic and creative settings) students are allowed to explore other areas like history, psychoanalysis, queer theory and others. I like that kind of challenge and freedom that the program offers. And I really, really want to challenge myself like this and explore other areas of my writing that might have been neglected. I remember enjoying writing about history and different influences in writing.

I already explored varied options in the years I spent studying English Linguistics and Literature. I was allowed to take so many different classes that taught us different theories and approaches and allowed us to shape out own writing and way of thinking. I will never forget my presentation about “On Naive and Sentimental Poetry” back in Literary Theory, or the different ways in which we studied the waves of Feminism.

So I’m really looking forward to be able to deepen this knowledge and apply to my experiences and writing.

This would lead me into an academic path.

Sexual Dissidence, on the other hand, is more personal. This does have something to do with my academic experience and expectations. I, after all, chose to write my graduation seminar about Identity (specifically gender identity) in the book Kiss of the Fur Queen written by Tomson Highway, and I loved -and holy shit suffered so much- working on it. I think the perks and downside of choosing to work on this is how personal it is, how visceral the whole experience is.

Sexual Dissidence goes beyond any academic prospect I might ever have. This is not about a future in Academics, this is about my life. This is about who I am and who I was and who I will be. This is about people like me, and the way we’ve lived our life. This whole program is about exploring dimensions of my persona and how it is reflected or how it differs  from others.

I’m as excited as I am afraid of working on this, because it demands an understanding and exploration that we usually try to avoid. I don’t know about you but I have never really met myself, only the version I’ve devised for the consumption of other people. Meeting my true self, with all her defects and struggles and maybe even good things, it terrifies me.

I’m also scared of how such a study would affect me. And by scared I mean I’m excited to have something new and important to defend. I want to work on something meaningful, something that’ll help others and that can be extrapolated not only from theories and studies but also myself. I want to know how my personal experience (you know, coming from an extremely catholic family and having had to struggle with the ally/actually-queer-person thing, and then coming out to my parents in such a way that they thought I was joking, so I kind of have to come out every couple of days).

I want to talk about why the song Heaven makes me cry. I want to understand why. I want to know if other people feel the same way.

I want to talk about self-harm and what it did to me. How it hindered me but also helped me get by so much.

I need this in a way that goes beyond education. And I am afraid of how much I actually want it.

This, I believe, would lead me into a more social destination.

I want both of this options so much, and for different reasons. They both are part of me, an important part. One is me as a writer, and the other one is just me.

I will apply to Creative and Critical Writing as my first option because I love writing and I know you can reach people through it (Hello We Need More Diverse Books). But I will also apply to Sexual Dissidence because I just can’t ignore that other side of myself.

Now, to do all this I need to do several things:

  • Get a certificate that I actually graduated from something already.
  • Ask for a certificate with all my grades.
  • Write a personal statement (this is kind of my rehearsal).
  • Get two recommendation letters for each program.
  • Have a decent CV.
  • Send samples of writing.
  • Get a passport.
  • Get a Visa.
  • Apply for a scholarship.
  • Certify that I have a good level of English (I have my IELTS test on January 7).

I am working on doing all this right now, like step by step because I don’t want to get overwhelmed and then just second guess everything I do.

Oh, during all the investigation and tears that came with it, my friends and I met a representative from the University of Sussex who has been a God sent in all this. For real.

I mean, this person not only is awesome at their job, they also have incredible social skills. They made us feel so welcome and appreciated. They advised us on all things academic and even shared a bit about the kind of activities and life we’d have once we got in. Not once did he ever act like we wouldn’t get in, which made us all feel incredibly confident about the whole thing.

We honestly fell in love with this person, who even offered to proofread our Personal Statements to make sure we wouldn’t do what most Latin American people do, which is to be too humble about everything.

WHAT AN AWESOME PERSON AM I RIGHT?!

So yeah. If someone deserves a raise in this world is this person.

Seriously.

By the way, when I say “My friends and I” I mean that some friends are considering the same university as me but they’re both 100% fixated on studying Sexual Dissidence. Both of them are some of the most talented and passionate people I have ever met and I am more than certain that they’ll make it.

They are aware of the emotional demands of the major, and since they both have had radically different experiences from my own and their own struggles, they know what it would entail. But that’s the thing: They are amazingly brave and beautiful and they are willing to go through it all to do something meaningful. They want to help people, to understand and be understood beyond the academic world. They want to do this program because they have plans to use it to help others, to change the way organizations (which have a lot of problems in Latin America and Chile) work and see sexuality and gender.

I am so proud of them and I can’t wait to see what they’ll do with this.

Now, because all of us want Sussex we are planning on living together. We won’t be living in dorms or other accommodation in campus, but renting a house in Brighton.

This is another area where our newest love and representative of Sussex is helping us. They told us how life is in Brighton, told us about the cultural environment and about the festivities, and of course Pride!

This person is, yet again, going above and beyond with all this because they are going to help us look for a house! Since the university has already options available of people who take in students and are trustworthy.

I think living with people I already know and love will make all this 100 times better and less stressful. As I said, Sexual Dissidence is a very personal topic for all of us so having that emotional support from someone who understand how deep this interest runs and why it is so vital to us is incredibly relieving.

The friends that are going with me are Bee (who you may remember from my Halloween post) and a friend that I’ll call Henry who suffered through the Teaching program with me and who has been a huge emotional support for me. Oh, and I think one of Bee’s friends will go with us. He’s one of those close friends that I only just met last year but I already love, we’ll call him Zack, who matches all three of us and hopefully won’t go mad sharing a house with us.

So, yeah. This was the much promised Academic update.

I will try to keep you posted about it all as things progress.

-L.

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Author:

23-year-old writer from Chile. Currently reading, writing, and trying not to lose my mind.

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