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Educating yourself is not only about the money you are going to earn, but finally about the person you become.
A lot of girls in our country still hesitate (or are made to hesitate) about pursuing higher education. From personal experience I realized that it is one of the best times and opportunity to learn a lot of invaluable things other than just getting a degree; Especially, if you are a girl like me who never stayed away from your parents until you graduated from your first degree, I strongly recommend on pursuing a second degree in a new city or a new country. I insist on saying discover yourself by higher education and not pleasure travel, work or living abroad/different city after marriage. Here is why.
After under graduation is the period where you are educated and mature enough to understand the world but also not old enough to be bound by pressures such as marriage/financial responsibilities. A couple of years to explore won’t hurt anyone because in the end you are going to be qualified better to face the real world. It will give you lot of time to think about your life and the path you want to travel. And the thought process will not have the entire influence of your family and the society you grew up in.
There is nothing like being in a new city with completely new people and making friends. That teaches you about handling yourself as well. You realize that you do not need your parents or sibling to tell you routes or pick/drop all the time, at the same time how to be safe and responsible. You learn to go around in all modes of transport , might even get lost but turn out fine in the end.
Time management is a huge word but if you can manage three roommates, find (wash!) clean clothes, cook/scavenge food every meal, finish assignments, attend classes, have a part-time job and also have fun in the middle of all this, I would say you will master it and make it last throughout your life. Anything similar in the future will be a breeze and make sure you retain the “having fun” part how ever busy you get. Unlike home, you won’t have your mom (or a maid ) doing things for you.
I had 5 roommates (whom I had never met before in my life) each with a different personality and dietary preference. My roommates cooked according to my dietary restrictions and I returned the favour, thus making me learn different cuisines and recipes. Also, we all had extremely busy schedules and mood swings. Living together helped us realize come what may we will be there for each other and retain our temperament. When we didn’t, we learnt qualities called apology, tolerance and forgiveness.
My classmates and friends were from different ethnicities; in that case, you tend to learn something new everyday, be it their language, culture, sports or most importantly, acceptance. It helped me break off from stereotypes that were in my head when I stayed in my house within four walls.
So, this experience will help you manage any kind of people whom you encounter in your life and to decide your relationship with them. Since these relationships are not through a job , it is much more informal and the bonding is closer.
When you are pursuing masters abroad (unless your dad has a money fountain!) you are usually on a pretty tight budget. From not caring about money or shopping I learnt how to budget and control. We used to draw a budget every month starting from finding shops that have cheaper groceries to restricting ourselves from even drinking coffee outside and make it at home instead. I would save up and wait till a sale to buy a new dress. I am not asking you to starve or be miserly but this helps you understand the value of each penny and the difference between ‘want’ and ‘need’. Again, if you have money to spare in the end, please end up spending on traveling to a new place (budget travel!) with your new set of friends.
This is one of the most important things. I was a very self-conscious person when I was in my hometown. Everyone knew me and I had a hard time being myself or even explore something simple such as a new type of dress. Once I moved I started gaining more confidence. I realized that I didn’t know anyone in the new city and so, nobody is going to judge me. That made me experiment and decide what I like and dislike. Haircut mistakes (among other things!) just because I was trying something new, friendship mistakes, travel mistakes, even going to a restaurant/movies and eating alone, exploring places, I had done it all. It makes you realize, at the end it really does not matter. Every single thing is an experience and a memory to cherish. We believe in community living in our country and nobody tells us that being comfortable on your own is good too. But you learn that when you move away . On the same note, you also realize the importance of home and family. You get a chance to miss them and love them more.
Higher education is very different from under grad. Your learning skills differ and focus more towards practical learning and it also helps you understand your strengths, weaknesses and prepare you better for the real job world. I know many who discovered new skills, mentors during grad school and completely changed their career line. This time off will help you think and understand what kind of a life partner you like without being influenced by your family or society. Who knows, you might even meet some exciting new people.
So fly away and give yourself a couple of years to study, explore and discover yourself.
In my mid-twenties , a safety specialist by profession in US. A free thinker, equalist
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