Love What You Study

Some students have very bad experiences when it comes to their studies: stress, anxiety, depression… The list of their problems is long. But others appreciate this period of their lives, despite the stress it can provoke.

By Charlotte Robec

Numerous factors enter into play when it comes to how each and every person experiences their student years. How interested you are in what you’re studying is a huge influence.

Delphine, from France, did her university courses at the Université de Montréal. She started with a B.A. in political science, which she’d dreamed of pursuing for years, and followed that up with a graduate diploma in journalism.

Make your Choice

She explains that her study experiences were altogether positive because she loved what she was studying. The teaching system in France did not suit her; she preferred the Québec system, which gives students more freedom. So learning things by heart upset her less because what she was learning interested her, which made learning easier.

Julie, also from France, has a master’s degree in history, as well as a master’s in media, both of which she completed in France. She has always wanted to be a journalist. She confirms that she loved what she studied, and knowing what she wanted to do was a big factor in her educational success.

Teachers also play a role in the way that students experience their studies. Lisa studied for 5 years at the institute of political studies (IEP) in Toulouse, France. She recalls her professors as being very intellectually stimulating: “Most of them were funny and sympathetic,” she says, “and that got me to want to go to class.”

Managing Pressure

Appreciating what you study doesn’t entirely eliminate the stress that university generates. You also have to know how to manage that stress. Delphine says her friends in political science helped her a lot. They would review and prepare their homework together, and each would correct the others’ errors.

Lisa found her first year at the IEP more stressful than her subsequent years. There was a big difference between her lycée (high school) and her university. The quantity of work to do at university was much greater.

To unwind she didn’t go out much. Rather, she read a lot and watched films. But what helped her the most was swimming, which helped her release negative energy and better manage the pressure.

No two people experience school in exactly the same way. But loving what you do, having competent and sympathetic professors, organizing your time well and managing your stress often help one better appreciate this period in one’s life.

First seen in Reflet de Société, Vol. 27 no. 1, printemps (Spring) 2019, page 18.

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