And so it comes. The days of formal university study draw ever closer, and I'm in the midst of properly committing my choices of study.
Won't lie, it's freaking daunting. System is more complex than I was prepared for, but what's more important is the agency thrust upon me this time. Maybe I had some choice in picking general subjects for school so far, but this is really tailoring my schedule to fine detail. I'm a little paranoid of missteps, especially when the grading system isn't forgiving. Probably overthinking this now though. Besides, it does allow for personal freedom and variety in curriculum... to some extent.
Meanwhile I'm bracing myself for the plunge into the lecture/tutorial system. I dealt with a lighter version of that in JC, but now it gets harder. Not as much hand-holding, barely any this time. Or so I expect, with the tighter time constraints for both teachers and students. Likely means the help I get from coursemates may be more valuable now.
It's a strange new place I'm about to venture into, but it's still a bubble of sorts, like the last few academic years. I still have the luxury to find good footing on a chosen path and seek opportunities along the way. I still have a good chance to learn things beyond my usual specialties.
I kinda wish I could just continue to learn, without the penalty of forgoing options for independent sustainable living, or the limitation of time and mortality and money. Scarcity is a frustrating conundrum. All the more a whole branch of study blossomed out of figuring out ways to cope with this.
I'm sure that even nearing the twilight of my life, I'd still be haunted by curiosity for mysteries around me. The urge to not leave this world forever without knowing all its secrets is an annoying itch that's hard to scratch.
I sorta prefer a schooling system that is free form, providing questions for incoming students to ponder upon and investigate - questions like "Why do some things reflect better than others?" or "Why does music sound the way it does today?" or "What could other life out there be like?" - and gradually introduce resources & tools relevant in aiding the student's inquisition, whichever topics they choose. Free choice of topics, provided the prerequisite knowledge is present, if any. Free pace of study, limited only by final project deadline. Strongly encouraged inter-disciplinary study/collaboration (though narrow specialisation is fine too).
I guess there are a few measures put in place to encourage adults to continue lifelong learning. Company subsidies, night classes for adults... But how often do people take up on that? Do they engage in further learning because they really do want to learn for their own sake? Or is it purely for job security?
To lose the desire to follow through curiosity for its own sake... that's what I want to avoid.
We'll see how this goes, given that there won't be any revolutionary overhaul of the educational system here during the time I'll be studying...