Surrounded by negativity.

Why you are unsure about returning to study

Every day you are hit by something that unconsciously makes you unsure about returning to study. The worst thing is that you might not even notice the impact that it has on your final choice. We previously discussed how the external environment can influence your decision-making when choosing what to study.

If you haven’t read that and want to find out more, you can find it here “What Degree should I do?”. In this post we will tackle how to beat this negativity blocking your return to education. If you become more self-aware, you will recognise these situations instantly.

Surrounded by negativity every day. Mature student

We have seen how when choosing the right Degree for you (or any high-level education), you might face a sort of “nudging” towards certain subjects. This happens when you are unsure about what to study, and rather than looking for the answer in the best place (yourself), you start gathering info and opinions from everybody around you.

Therefore, you hear what people around you want you or “suggest” to study, or what the society promotes as the “job of the future”. This sort of influence is also present even before making that decision. It’s basically there when you are still thinking :”Is it worth it? I’m unsure about returning to study”.

Now let’s examine this external environment in more details. I believe this creates a sort of unconscious negativity that keeps you away, or delaying, from education. Again, dividing this into different layers will make it easier to identify, and hopefully to get rid of:

  • The first, and easiest to spot, is the “close negativity”.
  • The second, harder to spot, is the “system negativity”.

The “close negativity”: you? Starting University? Are you joking?

This is probably the easiest to identify, but also the one that hits the hardest. Why? Because generally it comes from people close to you, people that you trust, friends or relatives. Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean they are not your friends or that they don’t support you.

Most of the time they won’t even realize the consequences of what they say. But one sentence, just one, it’s all it takes to make your confidence crumble; “you? Starting University? Are you joking?” Then you start doubting yourself and your plan to go back to education. After all, they know you well, they are probably right. Are they?

feeling unsure about returning to study

No, they are not, as simple as that. The real question you need to ask yourself is another: do they really know all aspects of me? What about that specific aspect, the one focused on changing your life with knowledge? It’s likely that you never spoke about it with anybody because it only came up lately!

That’s why some people react with negativity, they simply don’t know that aspect of you. They know an old version of you, while you are presenting them with a new one. Their reaction could make you more unsure about returning to study!

How to beat the “close negativity”

The answer is: focus on your new version of yourself! Don’t be scared of showing your interest for knowledge just because some people reacted that way, you now know the reason why that happened. Mostly, don’t let those reactions put you off, you have other things to focus on, there is no time for “close negativity”.

Getting opinions from people close to you is important, but giving the right weights on those opinions is as important! Whatever you decide, do it for yourself, don’t go back to education to prove other people wrong. Yes, you read that right! I know, it might sound controversial, but the only person you have to prove wrong is… the old version of yourself!

helping you returning to study

Set your goal and follow that regardless. It’s only by showing your ambitions without being scared of what other people think that you will change their perception of you. You will see that those who are really close to you will support you in your new adventure!

The “system negativity”: unemployment rate rises to…

The hardest to spot, the system negativity unconsciously brings you down mostly when thinking about the future, and so about your return to education too. It is hard to identify because you are surrounded by it every day, and over the long run you get so used to it that you don’t even notice it anymore.

This is what you hear everyday, where negative things are highlighted and repeated over and over. Why? Because they cause a bigger shock than positive things. Thus, they attract more and sell to a larger audience. It’s modern marketing science, it uses Greek rhetoric fundamentals and let me tell you they still work nowadays!

Reading the news. Economy, recession, unemployment.

Again, don’t get me wrong, people should always know the official future projections, there is a massive work behind those stats. However, what happens when you are thinking about returning to study to find a better job, and everyday all you hear is: the economy is falling, job losses, businesses closing down, unemployment rate keeps rising and so on?

You might not even notice it, but these news are unconsciously giving you a picture in your head of a terrible future. So why should you even bother going back to education if the future will be like that? They bring you down and you don’t even realize it, making you unsure about returning to study!

Making you feel unsure about going back to study

Now you finally see, this is the problem with the negative system around you. It just tells you how the situation in the future is likely to be, but it never tells you how to prepare for it. It kills your hopes, brings down your morale. What I personally find really annoying, is that all this is so counterproductive.

Why? Because people with low morale do not bring enough innovation, which is at the core of economy and progress. Nonetheless, the ” system negativity” keeps bombing you over and over, every day, every hour, every minute, every second.

How to beat the “system negativity”

Think out of the box, research about the opportunities that will arise in those projected future scenarios, push your innovation! How can you do that? With education, there you have your key. I have discussed some of the best subjects in another article, you can find it here if interested: “What to study for future jobs in the UK”.

Now we are living a unprecedented economic crisis due to Covid, you hear the news every day of the falling economy, but what are you doing to be ready for what comes after? Have you ever wondered why wealthy people keep getting wealthier as opposed to the “average”? They prepare!

Beat the negativity. Overcome fears.

I will tell you something. Before starting University, when I was still thinking whether or not to make the step, I was worried because at that time there was an economic recession. Even worse, after starting University, Brexit happened and I was worried about finding a job after.

Was that true? If I had let that influence my decision about returning to study, I would be still here thinking about it. The only difference it would be that now the problem is not Brexit, but the economic crisis deriving from the pandemic instead. On this topic, here you can find my article about it: “why Brexit is an opportunity to find a better job”.

Still unsure about returning to study?

Do you see what I mean? It’s the same story again and again, there is always an economic crisis or a recession! Don’t let the “system negativity” affects your decision to return to education, it’s actually the reason why you should. Again, I have talked about this in separate post, you can find it here if interested: “Why this is the right time to study as a mature student”.

If you let that negativity win, maybe thinking to wait another year to see if things improve, you will never start. Just like I would have never started if I’d let mine win, and as a result I would now still be stuck in my job and complaining everyday.

“Care about what other people think, and you will always be their prisoner.” – Lao Tzu

2 thoughts on “Why you are unsure about returning to study

  1. Great post! I’d never really thought of “close negativity” before but after reading your post I definitely agree! I think if we become aware of it, we have a better chance of beating it 🙂

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