I thought I was done by this point but for some reason I headed upstairs to the Non-fiction section and found myself grabbing a handful of intriguing factual books.
I wasn't intending to get any non-fiction books from the library but something just drew me up the escalator into that part of the area. Lately I've had this yearning for knowledge, to learn something new or to read about the things I used to know a lot about (does anybody else find that knowledge fades from your mind when you no longer have a use for it?) I graduated from University six years ago now and recently I've really begun to miss that environment. I miss lectures and seminars. I miss reading three books a week for various classes. I miss researching and writing essays, spending hours in the university library eating chocolate and getting highlighter all over my fingers.
I would love to go back to University and get my Masters degree but I know it won't happen. The only place in the country to get a Masters in American Studies is in London and I guess I don't feel like an American Literature course would suit me. I've never really contemplated doing a Writing Masters either. I feel sort of like there's not much I could learn about writing that I didn't learn at Undergraduate level and that I can't learn through the act of writing itself.
But maybe I don't need to go back into the world of academics. Maybe all I need to do is try and actively learn. Not being in work has left me feeling a little lost, in limbo sort of. I think what I need to do is try and use some of my spare time to teach myself things. Not necessarily a language or anything else so specific. More like just reading about the things that interest and fascinate me. I want to read books about Science and Psychology, about Feminism and History and Religion. I want to broaden my knowledge base and open up my mind. And so I'm going to stop letting my mind rot just because I'm not at work or in education. I'm going to stop using my mental health issues as an excuse to stagnate and actually start to learn again. I'm actually pretty excited about it. I think that in some way, it may help with my writing too. Learning new things always sparks new ideas in your mind, helps build connections between things. I think it could make my writing richer.
I'm sorry if this post was a bit of a rambling, navel gazing piece but this stuff was on my mind. Do any of you guys get what I mean? I know some of my regular readers are University graduates. How do you feel now that you're no longer in education? Do you miss learning? Do you still try and learn new stuff on your own?