Using University Degrees in Writing

I am currently graduating from my second degree and I’m enrolled in my third. You may think I like punishment, but it’s more so that I still have no idea what job I want if I don’t succeed as an author.

I’m also one of those weird people who enjoys studying and learning new things. If it paid, I could be a professional student.

My first degree has been quite relevant in my writing career. I completed a Bachelor of Creative Industries in 2017, majoring in Creative Writing and Games Design. It was a new course so my group were kind of the guinea pigs going into the program.

The games design aspect was amazing, and I learnt so much. Creating games and seeing people play and enjoy them is seriously such a rewarding thing. I enjoyed being involved in creating games and, although parts of the degree were silly, I did enjoy making games.

The creative writing aspect was a bit of a conflictual thing for me. On one hand, I thoroughly enjoyed being able to write for assessment and, on the other hand, I hated being marked on biases and what the lecturer liked to read. It was also tough to write to their standard, as they are academics rather than successful authors. They have different ideas and standards to the outside world, and once I even got the ‘insult’ that I wrote like Matthew Reilly (I was bouncing off the walls in excitement at that ‘insult’).

“University can teach you skill and give you opportunity, but it can’t teach you sense, nor give you understanding. Sense and understanding are produced within one’s soul.” 

C. JoyBell C.

I found that I learnt a lot of facts throughout my degree and specific theories on how to write and such, but my writing has always come from inside me. I really do understand now just how much comes from within your soul and that University can only teach you so much.

Although it was challenging, my degree taught me a lot on how to find inspiration, overcome writers block, stick to deadlines and write to a high standard. My writing dramatically improved over the three-year course and I am very grateful that I did complete this Bachelor, despite the strange looks I would get when I said I was studying creative writing.

I’m graduating from my second Bachelor this year, a Bachelor of Business majoring in Human Resource Management. It’s definitely a change from the flowy, creative side of me. I do have a high IQ and I quite enjoy studying things that are challenging and interest me.

When I began my Bachelor, I had rather big dreams of what I could do with it. Unfortunately, after working in HR, I know it’s nothing like they teach. It has been really tough trying to finish the Business side of the degree, as it has ben mainly focused on starting up your own business and I have zero interest in that! (I don’t want the responsibility of employees hired by me. I don’t even like being a manager!)

I realised, at the end of last year, what it was that drew me to study HR. It wasn’t anything to do with the positions or what I could do with it, rather it was focused on the psychological side to things. I’ve always been interested in psychology and my dream in high school was to be a psychologist.

“The purpose of psychology is to give us a completely different idea of the things we know best.”

Paul Valery

Recently, I made the decision to return to University again for my third (and hopefully final) undergrad degree: Bachelor of Psychology. I’m really passionate about psychology and, even if my writing is successful, I still want to work as a psychologist.

Psychology is intriguing, and I’m really invested in being able to not only help people, but also use my knowledge in my writing. I think, if I know more of the psychological aspects of how the brain works I can use this in my writing and improve on it.

“A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.”

Charles Dickens

I find that everything I’ve studied helps me in my writing. My creative writing degree obviously helped me to improve my writing, but my other degrees have also helped. I use my business degree in my writing, utilising it to portray businesses and how people interact within a workplace.

I don’t use a huge amount of my business degree in writing, but I do find a way to incorporate it. I don’t want it to end up being a wasted degree, so I do my best to use it and I do refer back to my Human resources text books to write about working groups and HR aspects.

“The brain is wider than the sky.”

Emily Dickinson

I’m most excited about my psychology degree. I know I will really be able to use it in my writing. I enjoy being able to use my studying within my writing and implementing psychological traits into my characters will make them more dynamic and interesting.

I’d love the opportunity to open discussions about mental health and create characters who struggle with real issues like PTSD, depression and anxiety and be able to normalise treatment and talking about those issues. I really do want mental health issues to be open for discussion and I believe that implementing those issues into characters in my novels will help young adults, and anyone who reads my writing, to open up to someone.

you studied anything and are you using what you learnt in writing?

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