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  • Writer's pictureHumans of International Studies

SIDNEY (3rd year)

"Until the beginning of this year, I was so convinced that after my Bachelor of International Studies, I would be going to follow a master’s in conflict resolution. But towards the end of September, I experienced a complete breakdown. The minor that I was following at that time was draining my soul and I didn’t know if I could a master’s right after my bachelor’s. I took a deep breath and thought: “Sidney, outside of uni, what is it that you enjoy doing? I realized that I would love to learn more about photography. When I started reading about photography courses and stories of photographers in the Middle East, I started to get super engaged with photography in the Middle East.

At the beginning of my studies, I was pretty angry with myself: I was like: “come on, you went abroad, and you took the effort to come here to learn a do a lot of things, why are you not doing as much as the others are doing?” I was so lost. But I think these periods of breakdown helped me a lot. I would say, it has been paradoxically healthy, it makes you realize that you must focus on yourself instead of competing and comparing yourself with others.

You see a lot of people doing so many things at once and you start thinking: “Why can’t I be like that?”. We study a lot, we are always in this mindset of studying, going to university, doing this master’s, doing this and that... I started to realize that if you don’t do as many things as others do and if you feel like you are not as engaged and as knowledgeable as others, it is completely fine. It does not mean that you are not as smart, it means that sometimes, your interests just lay somewhere else.

Sometimes I feel like things are going in a way that is meant to be. I am grateful for what my studies have brought me, the people I have met, and the things I have learned. Had I chosen something else, I might have not ended up at this point in my life.

After my thesis, I am going to take a year for myself to get to know what environment suits me. In this year, I am going to follow a 6-month course in photography in Rome. I want to leave all the doors open from there. And having made that decision I’ve got to say: I feel relieved!” (Sidney, 3th year, Italy)

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