"University is my hobby" - interview with Paola, Italian student and worker

“When I finished my secondary school I was sure that my university studies would have helped me to find the job of my dreams. I was encouraged by my family, too.

After starting the university I realized that it was not really easy to achieve what I wanted and university would only give me the theorical knowledge that I could not get anywhere else.

For this reason I started to consider the study only as a means to increase my personal knowledge and I started to work (in the meanwhile).

At that time, when I started my studies, having a degree was useful not only for the theoric education but also for future job opportunities; however, after four years the tuition fees doubled. So at the first opportunity I accepted a part-time job to pay my studies, then it became a full-time job and I have not graduated yet and I still study. This is not the job I always dreamed about but it allows me to live while university is my hobby”.

Paola is an Italian girl based in Foggia, South Italy. She is 28 years old.

foto di Tamurello su Flickr.

Not a bad idea, actually

I am confortable with the idea of learning as a hobby. I mean, I am doing a Ph.D. at the age of 46! It is hard to consider it an investment. But I love what I do, it is just so interesting.

My father, now semi-retired, developed an interest in mathematics late in life. He was supposed to retire completely and start college to do a degree in mathematics (he is now 72). But he has not actually gotten around to it…yet. I guess learning is just a great hobby, and if you do it as a hobby you can learn about fascinating things that are difficult to monetize. Especially the humanities.