Decision: A student of Life

I got some news! It might come as a surprise to a few of you that I won’t be pursuing the completion of my M.Sc. degree. I know, all the hard effort to move 5,000+ miles to a different country, finding a place to live, going through an extremely bureaucratic process to settle in Germany, for nothing? Well, it kind of sounds that way but after going through this I’ve found out something even more rewarding about myself. This realization has led me to analyze the way I made my decision to come to Germany and become a full-time student. Hope you enjoy and that it serves you well!

Urge for a change

Let’s start with the basics. After traveling and seeing the vast amount of damage that we have caused to the environment to have a certain lifestyle, I decided that I needed to do something about it. But the question was, What should I do? How can I help? I decided that in order to figure this out I needed to take some time off my job and work in something different. This is when I decided to move to Costa Rica for 5 weeks and work as a farmer. What a rewarding experience! In here I decided that I wanted to learn more about agriculture, soil and where our food comes from. This was the tipping point of my decision. I decided that the best way to do this was to go back to school and learn about these things. I looked for different programs and found one that met the requirements.

Reality

At first, when I decided to go back to school and obtain a graduate degree everything sounded right. Free education, abroad, new culture, new language, new people, great opportunity, so why not? What I didn’t think about is how I would feel being a 24/7 student for the next 2-years after 5.5 years of work experience and if this is how I can learn more efficiently  about what I am interested in. I failed to analyze if been an academic student (a.k.a scientist) is what I really wanted to do. I recognize that I essentially did not think about these things and I purely based my decision on how it felt at that moment in time but not about how I would feel in the future.  I also saw the masters degree as a way to get into the sustainability space to have some sort of credential to prove to others that I know what I am talking about.

Decisions

However, I can see now that I didn’t know myself well enough to recognize what actually motivates me, makes me happy and takes the best out of my potential. Questions like, “What is important to me?”, “Where do I perform at my best?”, “What am I good at?”, “What motivates me to do better day in and day out?” I couldn’t answer these three months ago and I now I feel closer to these answers. Andrea, family, friends and the special moments in life when you share time with them are a few of the things that are very important to me.

I’ve come to understand that the reason I didn’t pursue my masters degree when I graduated was simple. I didn’t see myself as an academic student again. I’m a student everyday in life, I learn from others, traveling is my best teacher and work is where I apply my lessons learned. I’ve confirmed it now. I’m very happy that I came here and went through this because without it, I would have always wondered, what if?

The Germany journey is coming to an end sooner than expected but the lessons learned are staying with me. I have met amazing people that are willing to be the change they want to see in the world and I’m very grateful for that.

In the meantime, I will be heading back home to spent time with my family and girlfriend and start to come up with my next move. This is the biggest decision I’ve had to make thus far and I’m happy I am taking it.

“Sometimes we need to take a step back to move forward.”

#keepmoving

-Gerardo

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