5 February 2020
I am a mature student and I started studying Politics at ARU last year. Since starting I’ve realised how much I’ve changed: professionally and personally.
Studying politics goes beyond what you may think! It's about being able to think, analyse and deal with politics in a systematic and structured way, so arguments support relevant opinions.
Politics is a multidisciplinary career, which includes a wide variety of primary subjects like sociology, history, philosophy and psychology. In optional modules, you will find more specific topics like criminology, or politics or more localised areas. It is, therefore, challenging, as you need to adapt to different disciplines; there are various ways to write, do research and evidence your work. I learned to be flexible and adaptable to achieve excellent academic practice in different styles. The in-depth study of everyday issues helps you to see that things are not as simple as we think.
Today, politics is everywhere and having a strong impact on all of us. Still, the overload of information and how this information is given to the public can be (and is) misleading or empty of arguments to sustain certain conclusions. I believe it is of paramount importance to be critical in this day and age. We need to question everything, even ourselves, even our core beliefs. And studying politics, I have learned to question those constructively and confidently.
What I enjoy most is finding understanding on certain subjects, the light that comes with evidence and methodological practice. You get to evolve. Subjects or questions become stronger and more complete; thoughts become a strong base for your opinion because you questioned it, and proved it against the opposite argument.
Being able to question yourself brings professional understanding, the ability to change when circumstances require it. Being adaptable is so important in the 21st century. I am also learning the importance of finding a consensus with those with whom I beg to differ. The only way to do this is to put your opinion and ideologies aside, question whether other people may have different values or priorities and then try to see the problems from others' perspective. This can be applied to work but also in personal relationships.
Politics helped me widen my perspective and acquire a more holistic method to judge and make decisions. I don't see only one part of the equation and jump to conclusions; politics is where I realised how much we are part of an ecosystem within society. Each one of us has a place and a reason to be. Even those who we might not necessarily agree with!
By Ana Serrano, BA (Hons) Politics student