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Inside the daily world of Luana Spinetti

Still a Student, After All (I Will Never Stop)

The Student Life, Thoughts · November 5, 2014, Wednesday · 7 comments

Hello! 😀 Guess what? I’ve almost completely recovered. Such a good feeling!

Me, Luana, with my headphones

I have completed an article for a client today and done some social media work for them, so I feel good and accomplished. Now, time to update my personal blog and have some fun with my Character Blogs, too. Yup!

So, today’s post is about studying. Oh, I know some of you will make a face and say, “nooo, studying is awful! All that yucky homework to get done, bleh!”.

Well, I know there are teachers out there who make it really hard to enjoy a subject (been there, done that), but that’s not the ‘studying’ I’m referring to.

I used to be a university student until 2012. Computer Science undergraduate. I was really slow to progress on exams, though, because in addition to my health issues I had almost no background in Mathematics and computer architecture, so everything was new to me and I had to absorb it bit by bit.

Never mind, I told myself, I love it so much that it doesn’t matter how long I take to graduate, as long as I DO graduate, right?

Some people around me had different thoughts about the matter, though. Long story short, there was this strong idea that paying several years of tuition (albeit I paid half of it with my own money) for a student with health issues who doesn’t make steady progress wasn’t a good idea, so I was strongly pressured to quit.

[NOTE: I know I shouldn’t have cared about that idea, but not being financially independent and the excess stress and pressure added to my ‘malfunctioning’ and made studying almost impossible.]

I didn’t quit, though— I just put my studies on hold. I don’t pay tuition anymore, but my university ID is still active, so while I can’t take exams, I can still use the library and the CS lab.

I keep in touch with my old classmates, I attend to student reunions (in semi-incognito, as I can’t participate actively) and I give and get advice on subjects.

I still study. I attend lectures every time I can drop by the faculty, I study lecture materials that professors put online and I email professors who know my story and agreed to keep an open channel with me. (They also hope I’ll be back as a full- or part-time student, some day!)

So you see, I’m still a student, after all. And I will never stop being one.

It’s not just my university. I keep studying thanks to free materials from MIT’s Open Courseware and public course pages, and websites like Coursera and Udacity that let you enroll to university-grade courses for free.

Some people now know they can’t do anything to stop me.

Besides, I’m a freelancer thanks to my multi-area studies. I tend to use what I learn, so it’s thanks to the notions of Linguistics if I can write a better English and do better text translations for clients; and it’s thanks to Automata Theory if I learned to recognize patterns behind a language (natural or artificial) and understand programming better.

And if I’m starting to get a name in the freelance marketing field, it’s because I studied Marketing and SEO on my own.

So this is really it: I can be taken out of university but, in a way, university can’t be taken out of me.

This is who I am, and I love it.

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Luana Spinetti