Highschool Diploma

Posted February 2013

With my Master’s nearing its end, I need to prepare for what comes next, whatever that may be. Work in a degree related job is what I think most are pursuing and would rather expect. Personally I came to the conclusion that if I am going to continue to study, it would be for myself, not for a job. In the past I had thought, get my Bachelor’s, get a permanent job, and retire. As I see many recent graduates here in Finland struggle to find work, and look also at my own job search struggle since 2009 (Already been 4 years since my last degree), I can no longer look at studies as a means to an end. It may sound in essence negative attitude; it is not. It is quite positive as I see it, as one no longer looks at studies as a where will it get me? To more of a, what can I learn? Attitude. It comes from the freedom the Finnish education system gives its students. This freedom, well, comes from a tuition free education. If one has to pay, then decisions have a direct cost. During my Bachelor’s I had a scholarship for my tuition. The criteria to keep it, certain grades and a 4-year limit, restricts students. It’s not unreasonable to hold a student accountable for a scholarship, but it turns part of the studies into a game of points and averages. Classes are avoided, dropped, or swapped in order to keep the money and graduate on time.

Anyway, the point is that at the moment I’m busy applying to interesting Bachelor’s and Master’s programs throughout Finland again (Don’t worry, I do plan to finish my current Master’s). I found it a bit ridiculous that the schools here have made me hunt down a high school diploma hidden away someplace in Egypt that I doubted even still existed. Apparently in Finland a University degree is not evidence enough of a high school education. Reminds me of trying to get a Chilean driver’s license despite not being able to show an 8th grade diploma… or having to go to New York to simply sign a document. At times bureaucracy seems as if it can be a bit counterproductive. So. We will see how the future goes. It would be nice to have a job that paid enough for me to contribute taxes back to the system that I plan to continue to take advantage of.

Oh, yeah. On another note, apparently four police officers came to look at my garden while I was taking an afternoon nap. Since they didn’t knock, leave a note or anything, I would have never known if it weren’t for the neighborhood. It’s nice to have someone around willing to jump out and ask questions. Story goes that they were looking for someone elsewhere in the building and decided to pop in here. Seems a bit strange, but it is comforting to know that I have plenty of eyes watching out 🙂 . Oh, and speaking of which, I’m now president of the neighborhood.

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