I had many moments of doubt before starting my master’s degree. Is it worth the money? Am I ready for the workload that lies ahead? Is there something else I’m supposed to be doing with my life right now? Like most things in life, you can’t know until you try. I have been at the LSE for just over a week now, but somehow in this short space of time I have become surer of both this journey and myself.
Take last week, for example. I attended a lecture and seminar with a black professor. While this might not mean much to most, it meant so much to me. We discussed race, ethnicity, and the ability to identify as British or English while being black. In short, we grappled with the fluidity of identity. I felt so comfortable and it was so refreshing. Throughout my British university experience, I had never—until last week—been taught by a black academic. Yet here I am, discussing something as personal as identity in a classroom with a black woman in all her glory!
I felt inspired. I am exactly where I am supposed to be.
Over the past week I have felt intellectually challenged and had my eyes opened to so many concepts, theories and practices on a global level. I have met people from so many walks of life and everybody’s individual journey has both inspired and motivated me.
I have learnt so much in such a short space of time and it excites me. While the reading lists for each module appear almost crippling, I am actually interested and stimulated by the research and findings.
I spent the first half of the year doing a job I hated. I never felt challenged and I became disengaged. To start these last few months of 2019 feeling so motivated is the kind of positive change I needed. In the coming year I hope to make my mark. As part of the executive team for the LSE Africa Summit 2020, I can’t wait to shape important conversations concerning Africa and shed light on key issues happening in the continent today.
As someone who is British and of Ugandan descent and as co-founder of the online social enterprise ‘United African Diaspora’, I have always felt the diaspora should engage more with what’s happening in their respective countries or the continent on a whole. That’s what inspired me to pursue a MSc. I want to learn more about how to implement international policy effectively, whilst ensuring that such changes positively impact the most marginalised.
Of course, I have had days where I’m overwhelmed and even wondered how I got here. But I keep reminding myself that I have one year to grab all the opportunities thrown my way. For anyone else experiencing moments of doubt, just remember you can’t go wrong by being yourself. In the wise words of Issa Rae, “your own knowledge and experience is unrivalled. Nobody knows what you know, like you know what you know. The way you see things is pretty unique.” So speak up, stand out and own your space.
Note: This article gives the views of the authors, and not the position of the Social Policy Blog, nor of the London School of Economics.