Pretending to do an MSc

In my quest to work out if I really do want to return to study, I took a trip to the Arts & Social Science library at the University of Bristol this week. My method is simple; to pretend I’m a student to test if I want to enrol as one. That’s possible with thanks to the unit guide library  supplied by the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies.

Thanks is also due to the visitor access that allowed me to pop in, and to the graduate visitor card I have now have which means I can actually borrow books! I’m genuinely excited, and very grateful.

It had been about a year since I last visited the library, as it was about a year ago I decided after the first term that it was not the right time for me to continue the MSc Public Policy.

Rather than study, I made a decision to take more direct control over my working life and ability to ‘make a difference’; I opened a whole-food shop, Replenish Weston.

The shop aims to help local people purchase and consume more ethically by:

  • reducing packaging and food waste by allowing customers to bring their own containers to refill, buying just what they need
  • selling organic and GMO free food
  • selling fairtrade goods
  • buying from worker-owned co-operatives
  • selling only vegan and vegetarian food

Running the shop has allowed me the time to focus on what it is I really strive for in life, and it’s really quite simple; I don’t want my choices to have a negative impact on the living things I share this planet with. I believe that as individuals we are interdependent, but we are not yet equal. I know that many of my choices – the food I eat, the clothes I wear, the energy burnt to power my entertainment – oppresses and exploits people and the planet; but production and trade seems so complex and opaque that it is very difficult to know how to avoid this. I want to understand the complexities that I can’t yet see so that I can live life doing as little harm as possible, and to use the knowledge I gain to help others do the same.

I think studying International Relations or International Security might help.

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