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.