“So, what will you do after you have finished your studies?” I have never liked this question, since I decided to enrol in two degree programmes without a ‘specific’ job profile attached to them. I study Anglophone Literatures and Cultures and Conservation Biology and Biodiversity Management – not exactly degree programmes where it is immediately apparent to others what you ‘are’ after graduation. But I am not really worried about others: I believe that if you are passionate about your field of research, the motivation and the energy needed to translate that into a job just come naturally.
Either way, this degree programme has definitely made me a different person. Because even though both of my degree programmes appear to be very different at first glance, they have one thing in common: They have taught me critical thinking. My time at the Department of English and American Studies was shaped by the humanities. I had to challenge my typical ways of thinking, question ideologies and dogmas and improve my skills of self-reflection. In particular, this degree programme has shown me that the road to a more open-minded society is still a long one and that any societal change begins with oneself. The Department of Botany and Biodiversity Research is focused less on how people live with one another, but rather on how we relate to and treat our environment. The impact of the increasingly worrying decline in biodiversity and the accelerating climate change are becoming more apparent by the day. It is clear that there is still a lot to be done in this area.
Since my degree programmes are so different, I realised that I want to go on to improve not only the relationship between humans, but also the relationship between humans and their environment. I am currently still in the process of figuring out how I will do that. One thing is for sure: “Gotta have faith, faith, faith.” – Karina Reiter