Stuck in my dream

Selin Eșsiz

Studying is important, but doing a study you love is even more important. What makes people choose to study econometrics? What motivation do they have to keep going? What reason do they have to still be at the study at the end of their first year? All these questions can be summarized as one: “Why?”.

All Econometrics students that went through their first year will recognize the “Why?”. It is one of the assignments made at the Academic Skills course in the last period of the first year. Every student writes about the reason he or she chose the study, and the reason he or she is still here.

Selin Eșsiz is currently in her last year of the Bachelor. In 2018 she also wrote a beautiful “Why”. Fortunately, she was willing to share it with us:

Stuck in my dream

Dreams. The moment you have one, it all feels very good. It feels like you have a purpose in life, like you have something to strive for. However, dreams don’t come without doom; sometimes you tend to forget the things around you. Or in my case: you forget to listen to your heart, because you are stuck in that dream.

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to study Law and become a lawyer. The idea of helping people with my knowledge appealed to me. It became my dream, a dream that blinded me and made me think about nothing else. It felt like my brain was only able to think about it, and for someone like me that always prefers using her brain, it really meant I was stuck. People around me were always surprised when I told them about it. Everyone knew my favourite subject at high school was math, and I was always the best in class. Econometrics caught my attention when my math teacher told me about the existence of the study. My brain didn’t want to hear about it, but for some reason my heart felt attracted to it. Despite the fact that I already planned my future; I decided to visit the tasterday of Law and Econometrics at the VU. With enthusiasm and totally no idea this day would change my life, I went to the VU. The feeling I had after this day was everything but good.

Everyone has probably ever experienced how a ‘fall-dream’ feels. First, you are sleeping very peacefully with a nice dream…. but suddenly the ground beneath you disappears and it feels like you are falling into a bottomless pit, until you eventually wake up out of breath.

The feeling of such a ‘fall’, was the feeling I had that day when I went home. That day I noticed that Econometrics did attract me more than Law did. And I really felt that I couldn’t do Law, but still my brain wasn’t accepting it.  I was stuck in my dream.

On a rainy day I walked across the streets of Amsterdam to ask myself over and over again why I can't let this dream go. On a certain moment I realised why: I always thought the reason I wanted to study Law was because I was attracted to the study. But that actually wasn't the reason behind it. It was because of my Turkish background. In the Turkish culture there are more or less three studies which can be seen as “most respected”: Medicine, Architecture ánd Law. I did not want to deprive my parents of the pride they would feel if I studied Law and become a lawyer, by choosing another bachelor that no one knew about. People who know me, know that I hate disappointing others. I try to avoid disappointing others, because it gives me the worst feeling that there exist. That is why I kept my ‘dream’ to study Law. A rule that I was still following was: ‘Sometimes it is better to be unhappy, than to make unhappy’.  Until I could not take it no longer and I chose, for the first time in my life, to follow my heart and let my old dream go.

It wasn’t easy to convince my parents about this study. They told me they didn’t mind and they were proud anyway, but the sparkle I had in my eyes when I talked about this bachelor, wasn’t reflected by their eyes. In the end, I never convinced them before I had to register for a study, but I knew I had to do this study. And I never regretted it.

Right now it is approximately one year after I registered for the study, and I am only one course away of getting my propedeuse in Econometrics and Operations Research. I don’t know how I ended up here, but I know why; I wanted to follow my heart and free myself of my old dream. I never thought it would lead to a better decision than following my brain, but the contrary has been proven. If there is one thing I learnt out of this path, it is that dreams can change and it is not your brain that notices this, but your heart! ♡

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