Matt Lawson


BA Economics & Management





By Matt Lawson

Reflections on studying

Whilst term in Oxford is always hectic, it is important to take time out to reflect on what you are doing and where it is leading. The thing about education that it is important to remember is that no one gets to where they end up by walking in a straight line. It’s impossible as a 17-year-old to know exactly where you want to be in ten years’ time (although try telling that to my 17-year-old self!). What it’s important to do is to put yourself in a position where you are improving yourself, and pursuing something that you think you find interesting. It may be the case that as you dig deeper into a subject, you realise that this is incorrect, but it doesn’t matter.

The undergraduate course at Saïd Business School gives you exposure to an incredibly wide range of different disciplines, offering only a taste of what there is to learn, but enough to get you hooked. However, the negative side of having so many different courses available to and in front of you is the varied range of skills that you may have to deploy. This can be overwhelming at times.

The thing about Oxford that surprised me the most is everyone’s attitude towards helping each other. Challenging academic discussion of your work and thoughts with others can help you to discover whole new dimensions and refine your perspectives. I was lucky enough to be able to go to Nuffield College to get advice about the best way to approach Economics from a former student at my college, now completing further studies. Experiences like this help you to get the best out of your education and can’t be appreciated enough!

However, serious contemplation the whole time is going to make work daunting, and something you avoid as much as possible. The easiest way to get your deadlines done (quickly) is to stop viewing them as a big burden obstructing you having fun and start viewing them as just a different experience in your week. Working with friends helps and, particularly in the recent wave of better weather, the outside space behind Oxford Saïd is an invaluable resource – a place to enjoy your food and discussion in the sun.

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