As time passes, more and more students are getting attracted to a degree in philosophy. Philosophy, as a conventional course of study, is gaining prominence with each passing year. It is becoming more and more popular as a course, as something that can be studied in a classroom with fifty other students. it is becoming more and more conventional as a course, in the sense that it is becoming easier for students to pursue this branch of education. One of the biggest attractions that this course has is that it is related to knowledge, thought, reason and logic. Unlike any other course of study, it seeks to answer the big and basic questions of life.
If there is one thing that you can be sure about, it is that a degree in philosophy is nothing like any other course. There are a lot of things to know before deciding to pursue a degree in philosophy. Pursuing a degree in Philosophy is not easy. It requires the students to put in a huge amount of time and effort.
If you are somebody who is planning on taking a degree in philosophy, you are going to need a lot of advice. There are a lot of things that you would need to know before you actually start the course.
Here are the best ten pieces of advice that you would need to keep in mind if you wish to pursue a degree in philosophy and do well during your time in the college:
1. You should be prepared for a time-consuming course
Although it is mentioned above that a degree is nothing like the other courses that can be called more-conventional, there is one thing that this course has in common with the other courses. It is highly time-consuming. As a student, before you join the school and begin with your course, it is necessary that you understand what you are in for. The course is going to demand more of you than anything has ever had, but you should be ready to give it all you have got. That is the only way for you to make the most of the course.
If you are going for a degree in philosophy, do not expect a lighter workload. You will have a lot of projects and it will be important that you finish all these projects on time. The course will require you to spend a lot of thought and effort on a daily basis and you should be able to do that. So, consider this before you actually start applying for a degree in philosophy.
2. Consider whether or not Philosophy is for you or not
Although Philosophy is arguably one of the oldest academic disciplines in the world, it is not like any other academic discipline. The course does not discuss conventional questions. It does not teach you facts. In fact, one can go to the extent of saying that philosophy makes you unlearn all the facts that you have already learnt through your life. It makes the students address and consider what might be regarded as the most basic questions of life, questions that the mankind seems to have forgotten about, and questions that all the people even remotely related to the field of philosophy keep asking themselves and to the entire world.
Therefore, before applying for the course, you should ask yourself whether or not you want to study things like these in your graduation. If you like to address these questions and go deep into them, you would have a ball while you pursue a degree in philosophy. You need to have an interest in the course if you want to have a good time. So, it would be better if you figure it out way before applying to colleges.
3. You will be required to be highly organized
Well, this goes for every academic course. Before you decide to pursue a degree in philosophy, you should know that it would require you to be highly organized throughout the duration of the course. You will be assigned a lot of projects, and you will be required to complete all of them on time. Every student feels lazy at times. It is only human of all of us to feel so at times. But the life of a student is difficult and one cannot afford to be lazy. You cannot afford to let the projects pile up just because you do not feel like doing them at the right time. Doing so will only make you panic at the last minute.
Remember that being organized is the key to having a good time throughout your degree. Never focus on deadlines. Instead, focus on the time that you will get to just yourself if you complete your projects on time.
Therefore, it is important that you understand the importance of being organized before you actually step into a college.
4. Develop the habit of reading beforehand
During your time in college, while pursuing your degree in philosophy, you will be required to read a lot. In fact, one of the best advice anyone can give you is to develop a habit of reading before deciding to pursue a degree. The degree in philosophy will challenge your reading skills and abilities in various ways. Not only will you be required to read a lot of texts, but most of these texts will be quite old. These texts will be very complicated. In fact, there are chances that many of these will be translated from some other language. Therefore, it is imperative for a student to be habitual of reading if he wants to make good of his time in college.
If you are somebody who does not read anything at all, you might start with reading light books. Do not commit the mistake of thinking that you can develop this habit after you arrive at college. You might think so, but you won’t have time to do so. You will already be swamped with such a load of work that you would not have time to give to lighter books to get a hang of reading.
5. Work on your writing skills too
Not just reading, a philosophy student needs to have good writing skills as well. When you think about pursuing a degree in philosophy, make sure that you understand that there will be a lot of writing. In fact, there are certain things that you will be required to focus on while writing. While in the college, you will be required to write a lot of papers and it is important that while writing them, the focus remains on critical assessment and crafty development of arguments.
You should know that clarity of arguments and thoughts is even more important than research when it comes to writing papers for philosophy. The issues that one deals with and studies about while pursuing a degree in philosophy are really complicated. But no matter how complicated they are in your mind, you need to make sure that when you write them down on paper, they are clear and easy to understand. You should be able to communicate your thoughts irrespective of whether you are writing a long paper or a short paragraph. It is important that you articulate your arguments clearly while writing about complex arguments.
6. You should know that studying philosophy is going to change you
This is one of the most important things that you should know about the course. Pursuing a degree in philosophy changes the person a lot. More than anything else, it changes the way you think. It makes you understand the bigger meaning of life, of the things around you. The perspective with which you look at life, changes. You learn to look at the things around you and your life from many different perspectives. Philosophy makes you a different human being.
After completing your degree, or even while pursuing the degree, you will begin to question everything that mankind takes for granted. It makes you begin understanding the viewpoints that do not align with yours. You learn to put a value on communicating clearly and in as limited words as possible. It helps you to learn the value of reason over anything else. You learn the value of logic so much that you start evaluating your own decisions and beliefs on the basis of logic.
These are some big changes. Therefore, you should know all of this before starting your degree.
7. You should know the course in and out before starting with the degree
Well, this one applies to all the academic courses. Before you set foot in the college, before you pay the first instalment of your tuition fee, you should make sure that you know everything there is to know about the course. Since you are planning on pursuing a degree in philosophy, one can assume that you already know a lot about the academic discipline. But know that the curriculum of the course varies from college to college. As a student, it always helps to know the quality of a course by taking a look at the curriculum. Moreover, if you take a look at it, you’d know beforehand what all you are going to learn during your time in college.
If there is something in particular that you want to learn about, you should check whether the curriculum covers it or not. If there is some particular text that you want to read and learn about, you can find whether or not the course involves it or not by taking a look at the curriculum.
Doing so helps you get ready for what the course has in store for you. It helps you in getting mentally prepared.
8. You will be required to have a thick skin
While pursuing a degree, and especially after completing your degree, you will come across a lot of people who will not value a degree in philosophy. As already mentioned above, the world is still trying to accept philosophy as a purely academic discipline.
People will ask you to tell something philosophical, just because you are pursuing a degree in philosophy. People will keep asking your plans about working after your degree completes. You’ll face stupid questions like, ‘Does a degree in philosophy make you wiser?’
People will say it to your face that you are wasting your time. In fact, you might even encounter people who would ask you to get a real degree. You see, the problem with people who do not understand philosophy is that they do not even consider it a degree. And once you start with your course, you are going to encounter a lot of these people. But what you can’t do is tell all of these people that they are wrong. If you start doing so, you’ll never end. Therefore, keep in mind that you are going to need a thick skin.
9. Work on your communication skills
A set of good communication skills is another thing that you are going to need to have a smooth run in your college. As a student of philosophy, you will develop new thoughts almost every day. But it is important that you share these thoughts and developments with your friends and your peers and take their opinions and feedback. You should be confident enough to address an audience or even a group of five and share your thoughts clearly enough for everyone to understand. Doing so will help you a lot during your time in college. You will have to remain confident, and at the same time, you will have to be willing to hear others as well. Listening to other philosophy students and becoming aware of their thoughts is going to be a major part of your growth as a philosopher or as a philosophy student.
You’ll also be required to speak in the classes. So, sharing your thoughts with your peers is going to help you a lot. You’ll be confident before you enter the classroom.
10. Before applying, you should know the reputation of your school
Again, this is something that goes for every academic discipline. No matter what course you pursue, you should know this. It has already been mentioned that people find it difficult to accept philosophy as an academic discipline. In fact, there are students who go for this course just because they do not like dealing with subjects like science and mathematics. These students find philosophy a course that is more free, open to thoughts and ideas and easy to pursue. Therefore, it even strengthens the belief of people who do not take philosophy seriously as an academic discipline.
Hence, it surely is not going to help you or your career if you pursue your degree from a B-grade school.
Therefore, make sure that you know all about the reputation of your college. You should know all about the pros and cons that you will have to deal with upon graduating from school. Once you know this, it will be easier for you to know whether or not it is worth graduating from the school that you are planning on taking admission in.