Starting my studies here in the University of Jyväskylä was a long process for me. A long one, but also a good chance for me to reflect back and consider what I wanted from my future. Three years ago I had graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Sport and Leisure Management and thought I was done with my studies and could not wait to start putting theories into practice. I was fortunate to work as a full-time figure skating coach, which had been my dream job since childhood and was very passionate about it. But I could not help to wonder was it enough for me?
Applying to study in Jyväskylä and especially in this SPOSMAPRO had been on my mind back and forth for almost two years, ”should I or should I not apply…” Many questions had gone through my mind: what about my life here in my hometown, my work, is it worth the risk to leave all that and start a student life all over again? Decrease in financial income, being separate from my boyfriend, family and friends, and leaving my job… I was very unsure whether I was cut out to take that next step in my career, but I was sure to regret it if I did not apply! I also had the option of staying close to my hometown and study a similar degree in Applied Sciences and continue my work at the same time. So what made my choose Jyväskylä after all? I needed the challenge, and Jyväskylä has such a renowned reputation in the field of sports both nation – and worldwide. With the help of support from my family, I knew this was the only place where I should be in order to not only receive a University level degree in Sports, but also to grow as a human being, both personally and professionally.
”Life is not about finding yourself, it is about creating yourself”.
I must admit, I felt still unsure before starting the studies whether I had made the right choice or not. But I must say, starting from the very first day I met my fellow students and got to know them and the Campus Area during the following days and weeks, I have been certain and assured I am at the place where I am supposed to be! I am very happy that I am becoming friends with everyone of them! Although I had been a part of an intercultural study group before; being a part of this group, where some of my fellow students come from the other side of the globe, gave me once again a lot of perspective on things, for example the distance to families, and adapting to a different culture. I only have 200km to reach my family, and even though the culture in Jyväskylä is somewhat different from my hometown, I at least share the same language. Being part of this SPOSMAPRO group is really a privilege! Learning about different backgrounds and cultures of my fellow students, sharing the same passion, similar ideas and philosophies and becoming friends with them is a truly enriching experience. It has been very fascinating to see a group of strangers coming together, sharing the same goals and purpose; we all want to develop ourselves, both as professionals as well as human beings. And in the mean time, have some fun and build friendships!
I have been very much inspired by our study modules and lecturers we have had during our fall semester. I have had the chance to take part in seminars to meet some charismatic, visiting lecturers, experts from their field, such as Mr. Risto Niminen, the president of NOC, Mr. Erkka Westerlund, the Head Coach of Men’s Ice Hockey National Team, Mr. Jukka Viitasalo, the Director of KIHU and many, many more. Listening to what really happens in practice and learning from the experts is always fascinating and inspiring!
Although the information overload sometimes feels overwhelming; countless hours of absorbing new information, cramming for exams and fitting all the ”to-do assignments” in one calendar, the passion and personal interest about the subjects help a lot! I could easily get lost in the swamp of endless assignments and continuous stress, but the group cohesion helps a lot, we help each other and share the same boat together.
In the middle of this hectic fall, it is important to remember to enjoy this moment, take it as an opportunity to reach something greater, to be inspired, develop our skills and grow as human-beings as well as professionals, because time goes by so fast! Life and learning is an on-going process, we must develop ourselves fearlessly and understand that there never comes a point when “we are ready”. This inspiring thought can be adapted well to our studies as well as for life in general. After one assignment is submitted, there are always new ones waiting just behind the corner.
In life it is important to have goals and ambitions, but life should not only be about trying to achieve those goals. We as students of SPOSMAPRO surely have the goal to graduate on-time, but while doing that we should enjoy the journey!
Even though I like to lead by my own example, I know I sometimes fail in this case. It is not always easy, but we can try!
– Kati 🙂