What kind of a question is that? Why am I studying? Uhm... the possible choice between higher education and no education at all never even occured to me... so why am I here? Well, I tend to get very quiet when people ask me. What's my answer? What's the right answer? Seriously, what are they expecting to hear?
I could give them a whole list of reasons, such as "I don't want to spend the rest of my life chasing after mind numbing jobs like copying papers, cleaning or serving fast food... only to work my ass off for literally no money at all".
This could essentially be translated into "I want to give myself and my future family a financially secure foundation, while at the same time continuing to challenge my mind and capabilities, and keep on developing my skills in a world where they are needed, plus give myself a decent chance to make some sort of difference."
Oooh, now we're getting somewhere!
But no, I still don't think that is what people want to hear. Oh no. What they are pining for is a weak "I don't know... what else would I do?" or an "I have so much work to do that I'm drowning! How am I supposed to survive five years of this terror?!". Indeed, what the people who frown upon the number FIVE (5) alone (not to mention once they see my bookshelf, or begin to realize that I'm studying or should be studying every single time they manage to get hold of me) really want, is for me to come clean and give up - or at least PLEASE admit that you're doing poorly sometimes, person!
It's human nature, I think - if I can't do this, then they don't have to feel so bad about themselves... it's not necessarily mean, and deep down they might be incredibly proud and all, but just below the surface, they want you to confess. Confess that it's a pain in the goddamn behinds. Knowing that other people are worse off than you makes most people feel better for a minute or two.
What almost makes me giggle is the look on their faces when they point a long, judging, finger at my books, frowning, saying "Is it fun?".