Many unfinished experiences litter our past. Who doesn't have any? In education, it is what one has not understood, not concluded, not completed and left there, inert. Yet, the desire to resume one's study, one's quest, one's journey and come to a satisfactory conclusion is always alive somewhere. The only way to overcome it is to remove the obstacles and obtain the conditions to complete it. Settling for a reason that explains everything but solves nothing brings no comfort. "I'm not cut out for this" is not a satisfying conclusion.
Success can be achieved in a variety of ways, in a related field or in another context, but to achieve one's goal is the foundation on which one's self-esteem and confidence are built. If there was a flame in the beginning, it is the flame that must consume everything.
We are not talking here about what was imposed on us and that we were not interested. We assume without regret that we got out of it. The only regret is usually that we gave in to the compulsion and wasted our time; it is the abandonment of responsibility that adds the weight. If the compulsion was too strong, it turned into revolt and resentment. For many dropouts, the idea of submitting to it again seems unthinkable..., for them, the only acceptable path is to start again on a new basis, where the constraint is absent but which does not exclude effort and self-discipline.
The process of bringing a research project to completion can be quite demanding: one starts by going around the garden and sometimes the garden looks like a plain that disappears beyond the horizon. The researcher must really believe in it and organize himself not to get discouraged. From the inventory of what has been found, leads appear. Are they original, relevant, valid? It is necessary to answer them, to make experiments, to go from failure to questioning and to persevere. Then bear the criticism, improve, start again, until you reach an acceptable result. Giving up at any stage without concluding leaves a bitter taste and dissatisfaction that will be relived in every equivalent context.
Going to the end of one's process seems essential, and often this involves acknowledging one's mistakes; from there one will have a chance to succeed. Errors are part of the learning and discovery process; stigmatizing or denying them only complicates the situation.
Ensuring that every student and researcher gets to the end of his process seems legitimate. The issue becomes even simpler if we focus on the word "his". It is about the person; we gain by listening and accompanying them.
Denys Lamontagne - [email protected]