Welcome to The Perks of Free Speech, a platform for me, Sophie Perks, to comment on current events, philosophical issues and personal occurrences.
I created this space when I was taking a year or two out from the world of education. I was thoroughly lost and, whilst I had the prospect of many exciting new ventures ahead of me, I felt surprisingly trapped. Conscious of my decision to leave university, and the limited future that society told me this gave me increased my insecurities, yet fuelled my urge to write. Here is what I wrote on this exact page when I set up this site:
“I am taking a year out – a gap year, but that term bares the wrong connotations. I have taken the term “out” quite literally: so far I have done not much more than bake and see friends, with a bit of exercise here and there. However this was my intention – the idea of my year out was to “find myself” (apologies for the cliche). I started uni and pretty soon realised I should leave; my head was not filling up with political analysis and arguments as a politics student’s should, but rather questions about whether I should be there at all and what I wanted to do with my life. My lack of enthusiasm for, well, anything was crystal clear and a sign that I needed to take a step back from our ‘interesting’* educational system. My New Year’s Resolution this year was to stop being a sheep, following the shepherd that is society and the path into the ‘real world’ it offers as convention.”
Whilst I curse social media everyday, I am also forever thankful for the unlimited opportunities it provides for writers like me who wish to share their opinions and develop their skills, yet do not have an official platform to do so. Writing was the one source of comfort and stability I had when I took my time off. I am now back at university, studying a degree that I care deeply about. Whilst this shows a certain turn-around in perspective I am still somewhat cynical about the state of contemporary society. I am also still struggling with an ongoing battle with epilepsy (since my AS levels), which simultaneously gets in the way of me achieving the high aims I set for myself and provides material for some of the more personal pieces on here. As such I see the collection of articles that you see on this site as an ongoing journal of my intellectual progress, as well as a citing of the development of my world outlook as I encounter more and more people and situations.