estaba vs era

i moved to miami recently & have a general overall grasp of spanish (i can talk inthe present/future easily) & im very devoted to learning/being able to speak fluently but one thing that makes me mad about spanish is the 2past tenses smh. the simple past tenses in all verbs but i dont get estaba/fui/era (i was) (im not worried about estuve because ppl barely use it) but examples online either contradict themselves when they give examples or i feel in english i could used the simple past instead of the imperfect . can someone help me cause this is the only thing i cant getta grasp on. what confused me is for example - “i was a student” .. like era estudiante is the proper form but me being a student isn’t permanent/easily could be changed .. like i feel it contradicts itself & thats why i get confused . i feel since me being a student isn’t ‘permanent” estaba or fui should be correct

submitted by /u/NJNY24
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