6 Months have flown by, and I am now sitting smack bang in the middle of my MA degree. Honestly, looking back at how I felt after my graduation in July 2017, I didn’t really see myself here.
Most people on my course (a good 85%) have came fresh out of an undergrad, and to be honest it’s highlighted how grateful I am to have had of year of working full time sandwiched between. Working as a copywriter for a year in between my BA and MA truly gave me the time to figure out what I actually wanted. Alongside giving me the work experience and skills that have aided me not only at University but also in life.
As well as that mini reflection, I’m also gonna share some little nuggets of wisdom along with some general thoughts on MA’s in this post. If any of you are considering postgraduate study I hope this is usual, and for those of you that aren’t, hopefully it’s an insight into its reality, for me at least.
Choosing to attend a different University, even one that is a Russell Group, isn’t that much of a change.
Yeah there are a few more resources and the student services are a whole lot better, but generally I have found the teaching standard and set up pretty similar.
The workload is undeniably a lot heavier than an undergrad.
Much like my BA, there are periods of time where I can get away from n ot doing too much, but when its heavier it really swamps you. To put it in perspective I can probably count on 4(ish) hands the amount of times I went to the library during my whole 3 year undergrad, I’ve probably gone more than that in the whole of first semester.
The struggle without a decent laptop is real.
A month or two before my course started, my laptop broke. Without the funds to have it fixed, I just took an old netbook we had in the house and boy does it test your patience. It’s made me increasingly reliant on uni computers, meaning I get very little work done at home.
I’ve found it a lot harder to make friends
The sociable vibes of freshers is certainly not replicated in a Masters, it is a lot harder to make friends (I’ve found). Most of my course have came from an undergrad at Newcastle so probably already have mates in the city, so for me fresh from 3 years in Leeds then one year back in my hometown, I have struggled. I see my school friends every few weeks, but with no social life at uni I do get pretty lonely at times.
Old uni friends will be missed and comparison is inevitable.
Speaking of the above, no one will compare to your uni pals. I did have a longstanding love/hate relationship with Leeds (much of which being that of hate) but in the last few years this has eroded. The era has a shining halo around it, and I look back fondly.
I had missed being a student, a lot. The use of free time is so important.
As fore mentioned I already mourned my time at Leeds, so the student life had already been given the glorification treatment in my mind. For me, doing an MA was 50% about the course, and the rest about using my new abundance of free time getting varied work experience I couldn’t get in a full-time job. I’m stupidly busy but I’ve managed to write for the student paper, continue my own blog, work as a student ambassador and intern at a local music and events company. None of this would of been possible had I still been in my full time job, where outside the 8.30-5, I just slept and ate!
Overall I would say if you want to do it, go for it! Of course a few things are worth mentioning financially, it ain’t cheap. There is NO WAY I could’ve afforded to this had I not saved up while working.
I managed to save a few thousand pounds last year whilst working full time which has gone towards my rent, bills and food this year as the Masters loan is very poor. The best way to save is to have a direct debit after pay day each month, I also saved money by living at home while working where my board was less than rent. Additionally I don’t really go out drinking on a weekend, maybe once a month, which probably saves me hundreds every year! But that’s just me being Grandma Em, which I’m more than happy with!
Nowadays, I have very little disposable income and spend a LOT of my free time selling stuff on Depop and eBay, but for me it’s worth it.
Nonetheless I would recommend you weigh up your options and if the desire is still there to do a masters, then go for it. It’s now or never!
If you have any more questions, particularly any more specific to assignments, workload and renting, send them over as comments here or on my insta!
I have styled the skirt with my Dr. Martens boots and a the Nobody’s Child Black Rib Funnel Neck Top (which you can get for £8 with my code), the leather jacket is vintage.