9 Things You’ll Definitely Experience As a Postgrad Student
As term draws closer again, many of us will either be about to embark on the adventure that is being a ‘professional student’, or are going back to the grindstone, working towards getting your doctorate.
Here are some of the stages you might have gone through, or, if you’re lucky enough to be about to begin, will definitely experience soon enough…
1. It starts with a feeling of mild panic – you weren’t ready to face the real world yet and you’ve enjoyed being a student so far, so you decide to stay on to do yet another degree.
Surely being even more qualified couldn’t hurt, right?
2. Having been accepted, you feel a strange mix of nerves and excitement as you prepare to spend even more years at university.
3. Things have definitely changed, you now find yourself surrounded by people that genuinely love their subject. Inspiring.
Gone are the days of finding yourself awkwardly standing amongst a crowd of people who are ‘here for the banter’ or are only at uni doing economics because someone suggested it would be good for their career.
4. Equally, it’s a much more multi-national experience. You get depressed that you can only speak one language.
In many cases you’re likely to be surrounded by students from all around the world, instantly making you regret not getting ahead by taking another language already.
While this makes a refreshing change from the south-east dominated undergraduate degree, you still find yourself feeling a bit left behind sometimes.
5. For the few brief moments before the undergraduates arrive, you feel young again, a 22 year old among 25 year olds.
Then the freshers come and spoil all your fun.
6. You are now a completely independent researcher. This comes as a bit of a shock.
You were expecting something like a continuation of undergrad, but soon realise you’ve literally been left completely on your own. The first few weeks look something like this:
7. The library becomes your main home.
You find yourself both opening and shutting down the library for the first time in your academic career. Though you’re weirdly proud of this, you’ll often emerge looking dishevelled and dazed…
8. You realise people are specialists in the weirdest topics, but you’re almost always interested in what they have to say.
Expect a lot of conversations about how you discovered the key weakness in a medieval historical source that only twenty people have ever read. Meanwhile, your conversation partner will regale you with tales of how a bizarre and unexplained change in the law that occurred in Shropshire in 1538 changed the way sheep were farmed forever in return.
9. Ultimately though, after all the hard work, you realise that you definitely made the right choice and that you really do love your subject, just like you said on the application.
Who knows, maybe one day you’ll even be the world expert!
So it may be hard, but these nine things will be steps on your journey towards receiving a postgraduate degree. Get excited!