Harder work, longer reading lists and less time? That’s right! You’ve officially begun your postgraduate degree.
But what can you really expect from continuing your studies? Is life really that different? In this article, we hear from psychology student Andreea to find out first-hand what her route into postgraduate education was like.
I’m Andreea, a postgraduate student from Toplita, Romania living in London and studying MSc Psychology. In my free time I love learning how to cook tricky Asian meals with the help of YouTube videos to freshen up my skills.
Good question! I took a break between my bachelor's degree and my master's degree. I didn’t know I would want to carry on studying, so I started working instead. Having studied Marketing and Business, I got my first graduate job in an educational management agency as a Digital Marketing Executive. That’s where I rediscovered my passion for education and career guidance.
After that, I volunteered to mentor digital marketing students from my former university (Greenwich University) on a regular basis. A year and a half down a line, with all the marketing and career experience I had, I felt like I needed to learn more about human behaviour to help people find their way in life. And that’s why I chose to start my master's degree.
Before I started my postgraduate course, I was living in a shared house - but I began to think it would be hard to study and work there, especially because my flatmates could potentially have different schedules to mine. So, I changed flats before I started studying. This really helped in accommodating my new student life.
Right now, I am sharing a one-bedroom flat with my partner and it’s ideal. Even more so because I both working from home and studying for my degree online.
The area I live in really has really made my life easier. Not only do I have great transport links nearby (which has cut down my commuting time significantly), but I am also surrounded by big supermarkets. When the weather is nice, you’ll find me in either one of the nearby cute cafes or at the park. I am also lucky enough to live just 10-minutes from the Thames!
What I found curious (and different!) about doing a postgrad degree, is the maturity I am treating it with. During my undergrad, I wasn’t really that focused, especially having moved from a small town in Romania to London - one of the biggest cities in Europe. Everything was new to me and it took a little while to get used to my course.
Now that I lived here for a few years, things are so much easier. I’m always amazed at how easy it is to get hold of people and how helpful everyone is. My postgraduate degree has become a much bigger responsibility. Luckily, my university and workplace have offered me support and I couldn’t be more grateful for it.
A coffee machine is definitely a priority! Coffee and I are inseparable, and I cannot start my day without it. A lovely window view is also important for screen and reading breaks. When I want to wind down, my go-to is watching my favourite cooking shows on Netflix but other than that; a quiet place when I’m studying.
When it comes to work, study and social life - I’ve found it quite difficult to balance it all. However, I do think I’m starting to improve: one of my key solutions is to just do nothing when I feel overwhelmed.
Work can get tiring; assignments can be exhausting and when do you even see your friends and family? In this case, the sofa is my best friend. I usually take a few minutes (or couple of hours) to relax and try to think of anything but my immediate deadlines. I’ve found that this has helped me cope with stress and anxiety.
When I struggle with mental health, I make sure to keep touch with my favourite friend-therapists. We all have that one friend whose advice is always helpful, so this has helped me a lot with both my studies and work life.
I’ve found that living in London as a postgraduate student and young professional can be difficult at times, but it’s 100% of the best places to study in. When I moved here, I immediately fell in love with everything around me. London is full of surprises, and I feel I will never get bored of it. Moving to this city was one of the best decisions I’ve taken in my life.
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