I'm fast approaching the deadline for the second assignment of my masters degree, which means I'm a term an a half in to this bad boy*...here's what I've learnt so far:
- the first term is a head-f**k. I've been out of academia for a few years, so it was a a shock to go back and remember that critical thinking requires constant doubt. For the whole first term I constantly questioned whether my understanding was good enough. I was crazy stressed out. it was fun for no one.
- while my life revolves around sport I have very little time to actually play sport because I'm too busy thinking about it. Which leads me to...
- the freshman 15 is real and it isn't just for freshmen. I'm 30, I'm a proper grown up (sort of) I should be able to plan and feed myself nutritious meals. I should not fuel on gummy worms (albeit the fancy ones middle class parents bribe their kids with) and coffee. But I do. Running from a full time job to class and trying to fit the rest of life in around the edges has wreaked havoc on my diet, I'm gradually pulling myself together but it is taking some serious discipline (I turned down a cookie today. It was the size of my face and crammed with chocolate chips. That is a big deal).
- you will go in with the best of intentions and you will still procrastinate. No matter how much you adore your subject, no matter how keen you are to do well, that random TED talk on something totally unconnected to what you're studying will come calling your name and you won't be able to resist.
- you'll rely on your squad big time. Without my people I would have struggled, during my first term when I was panicking my friends regularly fed me, proof read my papers, listened to me nerd out and generally loved me. It made so much difference.
- student discount is the best. It is also good for procrastinating. My wardrobe has expanded exponentially recently.
- class will become something you look forward to. You'll get to flex your intellectual skills, hash out those issues you've been thinking about so critically, and crucially getting your money's worth because an MSc ain't cheap.
- your diary will rule your life...for 15 hours today I was on the move, constantly doing something productive and each hour was mapped out in my diary. Without it I would be lost. It tells me everything and if you want in you'd best be booking me at least two weeks out. I'm like a hip new restaurant, bookings go fast.
- when term ends you will sleep for at least a week. Literally. It was AMAZING.
- nothing beats the satisfaction of knowing you've done everything you can to realise your potential. It's the most amazing feeling, and when you study you get to feel it with every assignment and exam.
*for context, I am working towards an MSc in Sport Management at Birkbeck College, University of London. I study part time alongside my full time professional job taking classes in the evenings and fitting other study in at the weekends.