After an unintended detour of a gap year I have started my masters degree this week. Or will start next week when teaching officially starts.
This week has been welcome week (or at least welcome Thursday and Friday). I have been stressing OUT. On Thursday I caught a lift with a friend and that helped to distract my brain from running all the scenarios that could go wrong. Which are varied and endless it seems. Thursday was mainly listening to the Degree Director talk and meet the people on my course.
There’s about thirty of us on the MSc and they all seem like a pretty nice bunch, all from different places, some who have come straight from graduating from their undergrad degrees, others who have taken a year out like me, others who have been in work and are now coming back to education. Illustrating the point everyone makes that it really doesn’t matter when you do things. Life doesn’t have a set timeline. There is no right time to do it, whether you take a year out or not is not going to kill your prospects. Everything will be okay. That’s what I keep telling myself anyhow.
We were also enrolled on our modules on Thursday. Compared to undergrad they are a lot more biased towards techniques. There are at least two modules focused on research methods and two on informatics. May or may not be more then slightly concerned about the bioinformatics modules considering I have never actually done that before.
Storm Ali treated us to a nice early shower on the way home on Thursday afternoon. Fun times in the north of England.
Friday felt a lot more chill. Met up in the Life Sciences building and brainstormed what we would do with the new Masters Base Room, which is currently a magnolia walled seminar room lined with computers. Though we did get told where the microwave and kettle was which feels like it is going to be incredibly important information for the winter.
A group of us ended up going around Freshers Fair. I had been around on Thursday but it stressed me out. I don’t deal well with large groups of people and the noise and lack of space and air was getting to me. Hitching a ride on top of the already heightened anxiety made it a distinctly unpleasant experience. This time around it was much more deal-able, and managed to avoid picking up too many leaflets.
Then we had lunch and got to meet some PhD students in the department. My experience with PhD students at undergrad was mainly in the lab when they were acting as demonstrators during practical sessions. It was refreshing to talk to them like adults and to be able to talk to them about university and hear about their projects and how they got into it.
Friday afternoon descended into a jumble of mess with registration difficulties and timetables not showing up. Note to everyone – make friends with the office staff because when you need them, you want them to be your friends, not people who think you’re a snob.
I’m mainly worried about next week. About if the workload is going to be too much and hoping that I’ll start as I mean to go on – heading into uni for 9-5pm most days and catching up on the days that I don’t. I want to do this well. I’m hoping if I stay organised I won’t get as stressed. Though that seems very much like famous last words.