A Postgrad's Guide to Heading Back to Uni in Learning
If you're going back to uni to do a Postgrad – don’t panic! Whether you're going straight in from your undergraduate degree, or you've taken time out since your undergrad, you can do this!
1) Learn from your first degree
Think back about what you wish you'd known the first time round. Take those lessons into your postgraduate degree – did you always leave things until the last minute? Learn to plan ahead. Did your eating habits spiral when you were stressed? Find the right nutritional balance and other outlets for stress. And make time to relax as well as studying!
2) Don’t panic!
You haven’t forgotten how to learn. It might just take a while to get back into the swing of things. Remember – you're doing a Masters for a reason. Use that as your motivation and don’t let anything hold you back! Your lecturers are always there to help if you need it, and often your university library will have classes and lessons on if you're unsure about essay writing.
3) Prepare in advance
The more reading you can get done before your course starts, the better. However, you can't read everything; aim to get a general knowledge about the subject, and then a few different opinions about a topic. Also, refresh your understanding on how to reference sources, you remember the drama they caused in undergrad!
4) Divide your time
Know how to balance all of your assignments by not letting small ones take up too much time. It's also helpful to figure out where and how you work best so you can manage your time - are you more focused in the library, or do you prefer researching at home? If you've been used to working a 9-5 job since you graduated, try to keep up this routine and don't fall back into the long lies and late nights pattern you followed as an undergraduate.
5) Have fun
You might not be quite as enthusiastic about the fancy dress club nights, the halls parties or the student union societies as you were the first time round, but remember that the social side of uni was one of the great aspects of it and it's okay to spend time socialising and having fun as a mature and sophisticated Postgraduate. Just maybe leave the body paint at home this time!
Remember, going back to uni is a choice you've made to expand you mind and progress your ambitions. It might take you a while to get back into the swing of things, but you did it before and you can do it again.