Things they never tell you about when starting a Masters Degree
by Dr Anthony D. Cliffe
So you’ve done your Undergrad Degree and you feel great. Then you realise you have no idea what to do with your life so you look around for a Post Graduate degree because it looks good and ‘you want a better job’. So you get some money and you go and sign up. So you expect the long hours and the hard work but people never tell you what Masters Degree level is really like and how it changes your life. So i’ll take you on a quick stop look at a masters through the eyes of me and my Environmental Sustainability Masters.
1. You spend most of your time explaining at least 15 times to family and friends what your degree is about and how it will benefit you in the future. “No we don’t just look at wind farms…”
2. In your justification for getting yourself in more debt you state that “Those with a Post Grad degree earn up to £250,000 more than those with an undergrad one”. Yeah! We just fail to mention that, that £250,000 extra is spent paying off the interest on your student loans.
And student finance and the bank are like you owe us…
3. You state that research is vitally important and that you are not a student…oh no. You’re now an Academic. No seriously. I wish I could stay in research. Pay me someone to be a Doctor…but not that type of Doctor.
4. You look down on those with just an Undergrad Degree. You get super angry when people moan about how hard their non degree in “photography” is and how their 5000 word dissertation is taking over their life. Try 25,000 words bitch!
5. Hoping women will find you attractive when you explain your complex and difficult higher level qualification and how rich you’ll be in the future…
However, in reality, it often ends like this…
6. You’ll spend most of your degree not doing research but playing the game of “where is my lecturer and where the fuck is my two month over due feedback”. Yep that’s right despite paying the University over £500 a day, they use that money to take a holiday and refuse to give feedback in time before your degree ends.
7. At one point you’ll question your life choices and will cry at how hard an assignment is and wish you were an undergrad again. There will also be that one guest lecturer who states that the job market is impossible and you’ll be in debt until you die.
8. You pretend to like the subject and it’s not because it pays great to have a job in that sector. “Yeah polar bears I totally love them! I’m all for sustainable living…no that airmiles gold card isn’t mine I promise”.
9. You’ll end your lectures feeling as if your brain has been removed, stood on and then kicked around by Ronaldo. But you’ll feel super clever and pumped to change the world until you go home and watch Netflix.
10. What you really do for “researching”
11. Forming a brilliant group of friends in your Masters Degree, because you’re all in the same boat. A boat that more often than not feels like the Costa Concordia. So they’re totally cool when you flip out over an assignment in class…
Such mutual grasping at straws on trying to stay afloat at post grad level, you’ll all sit round a table and ask the age old question of…even though we’ve just done three years at Undergrad…
12. However you Learn a load of new skills which are awesome but no one outside of your Masters Degree understands but looks good on your CV. “Yes I have a CPD certificate in Promap!”
13. Your research actually has the real potential to make a difference! You tell employers how hard you worked and how your research helped saved the endangered gobo’s from Croc island.
14. You realise that to succeed you need to master the art of ‘Winging’ absolutely everything because it seems like everyone and everything tries to make you fail.
15. When you graduate you become a Master of Science.
You use this term to refer to yourself and you refer to everyone else as peasants. Bow down to my superior intellect in a specific subject. Yeah…take that. You feel almost as Awesome as Pickard! “Errrm hello? Yes I’m a Master of Science…Yes Star Fleet Academy i’ll hold.”
I’ll let you know what post-post grad life is after the 30th of September when my degree finishes. To all my fellow Post Grad students I know how you feel! Good luck! To everyone else, if you’re thinking of joining us Post Grad lot…good luck to!