It’s a bit of a different post from me today, but I wanted to celebrate me finally being done with Uni. I started this blog when I was in my first year of my undergrad degree and it became a place for me to escape from the unbelieveable stress of assignments and neverending deadlines, but also a place where I could connect with other readers.
I’m not the best at meeting new people and making friends. I’m incredibly awkward in person (and online as well), my social anxiety leads me to overthink absolutely everything, just saying a simple ‘hello’ stresess me out. As I commuted to and from Uni everyday, I found it even more difficult to make friends. And that’s where this blog came in. For the past four years, I’ve been myself and been a part of this incredible community and for that, I’ll always be grateful.
I finished my undergraduate degree last year, and I decided to try something completely different when I applied to do a Masters. Creative writing was always something that I’d enjoyed doing in my spare time, and the more I looked at the courses available, the more I fell in love with one aimed at children’s writing. I began that degree this time one year ago.
I won’t lie and say it was easy or that I particularly enjoyed it – because I didn’t. At first, it was exciting and I loved every minute of it. But by the time I handed in my first assignment, I found myself losing motivation and the fun just started to disappear. I began to look at the stories and characters that I had loved writing about in a completely new way, ultimately hating everything about it. I had no idea what I needed to change, how to change it, or what the examiners wanted from me. It was an endless cycle of never feeling good enough.
The year wasn’t all bad though because I got my first job last November working at the Christmas market by my university. It meant a lot more commuting and a lot less free time, but I’m so thankful for every minute that I spent there. I met some amazing people, and even though I was only there for 8 weeks, I feel like I changed so much as a person when I was there. Social situations became *slightly* less scary, and I found myself caring less and less about uni. It really opened my eyes and made me realise that uni wasn’t, and isn’t, everything. With that being said, I did still try my hardest with all of my assignments, but I stopped putting a lot of pressure on myself – I tried to go back into the mindest of just enjoying it.
By the time January rolled around, my Christmas job ended and I was not looking forward to going back to doing nothing. I ended up applying for another job, this time one more local to me, and I got it straight away. Within a week, I began my early morning shifts, 3 days a week. It gave me the opportunity to balance work with Uni during my last semester which was great, but I underestimated just how exhausted I would be to begin with. 4:30 am wake-ups are not fun when you aren’t used to them haha!
On top of all of that, I had my huge disseration to write – one that consisted of 30,000 words. It was daunting and something that I was really excited to do. I had a story in mind which I had been wanting to write for years and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to get half a book written.
Over the last few months, my university has undergone some pretty drastic changes. I got my supervisor a month later than normal due to some on going issues throughout the entire uni. Then a few weeks later, my course itself underwent some changes; the head of the course stepped down, a new one stepped up, only for them to be replaced again within a few weeks. I didn’t think it would be an issue at first, so I powered on with my dissertation. In the middle of all of this, my nan passed away whilst we were up visiting my grandparents in Scotland. It’s not something that any of us were expecting so it really hit us hard to begin with, but it somehow made me more determined to finish my disseration. I just really wanted to be done with the degree because everything that happened over the year made me realise that it’s something I wish I had never started.
I managed to complete my first full draft last month, and I began the long editing process which wasn’t fun at all. I haven’t really had any feedback on my work, so I’m not sure if it’s good, or what needed to change. I ended up submitting it two weeks early. I know that I could have used those two weeks to perfect every little detail, but honestly, I just wanted it over with.
A little warning to anyone who is thinking about starting a postgrad degree – seriously think hard about whether it’s something you want to do, investigate different universities, even different courses before making your final decision. And finally, it’s completley different to an undergrad degree – from my experience (I know that it may be different elsewhere) I got little support. I knew before applying that the level of support would be different, but I was completely unaware of just how different it truly would be.
And that brings me to today when I’m writing this post! I have offically finished my postgraduate degree, and that feels so good to write. I’m free!
The past year has been incredibly stressful, and at times, I’ve been at some of my lowest points ever. But I’ve also had so many amazing things happen to me. Throughout it all, this blog has remained my safe place. I could come here to escape, to find new book recommendations, rave about my favourite books, and just relax. I honestly don’t know where I would be without this blog and without the bookish comminunity. I hit 700 followers a few days ago, I think it was actually on the day that I submitted my dissertation which is crazy! Once again, I’d just like to thank every single one of you who comments on my blog posts, or even likes them. I may not be the best at replying, or blog-hopping, but I appreciate every single one of you.
So, I guess that this post was a goodbye to my university life. And hello to a new chapter!