Diary of a postgrad student – what am I going to do?

Do you remember when I was getting ready to start Uni? How nervous I was?

That seems kind of crazy looking back.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not been plain sailing. It’s been a very steep learning curve with moments where I felt like I was never going to get it.

And now the first semester is over. I have one more semester of lectures and then no more. In fact, I can’t see a point in my future where I will be going to lectures ever again. This is awful! What am I going to do? I have really enjoyed them. Maybe it’s because I’m a Masters student so I don’t have the pressure of exams. I can actually listen without worrying about whether this is going to be in an exam or not. I can write my assignments by considering the topics in light of my own experience.

I didn’t fail the first 2 assignments. But I didn’t do very well. But, after a bit of a meltdown and feelings of inadequacy, I learnt from it and applied that to the next 2 assignments. They are now in. Hopefully I did a little better. We’ll see. I was even asked for advice from some of the other students on the assignments. Me! Who’d have thought it in those first couple of weeks? I have one more to do that’s due in 21st December. That’s ok. It’s doable.

My Masters goes on until August, with a dissertation to produce and present. The good news is I have completed the questionnaire (on emotions linked to a fear of public speaking) and it has passed ethics approval. Yay! If you feel you have any nerves around presentations and public speaking, you can take my survey here https://dundee.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/fear-of-public-speaking

Thanks to my vast business network, I already have enough data to start analysing. I’m just going to keep going and gather as much as possible to be able to cut the data different ways without losing validity. This is very exciting. It’s hopefully the first step towards something way bigger.

My practicum is well on the way too. I have been going into Uni the last few days to run the experiments. This is a whole new skillset, but like many other things, it is drawing on the skills I already have to talk to people and put them at ease. It can be a bit nerve-wracking for the first and second year undergraduates when they come along to these experiments.

So now I find myself looking to the future and I don’t want to go back to a place where University isn’t part of it. I like the balance between my private therapy business and Uni. I know I won’t be doing another course, but maybe I could look at lecturing? It’s something I would really love to do.

August isn’t really that far away. I need to start planning my future.

So, despite the panic and worries and feelings of inadequacy, I have loved being at Uni this semester. I don’t want it to end.

Of course, when I do advanced statistics next semester you may hear a very different story!

By the way, the picture is my lecture room this Wednesday. It was 8:57 and the lecture was due to start at 9. The only people in the room were me and the lecturer. Of a class of 30 about 10 people turned up for that lecture. Everyone is definitely on the wind down!


Written by:

Hi, my name is Dawn Walton and I am a 44 year old therapist that lives in the Dundee area. I'm originally from Anglesey in North Wales, but I've lived here for 17 years. My first degree was in Computing at UMIST in Manchester. Now I'm studying a Masters in Psychological Research Methods with the aim of going on to do a Phd.

I love Starbucks and Pokemon Go. So they are likely to feature in my posts quite often!

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