So, you have chosen to tackle a Masters! Studying a Masters is an exciting new chapter, however, it can also be challenging. Before I started my Masters I was anxious about the workload and how I would find the whole experience, that said, I am 8 months into it and I’m still standing! So here are my top tips on how I’ve managed my Masters…
Organise like no tomorrow
One of the things that I have found very helpful is to organise my week.
I write out a weekly calendar in my notebook and I also make a separate page for all my deadlines (even the ones that are due in several months). This makes me feel prepared as I know what work I have to do and when it needs to be completed by, as well as knowing what time I have lectures or work that week.
You can do this in whatever way works for you, for example on your phone, a laptop or a whiteboard.
Take time out
I went into a Masters anxious about how much time I would have to relax, as I’ve heard they are a lot of work. Although my Masters has come with new challenges it is still important to take time to relax (don’t worry, Postgrads can still have fun).
Every week I set aside time for myself, my flatmates and other Uni friends to get together for either a night out or a pub quiz. This is such a great way to destress as I know every week I have something to look forward to. You could also go shopping, go for dinner or drinks. It could also be something as simple as watching Netflix or reading a new book- whatever suits you!
Make use of weekdays
This tip comes from one of my friends who studied a Masters and passed it on to me. You should utilise weekdays as much as possible, and set a daily work schedule, for example, 9am-5pm.
Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean staying in the library for 8 hours straight (I would 100% lose my mind) it just means having set time in your day to do as much work as possible, whether that’s in the library or at home. For example, on a Monday I would have lectures 9am-1pm and I would try to stay on campus for a couple of hours to complete any work that I could. This was great for me because it meant in the evenings and on the weekends I could switch off and do something fun instead. If you’re a night owl, then you can switch up your hours!
Work with friends
This may not work for every Masters course, but if it does, then I would highly recommend.
Working with other people not only helps to clarify ideas but it can also help to motivate you to do work; it is definitely more exciting than studying by yourself. This can be a group facetime or meeting in the library for a study session.
Celebrate the small things
A Masters is a long process, mine is 12 months long! I think it is really important to celebrate small wins.
This could be after completing a presentation, a formative or just going for a drink after a long week.
This is something myself and my course mates tried to do as often as possible to motivate us to keep going! (2-4-1 drinks is always cheap and cheerful!).
Ask for help…you’re allowed!
Finally, I think one of the most important things to do is to ask for help! As I’ve said a Masters can be challenging, but you should know that there are people to help you if you need it. This could be lecturers, course friends or any facilities that the University has. The University has the GSA (Graduates Student Association) who are happy to help! The University also has a writing centre and a maths skills centre. Everyone also has a personal supervisor who you can contact if you want to discuss anything that you may be worrying about.
So there you have it- my top tips for managing a Masters! I hope some of these tips help you…Good luck with your Masters!