Whether you’re a Facebook fiend or a Tik Tok addict, social media seems to glamourise the hustle – wake up at 6am, work, and study before collapsing into bed at midnight and repeating it all over again the following day.
Sounds boring, right? In reality, it is important to have a balance. Work hard, play hard. The dynamic of a Masters is different to an undergraduate degree, it’s no lie, you do have to work harder… but pffft contrary to what people say it does NOT have to come at the cost of your social life!
What’s important to you?
Your mental and physical health takes priority, your Masters comes second, and anything else comes third. Make sure from the get go that you have your priorities sorted. Your part-time job, your societies and other worldly commitments should not come ahead of your own health, and if your Masters does not rank highly – take a year out of academia before starting your studies.
Sometimes having some time out to reevaluate your goals and aspirations, and taking some much needed ‘me’ time can do the world of good!
Create an action plan
Congrats, you’ve officially decided to start your Masters… but now what?
Create. A. Plan.
A plan, a routine, a schedule – whatever you wish to call it, it’ll help you organise your time efficiently and effectively so you can plan your other commitments around your classes, meetings, and deadlines.
Most people’s plans differ slightly week on week, but planning ahead will alleviate any anxiety or worries surrounding finding time for socialising and having fun.
It is VERY important to make time for yourself outside of your degree to pursue hobbies, join societies, and make new friends. Realistically, aim to have a minimum of 2-3 hours throughout the day that you take for yourself to relax and do something you enjoy!
There are numerous ways you could create a plan, whether it’s the simple pen and paper method, using Google Calendar, or sites like Notion – it will help give you peace of mind and remind you when your next break or fun adventure is.
Make time for fun!
Everyone knows that fun comes in all shapes and sizes, whether you’re sports orientated or a nerd for all things history (like me), there’s no right or wrong way to relax.
There’s over 200 societies for you to choose from, plenty of sports to play, and numerous activities to do in and around York. Whether you’re a foodie who likes to try the many cafes and restaurants dotted around town, a social butterfly who likes catching up with friends over a drink, or someone who likes to explore the many niche shops and attractions – do something you enjoy!
Working alongside your Masters
The majority of Masters students have to work alongside their degrees, some students even opt to study part-time alongside working so that they can fund their studies.
If you plan to study full-time, be sure not to exceed the University’s recommended limit of 20 hours per week.
Establish some boundaries with your boss on how many hours you’re willing to work and make sure they stick to it. Don’t fall into the trap of working any and all hours thrown at you; prioritise you!
If money is scarce, make sure you’re managing your money to the best of your ability. Taking on extra hours outside of term time, and over the summer to make some savings before tackling your Masters, are great ways to alleviate financial strains without impacting on your studies.
Some final words….
Don’t burn yourself out by setting unrealistic expectations of what you want to get out of your Masters. Make time for yourself along the way and pursue other hobbies and interests outside of your degree.
After all, you’ll remember the happy memories with friends more than the hours you spent slogging over books till midnight in the library.