Going straight from Undergraduate to Masters study…
…by Devika / from India / studying Modernity and Literature / Postgraduate
Masters was certainly a step up from my Undergraduate degree. Not just in terms of my intellectual and academic life but also in other aspects.
But as someone who jumped into a masters right after the completion of their undergraduate degree – the two were about three months apart, I had a mixed response to my decision, initially.
To begin with the positives, I got into a great university. Because I didn’t take a long break from my studies it wasn’t as hard to fit into a schedule that involved going to classes and having relatively no income. I also personally felt a little less stressed as I ended up saving two years by shifting to Edinburgh. Masters in India are two years, Undergraduate degree in Scotland is four years, I did my undergraduate degree from India (three years) and Masters from Scotland (one year).
However, here are some of the negatives which I have also since considered. I often question if I did need a break from education? Maybe to work, intern, travel, spend some more time with my family and friends because most of my time now goes either towards my readings, classes, meetings or other extra- curricular work.
I wouldn’t consider this as a negative point but Masters is a huge step up in terms of independence for me. I have to manage my own studies, research and finances, all of a sudden. I don’t have teachers running after me to make me finish my assignments or meeting me five days a week. I do have an extremely supportive faculty here who I bug a lot from time to time but I am slowly learning that they are more our colleagues who are there to guide and not to baby sit us. Masters means being responsible for your own actions and conduct. During Undergraduate studies in India you were ‘almost’ an adult, in Masters you are an adult – no excuses.
In conclusion, as someone who knows relatively little about what they want to do in life, I feel studying my Masters, generally speaking, was the correct decision for me. It’s tiring and difficult but I know that it is a step up in my plans towards my future goals and it is that which keeps me driven and determined.