Top 3 tips for owning your postgraduate year…

…by Jackson / from USA / studying MPH Public Health / Postgraduate

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I will never forget stepping off the plane at Edinburgh Airport and getting my first glimpse of Scotland. The wind (never seeming to cease in this city) whipped at my jacket as a mist fogged my glasses. The air was electric. I knew from that point forward that this year in Edinburgh was going to be one that I would certainly never forget.

Without fail, this year did turn out to be one of the most rewarding of my life and it is with a heavy heart that I prepare to leave the University. While some of you reading this may be just preparing to enter for a similar (or even longer) degree, I thought it would be fitting for me to share some advice in reflecting on own year at Edinburgh.


1) Take Every Opportunity, Every Day.

Whether it is Quidditch to curling or boardgames to ballroom dance, Edinburgh has a club or society for nearly everything that you can name. Even as postgraduate students, societies are a great way to make new friends, take up a new sport, or even learn a new skill to boost your CV. However, while those opportunities are available, it does require a jump into the unknown as a student. I would encourage you to try things out in Welcome Week, consider standing for a student election position, and take every opportunity that this incredible university offers!

2) When Things Get Hard, Reach Out!

From the first year of undergraduate through to the final days of a PhD, a university education is going to have some stressful and very long days. When these days do come, you may be tempted to pull back into yourself. However, it’s important to realize that others in your program are having the exact same experience! Be sure to reach out to classmates, your personal tutor, and even on-campus resources to help with those more stressful times. You never can underestimate how much a quick chat or a shared cup of coffee with a classmate can help!

3) Connect with Your Program

Postgraduate studies are intense and, while the days may be long, the months fly by. Before you know it, you’ll be saying goodbye to the people that you feel like you just met when your program started. My suggestion for every postgraduate would be to make the most of your program’s community. Host potlucks and movie nights or organize an outing into the Highlands, for example.


Postgraduate studies at Edinburgh are intense but it is also important to remember that you are still a part of this community. Use every opportunity available to you and try to meet as many unique people as possible. Most importantly, enjoy your next year as a postgraduate at the University of Edinburgh!

Read another of Jackson’s blog posts on ‘Returning to studies after a break’ at 

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