life after my masters degree (in a pandemic…)

2020, lifestyle, student

Hello!

I think this might be the first time I’ve intentionally taken a month off blogging since I started in 2014! With my masters degree dissertation deadline looming and the dire state of my mental health (that I feel like I’ve mentioned too many times) I decided to take the pressure off just a little bit by not making myself feel I had to upload for a little bit.

I thought it would be a more difficult habit to break but in all honesty, it was nice to have a break! I’ve come back now excited to write again because I love blogging so much and I’m so ready to get back to what ‘normal life’ feels like for me.

So I finished my masters! I took a one week extension on my deadline because my stress levels were making me physically ill (lol) and it ended up that everything fell on November 5th – my dissertation deadline, a second national lockdown in the UK and my fiancé and I celebrated out 5th anniversary! I cannot believe it’s been five years but it also started the countdown of 2 years till we get married which is exciting. Our wedding contract confirmation from our venue came through the letterbox on that day too which felt very significant!

I spent most of the day formatting and double checking my essay and waiting for massive media files to upload so we didn’t get to celebrate too much, but we ordered Chinese just like we did on our first date and the next day we spent two hours together building Lego Hedwig which he’d picked up for 99p in Game a few weeks ago (it retails at £35!) which had mechanical flapping wings!

It may have come with a very simple instruction book that was over 100 pages long but we felt much cleverer than we are to have made something out of Lego that moves!

It was a great way to start life after masters. In the few days it’s been I’ve mostly been playing the new Pokemon Sword DLC The Crown Tundra with my Pokemon obsessed fiancé and doing all the little bits and bobs round the house I’ve been ignoring to give my little mental energy to my degree. The house is tidier than it’s been for months, everything is clean and I feel refreshed despite it being grey and rainy outside (though I’m loving snuggling up with my blankets inside).

Looking ahead, I don’t know what’s next. If the world wasn’t in a pandemic, I’d definitely be looking to get a job as soon as possible but 1) I imagine a lot of companies that would usually hire graduates aren’t hiring because they have to prioritise paying the staff they have and 2) I’m exhausted from this year. Finishing a dissertation in any situation is a huge mental and emotional toll but doing it when the world is upside down, the US election was taking days and my fiancé is still driving all around the country in high risk zones for work, I’m absolutely shattered and need to take this time to be gentle with myself.

Whilst I’m still recovering and trying to figure my body out, I don’t know what the future holds, which probably doesn’t help my mental health but I need to rest – this year has had a toll on everyone and everyone is handling it in their own way, I just need to find mine.

I am still looking for jobs, because I can’t rely on my fiancé’s income to pay for everything, we have a wedding to save for and I want to start my career! Most of the people I finished my undergrad degree with are two years into their careers and I feel like I’m a little late to finding my footing in the professional world (not that I am, there’s no one timeline). But I’m not going to spend all day every day looking for jobs when I know what a negative toll so many rejection emails had on me two years ago.

So right now? Life is very slow, I’m focusing on making myself a routine and taking care of myself because I’ve been ill for nearly three months now and I have to change something, because I never want to feel like this again.

I don’t know when I’ll get my degree results, I don’t even know if I’ll still be able to attend graduation in 2021 with the state of the pandemic, but I’m grateful to have finished my degree, I’m grateful to have a roof over my head and a partner who makes me feel like a million bucks, I’m grateful to have friends and family to turn to when I feel lonely and I’m grateful to have my health, whatever state it’s in, in a world where nothing is certain anymore.

Things are scary and uncertain, but the year is almost up, I’m seeing Christmas joy everywhere I look and there is hope for the future with the new President-Elect of the US – things will get better, just one step at a time, no matter how small.

Thank you for reading – I hope you and your loved ones are happy, healthy and staying safe!

Sophie xx

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I finished my degree!

2018, lifestyle, photography, student

Hi there!

It’s been a while since I wrote or uploaded anything really isn’t it? I’m pretty sure in my last post I said ‘I’ll keep uploading as usual in the month leading up to my final hand in’.

Well, that went well didn’t it.

Moving on, that final hand in has been and gone – my FMP is uploaded, submitted and ready for marking. ‘FMP’ stands for Final Major Project, it’s the practical equivalent to a dissertation and it’s what I’ve spent three years working towards and it’s all done.

The day of hand in was a pretty dramatic one – the day before I realised how much work I had to do and knew I’d be taking my last chance to do an all nighter in the library. It wasn’t even like I left it all last minute – I finished my project, it was boring stuff like transcripts, formatting the document and annotating my pictures I hadn’t done, but I was finished by about 7.30am so I went for breakfast, met up with some friends and we submitted our projects around 10.30am. It still doesn’t feel real that it’s gone and it’s over typing it now.

So while a normal and sane person would have gone home for a nap, I watched Zac Efron musicals with my best mate and went to the pub with some really great people from my course.

And with that long winded spiel of an explanation over, the obvious question is what next? What now? Do I have a job lined up? What are my plans?

Well that answers are I don’t know, I wish I knew, definitely not and I don’t really have any – I’m currently at home, spending a few days with my mum and chilling out at ‘home’ home then I’ll go back to Southampton, tie up some loose ends with the society I used to run, find a job and work on my personal goals and projects.

I’ve got a pretty intense workout plan (not only do I want to lose weight for graduation but I need to get fit again because it’s laughable how unfit I am right now), I want to stick do writing blog posts and uploading YouTube videos somewhat regularly and above all I want to chill out for a little bit.

It doesn’t feel real – basically every step of my life so far has been mapped out in education; 16 years of compulsory education, two years of Sixth Form and three years of University. Now the template of education has run out and I have to figure the rest out for myself. I know vaguely what I want to do but it’s whether I can find a job, whether I’m good enough to get that job and somehow figuring out somewhere to live in this whole process.

It’s all a bit overwhelming (hence the desire to chill out for a little bit) but it will all work itself out.

At least, I hope it will.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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