Updated: Apr 29, 2022
I’ve recently been thinking about furthering my academic progress by returning to study. The only problem I can’t figure out for myself is: When is the right time to go back?
I don’t think I should see it as ‘going back’ so to speak. Some may argue its better known as a ‘step forward’ in the right direction.
Whenever I look onto a university website and filter through the Psychology MSc or PhD options my attention immediately flicks towards the top of the page. Heart racing and palm sweating I click the drop-down tab that says entry requirements and the feeling of dread and nausea fills my body as I see those two numbers that start the over-thinking process again and again… 2.1.
Currently, I sit with a 2.2 in Psychology with Criminology.
University was a mixed bag of experiences in my case, and I’m sure many others. Anxiety/Depression in my second and third year, breakdowns in several relationships, unhelpful tutors and deadlines that seemed endless. Oh, let’s not forget the lack of money-management education that should really be introduced as mandatory to teach students how to properly spend that maintenance loan (curse you student union and your cheap VKs.)
The only thing that scares me about doing a Masters degree, or even a PhD (if I should ever be so lucky) is the feeling of being unprepared. Throughout university I felt so – unprepared. For the longest time I tried balancing looking after myself, and the university workload, whilst sometimes neglecting the former and burning myself out. Although, it’s often said that history does not always repeat itself, so one should never not do something purely on the basis of a past experience.
I graduated in December 2018. Since leaving my undergraduate degree I have moved to London and have just celebrated my year anniversary as working as an Assistant Psychologist. It’s important to be mindful and good to yourself, recognising just how far you have come, and what it is you are working towards. I spend a lot of my time working with children, some of which have complex learning disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder. Although I’d like to think of myself as always being a compassionate person, this role has taught me the important of empathy and emotional resilience in such a demanding environment.
It’s so important to look after yourself, and to not rush into things until you’re absolutely sure you’re ready. The higher education train is leaving the station, and I’m choosing to walk. It’ll take a bit longer sure, but when I get there I’ll be sure the best version of myself for the role.