Perceptions of life as a postgraduate

As a prospective postgraduate student in Applied Linguistics I thought I would write a bit about my undergraduate experience and how I think it will differ to life as a postgraduate.

My last three years as an undergraduate at the University of Kent have been inspiring and challenging but nonetheless have encouraged me to continue my educational endeavours as a postgraduate student. Although I am still in a familiar environment there are sure to be some major differences in the lifestyle and studying.

My undergraduate life consisted of many different modules that although were not all benefiting my intended purpose after university of becoming a teacher, it provided me with some necessary background knowledge and wider awareness of some key areas that will no doubt help me at postgraduate level. My degree will focus on more specific areas of the English language and more towards how I am applying these skills in a classroom. The beauty of a postgraduate degree is that it specialises even more than your undergraduate, focusing on the specific parts of your subject that you want to focus and develop upon.

So what do I expect from this year? Well firstly, I expect many more late nights and energy drinks. What is university without cramming a few days before a deadline, or staying awake most of the night worrying about grammatical imperfections? This will no doubt culminate in the dreaded dissertation, which quite frankly strikes fear into the bravest of students.

An image of The University of Kent Templeman Library extension
The University of Kent Templeman Library extension

Secondly, I am expecting to find myself more in the new Templeman Library extension. Having waited a while for the completion, it is safe to say that it looks like it will provide the perfect working environment with enough spaces to survive many long hours studying there.

One thing I am hoping will happen is that my organisation will improve. It is very easy to think that you will do something at a specific time or in a specific place, it is another thing to actually achieve that. I found that with my undergraduate I could have invested a lot more time in wider reading and researching, I would have achieved a higher set of results, but hindsight is a wonderful thing, right?

My postgraduate degree will definitely be a challenge and a change, but the lessons learnt in my undergraduate years will set me in good stead to achieve my best. I am so excited to be returning to Kent for another year, especially with this year of development and advancement.

This post is by Oli McVeigh