By the time I finished my undergraduate degree in June 2014, I was exhausted. The final push in those last few months really took their toll and when I finally put down my pen at the end of my last exam, I thought to myself “I’m done with my education”. Some of my course friends were continuing with a Masters and I honestly couldn’t believe how they had the energy to go straight back into studying! I moved back home and started looking for a job.
After a couple of weeks, I secured a full time role as an Administration Assistant and almost as soon as I started, I realised it wasn't what I wanted to do. More than this, I realised that I missed learning. The problem was that I had no idea what I wanted to study – my undergraduate degree was in History and Politics and whilst I love studying Politics, none of the MA courses matched my particular interests.
Regardless of the dilemma of choosing a course, I had left it too late to apply for an MA that year, so I decided to stay put in my job whilst I thought carefully about my next steps. Although I didn’t really enjoy my job, it gave me valuable time to research different courses which eventually helped me to make the right decision when I came to apply. After some careful consideration, I applied for an MA in Sociology at the University of Sheffield and, to my delight, I was accepted onto the course.
Now I am half way through, and in hindsight, I’m so glad I had the year in between my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. I feel that the year out really helped me to assess what I wanted to do and when I did eventually start the course, I was refocused, re-energised and ready to commit to my studies. Having the time to carefully choose the right course was also really helpful; if I had continued with postgraduate study straight after my undergraduate degree it is likely I would never have considered Sociology, perhaps sticking with Politics instead. I’m really pleased that I had the time to look into the option of studying Sociology, as the course focuses on issues and themes I am truly passionate about.
If you’re unsure whether to continue with your studies, there’s no harm in taking some time out to consider your options. An MA does require more effort and commitment than an undergraduate degree, so I would really recommend applying for a course which truly interests you but also make sure that continuing with further study is something you are committed to. That way, when the time comes to begin your postgraduate degree, you can be confident that you have made the right decision for you.
Rebecca Jacques, MA Sociology