September is here so we are teetering on the edge of the new academic year! For people starting a master’s this is an exciting albeit nerve-wracking time. Lots of thoughts will be circulating your mind, from what to take to how much pre-reading you should do, where to start? Preparing mentally for postgraduate education is a top priority; here are a few ideas to help you in preparing for your Masters!
Compared to your undergrad, preparing for your masters programme will be significantly more intense in terms of the content and workload. In the weeks before you start, it may be helpful to reflect on your undergraduate learning habits. Maybe you always left assignments to the last minute and want to avoid that this time? You know yourself and how you handled your previous degree, so making goals based on your past experience will lessen any work-related anxieties. This will also motivate you and even make you look forward to the aspects you were worried about; you know you’ll be able to handle it!
Get into the habit of starting early
Feeling prepared in terms of the content will massively help your confidence during the first weeks. Most universities send out a reading list prior to the course start date, use it! You will feel accomplished and you won’t feel like you’ve been thrown in the deep end when you get your first assignment. Having a fear of failure can lead to procrastination, so it’s better to be prepared and get stuck in as soon as possible. You have chosen this course (hopefully) because it is something you enjoy, so you should be eager to get started!
Reach out to fellow students
Meeting new people will be a big part of your first few weeks preparing for your Masters – all of them are in your position! It’s always helpful to talk to fellow students about your concerns or questions. It’s also a great way to get to know people on your course. To gain a realistic perspective on what to expect, you could always reach out to previous students who studied your course. Most universities have student mentors whose job is to answer these questions, so don’t be afraid to ask your university about any set up groups on social media.