Going back to Uni after a Gap year

Hi guys,

I have taken a good few months away from blogging. University took over my life basically. Managing Uni work, a part time job and having time to unwind just meant that there was no time to keep up with blogging. However, I am almost finished my masters. The excitement is real! In this post, I wanted to write about what it is like going back to uni and what life is like doing an MA in this post.

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Heres a little backstory in case you don’t know me. I finished my undergrad in 2011, picked up and moved to New York. Fast forward two years later and I am moving back to Ireland and going back to University. I worked as a waitress in New York and I can tell you one thing I made bank. I was used to having money and spending it all on dinners out, clothes and travel. But I realized that it wanted to get a better job (nothing against waitressing I owe so much to that job) however, I wanted to do something I was passionate about. Serving food I was not, eating it yes!

Anyways what was suppose to be a year out of college turned into two and before I could let it go any further I had to start looking into masters. I found a few courses that sounded interesting and applied for them. I got accepted into a Digital Media course and I accepted it. in and it meant that I was moving back to Ireland and going back to the same university I graduated from two years earlier.

Galway, had changed since I had left and not for the better. There is an ongoing renting crisis in Irish cities which means prices are soaring. It was proving impossible to find a house near college for something that I could afford.  Luckily my friend had a room going in her house but it still was quite expensive. But I needed a place to stay, so I took it. I pay 435, which may not seem like much but for the house I live in (which is a SHIT house! There is mould on the walls kinda shit) it is a lot of money. I only have a month left in this house and I am way to excited to leave.

I had a good bit of money saved up before I left New York. However, not enough to sustain me for a year and also pay 5,000-6,000 euros for my masters. I did hope I’d get the grant but because I am under the age of 23 I had to go under my parents income which meant that I wasn’t liable for it. Which is such bullshit! But I won’t get started on that system! The only other option was to get a part time job. Which was fine. I have worked throughout my undergrad and I could do it again. However, a masters is a whole other ball game. It was a lot more work than my undergard.  Working essentially seven days a week for weeks on end essentially takes a lot out of you. There have been weeks where I have been so stressed out about deadlines and still having to go to work. Knowing that I really didn’t have the time to be there. Working three days a week as a waitress and doing a full time masters is not easy. Not to mention going back to waitressing in Ireland when you are used to New York is so strange. Everyone know waitresses in the States make their money by tips. They do work very hard for those tips. In ireland tipping isn’t widely done. So it is super frustrating doing the same amount of work and not getting tipped. It also means that your income is considerbly lower, try earning 9.20 an hour and paying 435 a month for rent and try to sustain yourself with everything else. It is not easy. Money was probably the biggest stress I had doing the masters. Now that the masters is almost done, I am very excited to get out and start working full time again.

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College work

Going back to Uni was weird. I was so used to not doing assignments or studying that going back into it was strange. I was excited to get back into it because  I really loved my undergrad. I found it so interesting. However, my masters was the polar opposite of my undergrad. If I told you I was not an IT person when I went into my masters and I learned all about internet programming and Databases you would look at me like I was crazy. But that’s exactly what I did. I went back to school and done a creative I.T. masters. While there were aspects I loved, Digital Marketing and e-learning to name a few. There were aspects that of it that put the fear of God into me, for example, Databases. I have never been so clueless in a subject before in my life. And while I was convinced I had failed it I came out with a B. I am still so confused as to how that happened because it was one of the worst exams I have ever sat, a close second was my internet programming exam where again thought it was a definite fail and I came out with an A. I still think I have somebodies elses grade but I am keeping my mouth shut. In all seriousness though if I can go back to university after and English lit and History degree and do an I.T. masters then anybody can.

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Doing college work is daunting though. Studying was not fun. But the worst thing about going back to Uni is that feeling of guilt when you are at home watching Netflix or out for a drink and in the back of your head theres a little voice nagging you that you should be doing this assignment or working on that project. It is the worst thing about college. You can never really leave college behind. Whereas with work once you leave you can forget about it until the next day. I will say though if you are going back, ignore that voice as best you can (within reason of course dont leave everything until the last minute) and just enjoy some time off. If I didn’t have some time to unwind in the evening I fully believe that I would have gone insane.

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I wont lie and say my masters was easy because it sure as hell wasn’t. There have been times where I have doubted my ability to complete the damned thing. However, I have come out the other side and I am still alive. There was a time earlier this year where I thought it might never end.

I am hoping it was all worth it. I am currently in the process of looking for a job so hopefully the search isn’t in vain. Though I must admit it is a bit daunting.

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If anyone asked me is it worth it taking a gap year and then going back to university I probably would say no. Though I would not change anything I have done differently, I found it so hard to adjust to life as a student again that I dont think I would recommend anyone to do it if they where thinking of taking a gap year or continuing on with there studies.

If you have any questions reguarding the masters I done, or anything really dont hesitate to leave a comment

till next time,

Em x

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