It’s okay to not be ready to leave uni: Why you should do that panic master’s

I feel so much more ready to be an adult

When you hear the phrase “panic master’s” most people tend to think of someone who couldn’t be arsed looking for a job after uni so applied to stay on another year just so they could carry on drinking VKs and avoiding adult life.

Whilst this might be somewhat true and the terrifying thought of leaving uni and getting a job was definitely at the forefront of my mind as I clicked apply to my course, as I come towards the end of my own panic master’s, I actually couldn’t recommend it enough.

So if the grad scheme applications aren’t going great and all you can find yourself thinking is “Should I do a panic master’s?” here are all the reasons why you should do that panic master’s.

It will make up for the time Covid took away

I graduated from my undergrad in 2022. But after Covid stole a year and a half of my uni life and several rounds of strikes meant I hardly got the typical undergrad experience, I felt I just wasn’t ready to leave uni yet.

My extra year as a postgrad meant that I’ve had time to do all the things that I missed out on or didn’t have time to do during my first three years at uni. It also just gave me an extra year of living with my friends and having all the freedoms that uni gives you. I definitely haven’t been alone on this. The Higher Education Student Statistics (HESA) estimated an increase of 10 per cent in postgraduate enrolment after the Covid lockdowns in 2020.

Obviously, a Master’s Degree is a massive time and financial commitment and it’s definitely something to properly think about. Postgrad loans aren’t means tested and the maximum loan is £11,295 which includes having to pay your tuition fees. This doesn’t leave you a lot of money to live off and so I, like a lot of students, had a part-time job to get me through my master’s.

But most unis offer a 10 per cent reduction on your tuition fees if you do a master’s at the same uni you did your undergrad which, when you’re looking at tuition fees of upwards of £9,000, is definitely a huge bonus and is something I’m glad I did. Plus I loved my uni city and I didn’t think I had enough time there.

It will actually give you the time to figure out what you should do with your life

I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that uni completely transformed my personality. It’s definitely cliché to say, but before uni I was unbelievably shy and hardly spoke to anyone with had zero idea what I wanted to do with my life. And whilst at the end of my undergrad, the former of those things definitely changed, I still had no clue about what I wanted to do next.

This year has allowed me to properly take time to think and evaluate where I want to go next. When I finished my undergrad, I definitely did not have the confidence to decide this. But now I’m going out into the big scary adult-world with a genuine plan and I feel so much better because of it. I feel so much more ready to be an adult because of my master’s.

Some job sectors actually require a master’s

Two people graduating

Okay admittedly studying English Literature, this point definitely doesn’t apply to me but for some job sectors or for those wanting to do a PhD, master’s degrees are actually a requirement. But for me, I genuinely did just love my degree and wasn’t ready to give up studying. As well as being able to still enjoy all the amazing social aspects of uni for another year, I did also just really enjoy my course and learnt a lot.

It’s just a bloody good time

All this aside, there definitely was a small part of me that was too attached to the uni lifestyle to leave it behind after my undergrad. Yes my master’s has been hard work and still being in uni until September when all the undergrads are enjoying full hot girl summers has been a bit crap (master’s degrees run from September to September), but I’ve also just had a really good time. If your uni days really are the best days of your life then I’m glad I got to experience an extra one.

So don’t feel bad admitting that you’ve signed up to stay at uni and do a panic master’s. It’s genuinely one of the best things I’ve ever done. Plus you’ll have an extra degree to show for it, which is kinda cool.

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