As we near the end of semester two I watch those around me get more and more stressed as their multiple deadlines near, their dissertation ideas become more and more of a reality and job and PhD searches become interviews. I on the other hand, am not feeling the strain of postgraduate study life. This semester I had one full time module and a field trip coming up in a couple of weeks. I have a couple of part time jobs that I have made sure are flexible around my studies and the various university meetings I choose to attend. I have just started a new volunteering post helping run wilderness clubs for school pupils, I’m spending my Easter break working at the zoo and my dissertation deadline is not looming for a while yet. Why? Because I decided to go part time.
Another fab day working with @APRScotland on the @yougotthebottle campaign. The public very positive and supportive of #DepositReturn as always, and a real pleasure to show the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, @strathearnrose what we're up to! pic.twitter.com/VcmAJZImpy
— abi gardner (@_abigardner_) April 11, 2018
I first started considering part time due to cost. I travelled for 7 months before arriving in Edinburgh and as I watched it eat away at my savings, I knew the tuition fees and the living costs that come with moving to a city like Edinburgh, I would struggle without getting some sort of job. With the amount of studying required for a masters degree that can be pretty tricky and I knew it would add to the pressure of getting assignments done on time and to my best ability.
Having enjoyed my undergraduate uni life so much, I also knew I wanted time to get involved in other extracurricular stuff the university had to offer. I wanted to take advantage of the societies, social events, open talks and lectures, representative roles, development workshops and more.
— abi gardner (@_abigardner_) October 21, 2017
However, I still wasn’t entirely convinced that going part time was for me so I enrolled as a full time student. Unfortunately on arrival I wasn’t able to secure the elective modules I was hoping for. I was also still frantically trying to find somewhere to live in the city (I’m not going to lie, it is not easy!) I also discovered that over half the people on my course were part timers. This was the last little nudge I needed, and swapped to part time in my second week.
— abi gardner (@_abigardner_) November 15, 2017
This year, I’ve chosen to just complete my compulsory modules, allowing plenty of time to settle back into university life, explore the opportunities for earning a little extra money and experience and utilise everything the university can offer. I imagine my summer will resemble something similar to undergraduate summers, the wishes of long holidays and lazy days sunbathing in the meadows, but really a chance to rake in as much money as I can and ponder my dissertation. Next year I will complete my elective modules and make the dissertation a reality, hopefully a little more relaxed than my full-time peers are currently.