Semester two has just begun and it is drastically different from the first semester. I have had seniors who took the course tell me that the second semester is when you feel the stress and workload of being a Masters student – and I agree with it wholeheartedly at this moment. This is when I feel the stark difference between my previous studies at Undergraduate level and now at Master's level.
On top of having to look up resources as part of the preparation for coursework, we also have to start preparing for our dissertation which requires a lot of literature searches and meeting up with potential supervisors. As a Master's student, independent learning is pertinent as we are responsible for ourselves academically. Inevitably it may take a toll on some students and I do see some of my course mates having difficulties coping with the pressure. It is a critical time to not only apply self-discipline to your studies but also not to overlook your health amidst the stress.
The University of Manchester has different outlets of support for students’ well-being, such as counselling, which can be very helpful when you need someone professional to talk to. Everything can seem very overwhelming at this time but remember to take things one step at a time. Most importantly, eat right and exercise! It can be tempting to slip into an unhealthy lifestyle when you are swamped by schoolwork but I guarantee that in the long run, focusing on your health and well-being will be beneficial in all facets. I usually cook together with my flatmates as it can be very convenient and a great time for bonding.
During this time, most gyms would also probably be running some promotions so do consider signing up for one. For instance, you can sign up for a 6 months student membership at Sugden Sports Centre gym for only £65. It is located very near Alliance Manchester Business School, about five minutes’ walk, and can be a great way to unwind after a long day in school. However, it tends to be crowded on weekdays around 5-7 pm so go in the morning or after dinner time if you prefer to have an emptier gym to yourself!