With the beginning of the new year, it was mainly two things that have become painfully clear to me: exam season is approaching faster and a one-year Master’s programme is much shorter than I previously realised.
While not yet panic-inducing, for me at least it is important to face these short- and long-term issues head-on.
So, first things first: how to deal with the upcoming exam week? When I’m preparing for exams, my favourite thing to do is to organise first. While this seems (and is) very simple, it still is advice I would like to share as for me, it is the most important stage of the preparation process. At first, I like to make sure I have a clear idea of what needs to be done. I write down a list of all my classes and what I need to prepare. Then, I make a plan of how many weeks and days I have left, and of all the other things outside of academic work that needs to be taken into consideration. This way, I can make a more concise plan of what I want to get done for each day and suddenly, what seemed like a huge amount of work is now structured into a number of manageable little tasks for every single day. The most important thing though is to stay realistic with the amount of work that can be done in a day, otherwise, you can quickly find yourself being discouraged! Also, always make sure to include enough breaks and some time for other activities too.
The issue of the recently realised brevity of the programme and the career decisions that I will have to make this year has helped me a lot to talk to the AMBS Postgraduate Careers Service. They have a lot of great advice to offer and help you figure out not only your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to your professional life, but also your expectations, likes and dislikes about possible future positions. They certainly make the prospect of being a job-hunting graduate in the not too distant future seem way less scary!