August 31, 2018, by Tom T

How to prepare for postgrad life

If you’ve bagged yourself a place at the University of Nottingham to study a Postgraduate course, you are in for an adventurous, exciting and challenging year ahead. But before all of that, preparation for both the fun and fury (joking) pays off really well. Apart from packing, packing and re-packing all your books, bedding, food stuff, clothes etc. I recommend these simple steps to help you adjust to a great time ahead at university.

Difference between UG (undergraduate) and PG (postgraduate) life

UG is 4 years (depending on your course). PG is just a year (or two if you are a part-time student). Sit down, take a piece of paper and write down what you would like to do after a PG course. Are you going to work, start a new venture, get set for a PhD or do something that no one else has done? Whatever your choice, your PG prepares you for that and you need to decide what you would be doing alongside attending lectures, finishing assignments and having a bit of fun. I did this and it gave me focus over the last year. Some of the things on my list were

  • Workshops and conferences to attend to gain new insights and skills
  • Meeting faculty and professionals in my area of interest
  • Making new friends who would help me in my journey

Get your finances in order

Make a budget. Weekly, monthly expenses and set aside some extra for festival seasons or whatever your leisure activities might be. Don’t be too stingy and at the same time don’t be a spendthrift. What you save is what you earn. PG life offers amazing part-time work opportunities with companies, the University (check out Unitemps) and maybe, your Students’ Union!

Work / Life Balance

A little work every day is much better than slogging in the last moment. Try to be as consistent as you can when it comes to work and studies. This really helps you have time for yourself, friends, recreation, sports, personal reflection etc. PG is intense, but through all that intensity, you have great support to help you figure out time for everything.

Living and studying around UG Students

Remember that UG students are just like you were a couple of years back, a little noisy and experiencing uni life for the first time. But don’t let that stop you from having UG friends! It could be an opportunity for you to brush up your basics by helping your junior peers with their subjects or you might discover something you didn’t know when you were an undergrad.

Living and studying around UG students requires a bit of patience and understanding. Not only does this help you mature but it also teaches you one thing, student life is all about acceptance, understanding and bridging gaps with smiles and encouragement.

By Rajesh Ramesh
Studying MSc Electrical Engineering

Find all the help you need for your postgraduate life here at the Graduate School

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