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Life after graduation: four lessons learned

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Our blogger Rafaella has just earned her Bachelor's and moved on to a Master's degree. How does life as a Master's student compare to her life as a Bachelor's student? That's what she shared with us in this month's blog.

When I first began my bachelor’s, I was quite unsure what my life was going to look like. I couldn’t even picture my plans for the following weeks, let alone what my life after graduation would be like. But with a blink of an eye, three years passed by, and here I am, a proud recipient of a Bachelor’s degree. Since moving on from my Bachelor’s and starting my Master’s I’ve learned a couple important life lessons:

Your friends will move away, and it will suck
Living at UCU for three years and being only a 2 minute-walk away from all your friends was a privilege I took for granted. Needless to say, when most of my friends moved to different parts of the globe, not having them around 24/7 was quite the adjustment. But moving away means they’re spreading their wings in the real world -- you get to cheer them on from a distance and celebrate their accomplishments.

You’ll get to fall in love with your studies even more
While I loved what I studied for my Bachelor’s, I have to say the whole experience was quite different for my Master’s. A lot of my Bachelor’s consisted of taking required courses that focused on (useful) subjects I wasn’t particularly interested in. Unsurprisingly, taking these courses made studying quite frustrating at times, and I couldn’t help but begin to doubt if I enjoyed what I studied as much as I did.

But ever since starting my Master’s, it’s like I got to fall in love with the subject all over again. You get to examine subjects from a different lens, and really dive deep into areas you find interesting. At least for me, it has been a well-needed reminder of how much I enjoy studying what I do.

The world is your oyster
Honestly, it sometimes felt like I was living in a little bubble during my Bachelor’s (something that’s quite common at UCU). While I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and made the best of the bubble, I’m happy to burst it. I’ve learned that there is so much to see and do -- if I want to make it happen. Being able to step away from the cycle of normativity I had grown used to for the last three years has encouraged me to branch out and try things I typically wouldn’t: I’ve been attending more informative events on subjects I’m interested in, trying out new food recipes, and exploring new parts of the country. Maybe this whole change is metaphorical and I’m only doing it because I completed my Bachelor’s -- but in any case the world can be so exciting.

You’ll get to meet people from new circles
Just like your Bachelor’s, you’ll get to meet people from various backgrounds. But the interactions can be quite different -- people may come from different academic backgrounds and look at a topic through a different lens, and have a more unique insight on a particular issue. People come from different cultural backgrounds and social backgrounds, many of which are backgrounds I wouldn’t come into contact with often. It’s been such a wonderful experience -- you get to learn something new from each person you come across!

All in all, life after graduation wasn’t as scary as I expected. Sure, there have been a lot of changes that came with it, and yes there have been a few hiccups along the way (like anything in life). But overall, the journey has been very enjoyable -- I’ve been privileged enough to meet incredible people and really enjoy what I study. It’s a great place to start the rest of my life.

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