Undergraduate vs Postgraduate: Differences

Hello everybody!

So yes, university is offically back this semester (and as i type this I should be continuing with pre-class preparaton readings). ‘One’ set of readings done though. Anyways, I have the weekend and a day off  soon so will be catching up on my readings then. Then my two days of classes start then.

Anyways, enough with the ramble. Today’s post will be based on the differences that I’ve noticed when I was in my undergraduate years compared to my post-graduate life now.

Undergraduate life:

Reliance on casual work during semester and/or on university holidays. This rings true if you had a heavy coursework during semester. Just as long as you can get experience is the most important thing. I’ve worked various jobs from note-taking at uni, to being part of student services. My consisent holiday job was at an educational services company where they hired univeristy halls to run high school classes.

Never underestimate volunteering during univeristy. I volunteered with a couple of mentoring programs during my univeristy. One program in particular involved me travelling to schools in low socio-econimic backgrounds and involved in raising awareness in tertiary education throughout my univeristy time. From this experience, it adds a whole lot of diveristy to the skillset.

I’ve noticed science / medicine related subjects were completely different from high school and were quite technical, especially beyond first year. Those subjects took a lot of my time during the week. After two-three years doing a physiology / pharmacology major for that time, I decided that it wasn’t for me. Safety, health and environment was another major that I had it mind during that time as the subjects were more of my thing and were understandable. Mind you, my grades were improving at that point upon making the switch.

As the years went on and especially in the later years, I found myself wanting to get out of uni and start working. I wasn’t enjoying uni life anymore at that stage. I found a great group of uni friends that I still hang out to this date from first year. Sure there were acquaintances throughout the years but honestly that doesn’t matter.

Doing a language at univeristy is hard work! I dropped the arts part of it mid-way through my degree. First two years was enjoyable, but later on it became a chore.

I wasn’t doing much socially during my univeristy years, besides being invited to parties occasionally and/or outings. My social group was pretty limited to them, my high school friend (who I still see time again) and primary (but these days now, it’s rare as people change over the years)

People at my undergraduate were completely different to the uni that I’m in now. Nerdish, smart, weird, rather blah, booksmart boring at my undergraduate univeristy. It’s quite a contrast with the university that I’m with now. Kind of old-school but that’s what you get with univeristies that aren’t innovative.

Most of the subjects that I did, besides the safety related and a management one were a total mind-boggle to me and I have no recollection of them. I really had a hard time maintaining my grades for those subjects (ans espeiclly the language subjects).

Too much free time killed me to be honest. During that time, I was looking for work just to earn that money.

The univeristy I went to relied on attending lectures, see the slides and expect to learn. I’ve had lecturers where I would fall asleep, tune out during class, simply because they would keep on talking. Of course, there were some first year courses where students were talking during the lecture and honestly, it was distracting. There were older students that are paying X amount and taking time out of their schedules to attend class. I think I’ll say the same thing, had i ever gone through an undergradute degree again.

Now onto the Postgraduate life:

Now that i’m in this stage, full time work and part time study is the way to go Time managment is crucial as time  and days are limited. I found that weekends (and days off) were the best time as studying during weekenights and during lunchbreaks wasn’t working for me, espeically when you’ve come home from a day of work and gym.

Now that I’m older, I have an interest in the degree that I’m currently doing as I am keen on changing careers. Most of my students that I’ve encountered are older and have been through university again.

Once you hit the working life, there isn’t much time during the week and so weekends are a must to catch up on things. Savour the free time that’s avaiable during your student years.

The universtiy that I’m in now is better than the previous one. Vibrant, innovative and in the heart of the city, where my working life has been (well, I did travel past the city from the North side before finding a job closer to home).

I feel that I’m engaging with the material a lot more. Studying at the same time as working breaks up the everyday life of work work work and something to look forward too. I can say that I am glad to experience studying again!

So far, people have asked how I do it and suprised that I am doing both at the same time. Of course, one has to give i.e you do one or the other full time, not both.

Anyways, that’s the comparisons in a snapshot.


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