As I walked away from my final exam ever (like a boss – well…OK, not really), I began thinking about how I felt about going through university as a postgraduate student. I wasn’t like I had gone back to study after a very long hiatus. After graduating in 2008, I was back in 2011, albeit in a different institution and studying for another purely technical degree purely by coursework.
I often wondered how the undergraduates would view a postgraduate student and it turns out that they honestly don’t care. Nobody really does, because as I found out originally, university is the great equaliser for everybody. There’s no big moral judgement on whether or not you fit in there, it’s a matter of which niche you fit in to. I like that. Just like in real life where people can and should go about their business without their lives turning into a trash magazine front pager unless they want it to.
The major difference to me was that a more mature perspective of study other than “Oh. My. God. There are girls here!” (I went to an all boys high school) that allowed me to actually focus on the work required and to learn what I was supposed to learn. If only the younger, more immature me had the same outlook. Anyway, I found spending time with people who are now going through the same trials and tribulations as I did as an undergraduate, finding my own voice, getting to be more of a social person and understanding my own passions and limitations to be quite refreshing. It turns out that some of the limitations I thought I had when I was younger are no longer there, although there might be some new ones!
I really enjoyed my second stint of university, it was fun, I met new friends, enriched my ability to think and gained some new knowledge. Even if the main objective was narrow – to gain new information about engineering – the end result has been that I’ve learned far more than that. I will always look back at both stints in university fondly and remember that the ups and the downs are, in total, an experience worth having in life.