It’s week 12, and students, you know what that means. That means you can almost taste freedom.

I said almost, because we still have final exams and assignments to do.

This is my first semester back and I thought I would nail it. I have three-year experience of being an undergrad student, and I thought this time nothing would surprise me.

I was wrong.

Coming back to Master’s degree after 18 months of full-time work is another kind of wake-up call. There are still new things I learn, and some other stuffs I re-learn. Here they are.

21 things I learned in Master's

1. I have realised that the notion of ‘grades do not rule my life’ hasn’t been implanted fully in my brain.

2. Learning about things you’re passionate about makes all the difference.

3. Growing up is still a messy process.

4. Your conversation with your friends suddenly revolves around mortgage and career plans.

5. It’s harder to make new friends. Mostly because you’re ‘past that age’ of wanting to get to know people from scratch.

6. Back in undergrad, you’d grab every opportunity you have to volunteer because you need the experience anyway. Now that you know you can make money out of your work, you’ve passed the point of no return.

7. Having a partner is really a mood booster, because somehow your friends are always busy during the weekends anyway.

8. You have to create opportunities, instead of just waiting for them to come to you.

9. Perks like free drinks and food don’t affect you as much as before.

10. Networking is important, and yet it’s the last thing you’d ever want to do. Sadly, networking seems to be no longer a choice; it’s the norm.

11. The neighbour’s grass will always be greener; your friend will always have a better job and often you question your skills – like, if whether you have what it takes to buy your first house.

12. There’s an urge to brag a little bit and put more spices to your story. Especially when you’re talking to your old, high school friends.

13. One day you find that your time management skills have actually improve a lot – and that you no longer submit an assignment five minutes before the online submission closed.

14. You might still not talk in tutorials, but at least you are no longer clueless about what everyone else is talking about.

15. If you one day wake up and know with utmost certainty that you have three true friends that will never leave, you are blessed.

16. Housechores still become attractive when you have everything else to do.

17. Re-reading a book or re-watching a movie makes you see the story in a different angle.

18. Sure, there are things you regret. But with each day you realise that what you choose to do next is what matters more.

19. A sense of humour goes a long way.

20. Grades don’t rule your life. You’re worth more than just a bunch of numbers on a paper.

21. The worries that come to your head and heart usually are followed by a gentle whisper, ‘Everything is going to be okay.’


Photo by Dia