Then: Slept in whenever I wanted. Went out on Thursday nights. Worked out six days a week. Had a long weekend every week. Lots of time for friends, chores and a part-time job. Thought in Norwegian.
Now: Wake up at six every day. Wine has a toxic effect on brain power. Work out once a week. There is no weekend. Told friends that we can hang out in two years. Slightly afraid of losing my job, having heard that it's good to show up once in a while. Having academic thoughts in English and struggling a bit to explain things in Norwegian.
As an undergraduate on the PR programme, I was all over the place all the time. I was involved in the student union, part-time work, networking, travel and adventure. As a young student, I was overwhelmed by all the things I could do and a be a part of, and the opportunities that arose were so exciting. It gave me the chance to learn as much in practice as I did in the classroom. No two days were the same and everything was fun. I said 'yes' to every opportunity that presented itself.
Copenhagen!? Maybe next summer
I'm happy now. This past week, I have been at school from eight in the morning through to ten at night to possibly, just maybe, give myself room to go on a hunt this weekend. It's the hunting period once a year but two days is too much time to take out from reading. It's to the extent that if I do have time to think of something other than reading, it's to plan my structure for the next several days. When should I go to sleep to have enough time to work out in the morning? What should I bring for lunch tomorrow? How can I make time to meet my friend who is moving abroad in two weeks? When can I get around to packing for going hunting? No, I can't go to work that day. No mum, I'm not coming for Sunday dinner since I don't have such luxuries anymore. No friends, I can't come out on Saturday. Visit you in Copenhagen!? Maybe next summer.
The lecturers are good. They know a lot and demand a lot. We are judged on oral participation and it is not enough to skim through the tower of reading we are required to read each week. it must be read thoroughly and understood. We are already working on assignments and presentations, and Christmas looks like a tiny, flickering light at the end of a long, dark and narrow tunnel. For the first time, I have to say no to the opportunities I would usually say yes to, and plan my days in detail.
So why didn't I leave while I could?
Because I like it! I have become a nerd in record time. I set myself goals and actually enjoy myself just thinking about achieving them. I will go on exchange next term and I will choose from the best when it comes to applying for jobs in two years. A hard-working environment with high-speed projects? A job where I can solve strategic challenges? Yes please! Then I need a grade average between an A and a B. It motivates me.
I've learnt a lot during these first four weeks of the master, and it's really cool. it's much more fun to sit in a lecture now than when I was only here to take notes and study at last minute in December. With a good class full of clever and motivating personalities, I enjoy my time in the classroom. I'm challenged all the time, and it is surprisingly fun to build on what I've learnt in the past, with topical research and about things that I know I'm going to use in the workplace. I feel like I'm educating myself into becoming a highly skilled and versatile marketing expert with a huge analytical toolbox in tow. There aren't many who can claim that!
I would therefore, in spite of the long days, the pages upon pages of required reading, the lack of variety in the environment and the absence of a social life, highly recommend taking a master. I am perhaps a little disillusioned as a consequence of severe sleep deprivation when I write this, but I already feel a lot smarter, a little more competent and even better prepared for the workplace.
Anyway. I'm going hunting now. Honestly, you can't entirely stop breathing either!