- Geography and Environment
For my undergraduate degree in Geography, after initially researching the University online and speaking to previous students, Loughborough seemed like it might offer the right combination of academic study and social lifestyle that I was looking for. After experiencing Loughborough for my undergraduate studies, the decision to stay on for a postgraduate course was easy. Ultimately, Loughborough had given me opportunities and a lifestyle I could not have imagined gaining anywhere else. I came back to study for my postgraduate degree for the unique lifestyle Loughborough has to offer, the incredible opportunities available here and also, to continue expanding my knowledge through the best education possible, helping me to achieve my future goals and aspirations.
Not only is my MSc programme very diverse with a wide range of people from across the world, but it also offers a new insight to current world affairs, giving me a different perspective and understanding than I had during my undergraduate course. The course is also challenging and makes me think beyond what is simply required in terms of assignments, to develop my knowledge by engaging in these wider topics that are on offer by studying throughout the programme. It is additionally very rewarding. The challenging edge to the course makes accomplishing it and gaining from it as an experience as well as in knowledge highly satisfying, and not something everyone can say they have done.
Being a postgraduate is extremely full on and busy. They key difference to undergraduate study is the higher intensity of work required at postgraduate level. I found myself continually being active throughout the day by either attending lectures, studying for my assignments, or taking part in the Loughborough lifestyle and getting involved in events such as Hall Sport (IMS) and the Athletic Union (AU). The key to being a postgraduate is time management to fit it all in, as a simple day in the life of a postgraduate is very hard to pin down because the structure of the life at Loughborough is non-uniform and differs every single day!
Typically I start my day around 7:30 in the morning and head to the gym. After this I attend any morning lectures I might have, some of these start at 9am and often run until 12pm. I then often like to meet up with my friends for a quick coffee or lunch break in the Union (which is usually a lively place with lots going on every day to get involved in). After lunch I will usually go back to my room and do private study which might consist of reading, doing any coursework, planning for my dissertation etc. Then if I have afternoon lectures to attend, I go to these. I have AU and IMS commitments so if there are any training events or matches to attend, then I go to these as well after lectures. Following this I head home to make dinner and relax for a bit by watching TV or chatting to my flatmates before doing private study again. After this I end the day about 8pm where I sometimes head into town for drinks with friends or take part in any activities unrelated to study and this might include a night out in the Union. All in all, a day in the life of a postgraduate student can be summed up in one word: busy!
I really enjoy getting involved in the lifestyle Loughborough has to offer, so I try to fit in as much as possible around my studies. This might include sporting events through IMS teams of which I am an affiliate to my fresher hall, Faraday. It also might include training for the beginners AU Lacrosse team I am part of. I also like to go to the gym at Holywell on the University grounds because it provides fantastic facilities which can help me strengthen and condition after an injury I acquired in my undergraduate degree. I also enjoy socialising with peers and friends and often go into Loughborough town for meals, the cinema, the pub and some nights out!
My decision to undertake postgraduate study at Loughborough was a personal choice based on the desire to accomplish a challenging task and gain something not everyone has! Academic study has always been of interest to me because I enjoy learning and gaining knowledge. I also wanted to gain new experiences in a way that might add an edge to student life and which might help me in the future to come; be it for job prospects or within my personal and social life.
It is difficult to say what the next five years might bring, because being at Loughborough for the past four years has brought me new challenges and more opportunities than I could ever have imagined! However, after some travel and a break away from studying, I aim to enter the diplomatic side of the civil service, undertaking a graduate role promoting British interests with the potential to work overseas. With any luck, in five years' time I shall have found a graduate job such as this, that is suited to my abilities and experiences I gained from Loughborough.
For anyone considering postgraduate study at Loughborough, I would really advocate the use of time management to really fulfil and uphold everything that Loughborough University is able to offer you. In doing so, you can achieve an outcome not only for academic study but in lifestyle too. The most crucial and key piece of advice for another student is time management. With the right time management, you can really do it all and you can do it all well! For example, with good time management I have been able to meet my target grades and enjoy my academic studies. However, I have also been able to take part in multiple IMS and AU sports, socialise with friends and have enough time away from studies to relax and try new things.