You just blink and a month passes away here at the Uni. The high-paced master’s course is difficult to cope up with and many of us face issues in bringing the best version of ourselves in this extremely competitive environment. I do not know where the last three months went. My life revolved around the basics – sleep, eat and study. I never imagined that I would end up spending 30+ hours in a lab trying to figure out what needs to be done in an assignment. Yes, it is tough but not impossible to handle. I knew it was going to be hard even when I was signing up for the course. 2 years course compressed in one, but I took it as a challenge.
Most of us sign up for masters post a few years of work experience and same happened with me. I have an experience of 4.5 years and when I was in a situation where I was putting in my 100% and getting failed, I wanted to give up. I wanted to move back, and I started doubting my decision of moving here in the new country. However, post sharing my issue with my friends, I realized that they were sailing in the same boat and that is when it struck me that to come out of the entire situation, I need to work on my thought process, and it was required to bring in some changes in the daily routine. There are so many things that the University, Student’s Union, and Societies of the University were doing to make the situation better for the students especially in these difficult times.
The first thing that I did was to start eating properly and on time. We often miss meals when we work around the clock as we keep it as a second priority. However, eating healthy and on time is highly important for our brain and body to function. Secondly, I started going for walks by the River Wey or the Lake at the University to connect to the nature which eventually help me sleep properly- sometimes it is amazing to get tired deliberately! Last change that I tried bringing in was the most challenging one- working out. We all know how much we struggle to step out of our comfort zone to work out but when we do that, we feel fresh and that is why I tried bringing in this change. Believe me, all these things helped but I could not maintain for a very long time. Waking up early, eating on time, studying on time, working out – basically, working according to a timetable has not really been my thing so I failed.
What next now? I went on Students Union website (ussu.co.uk) and saw the amazing activities that those people had planned during the entire exam season. The VP-Support, Aaron Seabrook, came online on their Instagram handle (https://www.instagram.com/surreyunion/) almost every day to support the students, make them aware about the activities around the campus, gave out free drinks and desserts in the Hive, made the University open Hive 24×7 for easy access, shared Revision tips, tips on succeeding in the exams and even supported the ones who wanted to apply for Extenuation circumstances (a way to postpone your assignments/exams in case of any unavoidable conditions). Some of the activities that the Student Union organized were – Dog therapy sessions, this was organized for the dog lovers to spend time with them and rejuvenate then there was an announcement for ‘End of year show 2021’, DJ party for a week! They had also organized RAG Fest to support the charity and many more. There were support group working hard to support the students dealing with mental issues or bereavements. My Surrey Voice was another platform that I came across to report or raise my voice against any issue I was facing in completing the coursework or if further assistance was required from the staff. The habit I tried adapting and the support I received from the University, helped me go through my submissions and exams!
Hybrid education comes with online 24 hours exams which sounds cool- 24 hours to work on an exam and open book! But it is not as chill as it seems to be. If it is for 24 hours, it is difficult. Everyone struggled to gather the right information, write answers, and submit it on time but if you have the support from your friends and University, it is not so tough to deal with!
I cannot even put into words how relieved I am that it is over! Excited for the next phase i.e., Dissertation! Let’s see how it goes. Keeping my fingers crossed!