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leftrighttopdown
Saturday, 24 August 2019 at 7:46am
Monday, 26 August 2019 at 8:58am
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Thread: Help - new to a Master's programme but regretting it

posted
24-Aug-19, 08:07
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posted about 2 months ago
(5) Also on my age - I find it hard to relate to my younger colleagues at school, but I try to engage them on a social basis and on school work. But there's little progress - it seemed my younger colleagues didn't appreciate the enormous requirements - they neglected group discussions to sort out presentations, and group-help initiatives (like sharing summaries of the readings) had fallen apart because of hold-outs.

I am now 6 weeks into this program, and I am starting to feel dissociated from my studies because of the guilt and the toxic mix of anxiety and depression.

Should I quit? I will lose my paid study leave and the semester's course fees, as well as 2 months of wages, which is substantial, but not as bad if I quit at a later date. There is also the embarrassment of going back to work with my tail between my legs.

However I have mixed feelings: I am not getting what want out of the program, and conducive learning is hard if you have anxiety and depression going on.

Thread: Help - new to a Master's programme but regretting it

posted
24-Aug-19, 08:07
Avatar for leftrighttopdown
posted about 2 months ago
(1) I have bad reading skills - I could barely manage 20% of the assigned readings for each week. My mastery of words had been dulled by work, which emphasised practical language, so every reading was accompanied by with spells of looking up definitions. I couldn't speed read, or "read smartly" - I tried all the tricks in the book. Every week that passes with unfinished readings piles on to my guilt - and the readings were incomprehensibly plentiful - some professors insisting that you "had" to finish 3 chapters for each of the 4 or 5 books they assigned that week.

(2) I am struggling to meet deadlines - there are 5 essays , in addition to the end of term exams. The length for these essays were incomprehensible - some 5000 words, while the fewest had 2000 words. I had never had to write more than 1000 words in undergrad, let alone at work. So this is all quite daunting.

(3) I was already having burnout at work (averaging 10 to 12 hour days) prior, and maybe I had been dishonest with myself when I thought I was studying for myself at grad school. I hadn't expected grad school would be even tougher than work, and jumping work burnout and into grad school, I am starting to regret my life-changing decision now

(4) I am the oldest student in my class. I have classic imposter syndrome - looking at the young faces in my class and their seemingly endless ability to take challenges that are thrown at them makes me envious. I had one professor who assumes mature students would have it easier because our work experience can be brought to the classroom - I am less sure of that assessment myself!

Thread: Help - new to a Master's programme but regretting it

posted
24-Aug-19, 08:06
edited about 17 seconds later
Avatar for leftrighttopdown
posted about 2 months ago
I took Finance as an undergrad, and worked in a different field (Lehman Brothers changed a lot of our career paths) for 12 years.

My policy job required a commitment from employees to stay on due to staffing shortages, and they offered a 1 year paid study leave. Unfortunately, the caveats were you had to choose a Masters in a cognate field like Politics or International Relations (and going back for an MBA or Economics are not options). The penalty was the pay that you received while you are away. There was a roster for this, and by the time it was my turn, it was already 12 years down the road and I am nearing middle age.

Most Master's degrees in PS or IR are 2 years - I had to choose one that was 1 year (9 months once you take out term breaks), but realized too late that it was a pressure cooker program. Since the calendar was so short, they expected students to hit the ground running. The faculty assures us inexperienced students could cope, but I am frequently lost in seminars and discussions where professors threw in terms with the assumption that people knew them

At work, I excelled at getting projects on track, managing people, and breaking down tasks into processes. I thought I should be able to handle post-grad tasks (a professor thought I should be able to handle it too). However after just the first week of classes, I realized I was ill-equipped for the program:
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