I’m in my last year of the two-year-long Master’s program in Strategic Communication. With a Bachelor in Politics and a Master in Strat Com I hope to soon enter the real world of public relations and communication. On my agenda at the moment is my role as Communications Director of IT startup Omniflit and preparing for my Master’s Thesis which will focus on the European Union.
Five things I wish someone had told me before taking up my studies
- The more you know, the less you know:First thing I learnt upon entering into higher education. You’re never as sure about things and as black or white as when you walk into that very first lecture of yours. There’s at least fifty shades of grey to each subject.
- Exams aren’t that tricky: Don’t worry too much about exams. If you attend lectures and seminars and read most of the literature on the reading list, chances are good you’ll do fine on the exam. This of course depends on the nature of the exam (there are, odd but yet, occasions where memorizing byline texts and percentages is a good idea.)
- More is more: Learn how to speed-read. I tend to start by reading the back of the book and then the list of content. This usually gives me a good overview of the book and what I should prioritize. If unsure, check the course curriculum. If there’s a summary at the end of each chapter, then that’s a good thing to read.
- Find inspiration outside the curriculum: Read a lot (other than course requirements) and get involved in organizations or jobs (related to your area of study, or not. Personally I find academic inspiration can come from the most unexpected ways.) In my five years as a student I’ve never gotten very many thrills simply out of reading course literature. Sure, it’s been illuminating and interesting but the understanding of what I’m good at, and with what I should work has come from activities outside the curriculum.
- You will be poor but there are perks: Try to enjoy the time of being able to do your laundry or grocery-shopping in the middle of the day. Don’t find self-studies depressing but luxurious and an opportunity to delve into the fountains of knowledge and wisdom that is science and research. Avoid feelings of not being part of, or contributing to, society. Your student years will be over sooner than you expected.