Postgraduate life is a world of diversity that cannot be truly generalized. It might vary from one field of study to another, city to city, and from country to country. However, there are some points of connection between each and every one of them that help us remember what it is it about after all.
Right off the bat, it is physically eye-catching. You have aged since your undergraduate life! Yes, you are not 20 anymore, more like mid or even late 20s and that does mean a lot. When looking at yourself in the mirror, you can more or less see your final version of complexion as a human being, be it a university professor, journalist, clerk, waiter, a taxi driver, or a mason [bricklayer]. White hairs start to grow and black hairs begin to fall! What a pain! The purpose of your regular visitations to the gymnasium is not health, but ridding that beer belly, whether or not you drink at all! Oh, and smoking does help! Lying back, watching Jenna Jameson on your laptop in the black of the night while poking at your non-filter CAMEL is more than anything you ever dreamed of…
As opposed to your green undergraduate counterparts, you do not hesitate to leave your student ID at home! Who needs it? It is you who speak and not your card; people know you by face and name because there are simply a lot less postgraduates out there than undergrads on the campus. Your understanding of people and locations around you develops. You come to realize how hard it could be to grow independently in academia where it is not about carrying books but caring belief. It is you, who for the first time, can really sense the burden on your shoulder when you are requested to be academically active and innovative. You need to stand tall and speak up your own words. In fact, there is a two-way relationship between you as a young scholar and the world of academics around you: you listen to them and they listen to you. This relationship fills you with feelings of accomplishment and confidence. This position could be disadvantageous, as well.
When your supervisor (who could be fit or unfit in your measurements) assigns you with a rather difficult task, the first thing that crosses your mind is that you are alone! Postgraduate life, as mentioned before, is about you and not your friend(s). Basically, there is no shared project and even if there be one, it is of little, if any, significance. You may want to ask for help from your mates but soon remember that they are in the same drowning boat with you! So what are friends good for now? It is not easy to say!
Finally, postgraduate life is about you thinking about the girls around you not only as an actual girlfriend but as a potential wife. Your family will not cease for a second in reminding you that you are getting older, your hair is receding, your belly is pot-like and you have begun to get wrinkles on the forehead. Why all the botheration? It is because they want a naughty loaf-eater out of the family! They call it independence but you want to always remember that if there is no dependence, there will not be in-dependence, either! Of course, this is all your personal voice and your dear family turns a deaf ear to them. There is, undoubtedly, more to postgraduate life that this short piece could cover: politics, economy, immigration, university admission, business, overindulgence, and a lot a lot a lot more. One wonders in the end: what is the point? “Yeah, you’re right. There’s no point…” (1) Thanks for reading!
1. Up in the Air (2009)