“What will I do when I’m done with my undergraduate studies?”
At some point, every student asks him or herself this.
Everyone’s point of view on this is different – I opted not to take a break between my 6th bachelor semester and my 1st master semester. I was fairly certain I wouldn’t be motivated to return to university once I was gone, nor would I have an easy time readjusting to university life. Therefore, I decided to transition right into my graduate studies.
There was one small worrisome detail: I wasn’t done with my bachelor thesis yet. I spent a few weeks panicking and thought I would have to extend my bachelor studies, something that I definitely wanted to avoid. That was when I discovered the possibility of conditional enrolment in the master’s programme. Basically, for study programmes with no admission restrictions, you pay the fees for another bachelor’s semester; fill in a form for conditional enrolment and bring the form and proof of enrolment to the Studentensekretariat. You then have until the end of your first master semester to submit the missing grades from your incomplete bachelor’s degree.
Here’s a link with a bit more info:
This option made my life a lot easier and took some of the pressure off having to rush to finish my thesis. As I’ve mentioned, I wanted to avoid extending my bachelor studies – mainly because I’m 26 and would like to finish university sooner rather than later. With the conditional enrolment, I’ll be able to submit my thesis after the Christmas break and also finish my master’s in the regular period of study (two years).
Now, on to the somewhat stressful part: writing my thesis while trying to keep up with the course material for my master’s. It has been challenging and, at first, I had some issues dividing up my time to keep up with current course material, my part-time job and stick to my writing schedule regarding my bachelor thesis. However, as time has gone on, I’ve gotten used to this rather strenuous schedule and have learnt a few valuable things about time management (such as: finish preparation for work on the weekends, get coursework out of the way on the day it is assigned and keep evenings and early mornings free for working on the thesis). I have less free time now, but this extremely busy schedule will soon come to an end, and I’ll have maintained my goal of sticking to the standard period of study. In one of my earlier posts I placed a lot of importance on making time to do things I enjoy – something I still adhere to adamantly. I make sure to take frequent breaks during which I read, play guitar or watch an episode of one of my favourite shows.
Overall, I think that opting for conditional enrolment and not rushing to finish my bachelor thesis in my 6th undergraduate semester was a good choice for myself. Completing coursework as well as finishing my thesis has been strenuous, but the situation has taught me many things about myself and about time management.
If you’re also planning on starting your master studies under conditional enrolment, remember to weigh the pros and cons of that decision. It all depends on how well you can handle stress and how much time you have to fit everything into your daily schedule.
(Master English and American Studies, 1st semester)