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    So, I graduated in 2015, low on money and motivation. I decided to move into the world of work and recoup myself some of both, I'm glad to say after a year of success in a professional environment, I've found my spark for academia once more.

    So, to anyone else who studied their Masters after taking a break, did you feel this disadvantaged you? Were you rusty? Was it hard to readjust?

    Right now, I work a 42.5 hour week, I'm no stranger to working hard and have a tenacious work ethic (one that I perhaps wish I'd had the whole way through my undergrad). How much of your time day to day -does- a Masters tend to eat up. I know mileage varies dependent upon subject, but I'd love to hear your stories.

    How did you find settling into Uni life again? Did you feel disadvantaged socially because you were three or four years older than a lot of the people you brush shoulders with?
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    Having worked won't disadvantage you because as you say you're used to working under pressure, to deadlines and are motivated. You may be a bit rusty so it may be worth doing some reading around the subject, maybe looking through some old work from your undergrad degree if it was relevant or related. If you work at a steady pace and keep up the professional work ethic you should be fine. You may even find you have some free time on your hands to pursue hobbies you may not currently have time for and clubs and societies are great for that. Some unis will have an active grad/mature student community and people come back to education at various points in their lives so make the most of your time at uni and don't worry about your age.
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    i did a masters when i was *much* more than three or four years older than most of my cohort and readjusting to academic life was no problem to me at all although i imagine that this may vary by subject. i wasn't trying to have a uni based social life - i was there to do the work and get the best result i could. and since i was in my home city i already had friends/a social life.

    i found that treating the course like a job worked well - if you are used to being in the office at 8, working hard all day (i was always amazed by how many people in the uni computer rooms seemed to be on facebook or youtube most of the time they were there) and not going out during the week you should be able to have time in the evenings and weekends to do other things (except when there are big deadlines approaching)
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    (Original post by Vorcen)
    So, to anyone else who studied their Masters after taking a break, did you feel this disadvantaged you? Were you rusty? Was it hard to readjust?

    Right now, I work a 42.5 hour week, I'm no stranger to working hard and have a tenacious work ethic (one that I perhaps wish I'd had the whole way through my undergrad). How much of your time day to day -does- a Masters tend to eat up. I know mileage varies dependent upon subject, but I'd love to hear your stories.

    How did you find settling into Uni life again? Did you feel disadvantaged socially because you were three or four years older than a lot of the people you brush shoulders with?
    I didn't feel disadvantaged, and only a little rusty. My course (in English) was very intense -- a full master's in nine months -- and took up noticeably more time than the full-time job I'd had before. I didn't feel disadvantaged socially for two reasons: nearly half my cohort had also returned after a break, and we didn't really have much time to socialise anyway. As you say, the intensity of these things varies from place to place and discipline to discipline, but if you're considering an intense master's and you need/want to get a distinction on it then don't worry about your social life.
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    Hi,
    Hope you don't mind if I hijack your post. I'm returning to full-time study after many, many years working and the last 8 doing an OU degree.

    I'm just wondering if anyone has any tips for people like me. Obviously things have changed a lot since I was last at university, technology being the most obvious.

    Any advice for getting the most out of study? Do people still use pen and paper in lectures, or laptops/tablets? Any useful apps? Good bank accounts (I imagine I'll have to change my current account as I won't be getting a monthly paycheque)? Discounts for students (I'm aware of the mature student railcard, plus Apple store discount). Stuff I haven't even thought of?

    I mainly work with grads so hanging out with a bunch of people in their early twenties won't be much of a change.

    Any advice gratefully accepted!
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    I'm a BSc Computer Science and I would still recommend using pen and paper. For me and other people I've spoken to this about, writing down on a piece of paper is a lot more effective than writing on a laptop.

    P.S. People need to stop developing pointless apps to replace everything physical around us.
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    there is research which suggests pretty strongly (cba to find it but Google will) that writing by hand is more effective for memory and learning than typing

    as for getting the most out of study - the key is to do what works FOR YOU in terms of notes/ reading etc. for example, I really can't read/annotate articles on a screen so if I have had a preliminary read of something on a computer and think it will be useful I print it.
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    Thanks - I've hand-written everything for my Maths degree, including 20+ page assessments. The app that looks most useful is Notability (which allows you to annotate PDFs and also record tutorials), but I would imagine using it to complement the pen and paper notes I make rather than replace them.

    I find some apps are absolutely superb, I think you need to find what works for you and discard what doesn't. I currently work in software development so am always happy to find tools that make life/work a bit easier...

    Still happy to receive any generic advice about going back to study after a long break. Anyone in the same boat who cares to share their experience?
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    I got much more out of being in an academic environment after I had worked for a few years. I appreciated being able to enjoy the studying rather than working in a very capitalist minded industry. Intellectually it was like being on a holiday because I enjoyed studying so much more than my previous jobs because I enjoyed being encouraged to think outside the box again rather than conduct myself as a boss simply told me to.
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    Thanks, that's what I'm hoping for. I've worked as a software developer for nearly 20 years, and although there are some aspects of it I enjoy, on the whole I've grown to loathe it. My study is one of the things that's kept me sane, although it's hard it's enjoyable in a totally different way. I'll miss the money but am *so* looking forward to studying full-time.

    Did you find time-management and coping with the workload easier after having worked? I'm used to doing a 40-hr week plus OU study on top of that...
 
 
 
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