I thought I’d write a bit of an update post as I am now 3 months away from starting my Masters in Librarianship.
I definitely don’t feel like I’ve been doing as much prep as I should have been. So far I’ve bought a pretty A1 mid year planner for my wall (from Amazon), got an academic diary and taken some books out of the library, which I’ve barely read yet.
Funding wise, however, I’ve been getting some applications in.
During May I applied for a £10,000 Scholarship from the University of Sheffield. I haven’t heard back yet, but I’m keeping all my fingers and toes crossed as this money would help me so much. I applied for it under the widening participation part of the scheme (I’m maybe going to cover this in another blog post so I won’t go into detail). This scholarship would allow me to pay for my course fees, not add even more debt to my student loan, and leave me some money left over to help with any additional costs from the course.
Speaking of additional costs I am currently writing this blog post at work because my laptop is slowly dying. I suppose I should expect this as I used this laptop for my BA and it’s probably roughly 7 years old now. So despite not having loads of disposable income I’m dipping into my savings next week to get a new laptop. Of course my current one would die the week I get an email from the University saying ‘here are loads of links you must read’. I’m also hoping to get an external hard drive at some point and I’m probably going to fork out the cash for the latest edition of Microsoft Office (Edit: Due to the lovely comments I will not be forking out for Microsoft Office!) My bank account is going to hate me. Plus I hate spending money on any form of technology because I can’t spend loads of money on top of the range stuff and, regardless, I know what ever I’m buying is outdated before I even get it home.
Back to funding: I’m also currently writing my application for assistance for Long Term Funded study from the university that employs me. I’m really lucky the university I work for has this scheme. I’ve worked a lot of places previously that haven’t offered any kind of support or flexibility for studying. My application is going well so far, but as I don’t know anyone who has done the process recently I feel a bit in the dark about the whole thing. There are a few possible out comes from this application:
-They might fund the whole first year of my course and let me attend without having to owe time back (the absolute dream!)
-They might pay for the first year of the course, but I have to owe time back (essentially doing 5 days in 4 as I’m a full timer and work 37 hours per week).
-They might give me time to go, but I have to pay the fees.
-They might completely reject my application.
In the case of receiving no funding from my employer I’ll be paying for my Masters using the government postgraduate loan. In terms of getting time off if I do not get it through this scheme it will be down to an agreement with my line manager and again working something like 5 days in 4.
I’m lucky that I have had the opportunities above to apply for funding, however, as it seems so close to when I actually start my course I’ve been getting really nervous. I am one of these people that likes having everything sorted in more than enough time and university never feels like this. I made my application to study the Masters course late last year and at the time was going to save money from my admin job, apply for a post graduate loan, then quit and study full time. Now I have a library job though it makes more sense to study part time. Financially it would be sensible to continue to earn a full time wage and have less worries about money, paying rent and bills and affording the basics. Also I see the benefits of studying at a slower pace, having more time to read more things and really understand the content. Additionally, I could use my work in my studies, ask colleagues for advice, and have a wider view on libraries and the information sector.
On the flip side part of me would like to study intensively for a year then BAM I’m a qualified librarian. The idea of a more professional role, being able to teach, doing all the things I’ve wanted to do for a long time now, but have never been given the responsibility for, is also very tempting. Waiting 2 years instead of 1 to start doing this is playing on my mind. Also, to be blunt, the idea of a professional position with a better wage and therefore a better quality of life is also very tempting…. but maybe I can apply for higher roles whilst I’m studying? Who knows.
I haven’t changed my Masters application from full time to part time yet because everything feels so uncertain. I have to make a decisions soon and it will most likely be part time.
So that’s a fairly brief update on my current situation. I’m still excited to be studying again, but I want to get all the above out the way so I can really look forward to it.
I’ll end this post with hopefully how I’ll look in September – part of an illustration by one of my favourite artists Sarah Andersen.