In a few months, I will be graduating from college with a bachelor’s degree; plenty of people do this. Millions, even. In September, I will be starting a Master’s degree; this is a little more rare, and some people choose not to pursue them in strict succession, but still not entirely remarkable. For this degree, I will be moving from Arkansas to London – yes, that London. This is a lot less common.
That’s why this blog exists.
I realized that there aren’t exactly an abundance of resources or websites that cover this particular niche, so here’s me, providing one more – albeit one specific “more”. Read along to follow me through prep – including endless checklists, moving, settling in, and life during grad school.
So, to catch you up:
- Why grad school?
My undergraduate degree and my postgrad work are in different fields – I see this less as a shift in my interests and more as a way to reconcile different sides of myself. I always wanted to pursue graduate school, I love academia, but there was no reason to continue to graduate school in the path set out by my undergraduate degree. I had been mulling a degree change for some time, and my graduate degree is actually in a field that I almost went into in undergrad, so in a way I’m back where I was four years ago. Plus, I totally plan on getting a vanity doctorate, and you need a Master’s degree for that.
- As the guy in AT&T asked, “How did that happen?”
When I started applying for graduate schools, I only looked at programs that were not in the USA. Grad school literally anywhere that isn’t the good ol’ US of A is so much cheaper that it actually justifies a transcontinental move, even with all the extra fees implied. Plus, the program I’ve chosen is 12 months long, which means I’m paying a year’s cheaper tuition as opposed to multiple years of US tuition.
Also, I’ll be living in London. Who could turn that down? Everything, once considered, just adds up. Please remind me of that when I’m trying to fit my whole life into two suitcases and searching for a part-time job in a foreign country.
- When? For how long?
I’ll leave in the first week of September and my thesis is due on August 31, 2017.
I have been accepted to an MA program at King’s College London; in early January, I accepted their offer. My program is taught on the Strand Campus. (Look it up on Google maps – I’m a stone’s throw from everything.)
- All by yourself?
- Will you know anyone?
Well, after the first few weeks I’ll know my roommates. And a professor or two.
- Will you get to come back for holidays?
If you’re asking this, you must not know my mom. Thanksgiving’s pretty much a no-go, given that there’s not time off from school, but if I missed Christmas she would fly over just to beat me over the head with my gifts.
- All by yourself?
- And after school?
Well, I’ll let you know as soon as I do. My mom claims I’m never going to come back because I’ll meet someone, fall madly in love, and live the rest of my days in the UK. (Which doesn’t sound half bad.)
In the coming months, look forward to:
- The nth Purge of Everything I Own
- Complaints about how ridiculous the price of international shipping is
- How to Pack Your Entire Life
- Questions you didn’t even know you needed to ask
- Things You Don’t Know Mark You as American… Until You’ve Done Them
- Theoretically, the Tube is Easy to Navigate