My degree got confirmed today. I am grateful but boy, the year was long and short at the same time. It feels like you can’t pack that amount of living into 12 short months but all the living happened and I experienced it, so it really was long and short at the same time. 

I started my MSc year applying for a study leave from my job and accepting a new role I would function in part-time till I concluded my degree, but part-time quickly turned full-time and I found myself juggling a full-time masters program with a full-time job. 

Here are the things that naturally happened. 

I started sleeping 3 – 4 hours at night because, between essays and project plans for work, this was the only number of hours feasible for sleeping. Also on the subject of sleep, I mastered the art of power napping – it became essential for survival. 

The art of cutting myself some slack. I am hard on myself, I think we all are, and I desire to always operate at a 100%. It has been a learning curve coming to terms with the fact that my output will not always be at a 100% and embracing that as a growth opportunity instead of beating myself down. 

Rest, a very foreign concept to me. I usually push myself till the death, rise and just keep going, but in the last couple of months allowing myself off-days saved me from burning out. Off-days when I just read a good book, binge watch series and not beat myself up because of the work that I could be doing because, in the words of my famous friend, ‘’work no dey finish’’ so you might as well give yourself a day off every now and again. 

Say it with me, ‘your calendar is your friend.’ I learnt to schedule everything, from calls with friends to my classes and work meetings. It helped me stay on top of things an important plus is that I can colour-code all my different activities.

We all need a support system and I think I took mine for granted. I lived at home with my family and that meant, after a day at work, my sister was there to offload on, my mum would have dinner waiting on a few nights and my dad would take playful jabs at me. Overall it was expected. I have come to appreciate them more and I miss them from time to time.

Still, on support systems, I have the best friends in the world. I have earned this degree with all of them; they have listened to my rants about deadlines and feeling inadequate and have supported me at every point, I think the overarching lesson is: you can’t go through life alone. 

I am grateful to have achieved one of my dreams: completing a masters degree. I am excited for what comes next.