Bitching Brew

Friday, April 14, 2006

Decisions, decisions.

A long and wonderful phase of my life is drawing to a close. I'm talking about my college years; I've only a fortnight of lectures left. Furthermore, my exams will be over by the 31st of May. This really is the end, and it's terrifying!

I've been tied up in knots recently. Between college work, a thesis that went wrong, women (!) and trying to figure out what I want to do next year, everything's been a squelchy mental mess. I certainly want to do further study. The stress of the last few months is going to knock a few lumps out of my degree, but I still expect to get good grades. I won't ace the thing, that's all. So my grades ought to be strong enough to get me into most postgraduate courses. I've come to realise that, given my recent stresses, the élite colleges and the most competitive fields are closed to me. That's focussed my mind a lot. In fact, it's not such a bad thing. I know now that I don't want to be a professional economist. I don't think I want to study up to Ph.D. level in anything, though it's possible I'll change my mind.

So I've been looking at taking Masters or Diplomas in different disciplines. I've thought about psychology, literature, history and politics. I'm quite sure (at time of writing) that I'd like to take an M.Sc. in International Political Economy. Not so far from economics after all! Essentially, I'd be studying the interactions between politics and economics at an international level. But it's firmly rooted in politics, as opposed to economics. It's a niche field, but there are several good degrees being offered in Britain. LSE is out of my league, but the likes of Warwick, Durham, Manchester, Sussex and Bristol are viable options.

BUT - I'm not sure. It's a lot of money, it's a crucial decision, and I'm under a lot of pressure at the moment; so I've decided to take a year out. Now, what should I do with the next 12-15 months, eh? I could take a job up and move into the city. I could work for a few months in order to fund travel. I could even do some internships or work for NGOs. All so confusing. I do need some money to get by, and I really want to get into the city and share a place. Hate the outer suburbs. Hate them. And to add to the brew...

I discovered today that the Canadian visa programme is offering additional places. I'll need to make my mind up fast and apply, as it's very popular. If I do apply, I'll have a 12-month multiple-entry visa to work and travel in Canada. It begins whenever I arrive, which can be any time from 1st May to 31st December. Wow. A year in Canada sounds fantastic. A few friends are at a loose end as well, having decided to take a year out, so I'm going to see whether any of them are interested. This could be the time of my life! It's a big decision as well, so I need to weigh up the pros and cons. Honestly, there aren't any cons inherent in the idea, I'm thinking more about opportunity costs. In other words, what I'd miss out on by committing myself to this. But it's a great opportunity, and I'm enthused, so even though it's just popped into my head, I think there's a 60% chance I'll go for it! :)

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  • Congratulations on graduating! That's really exciting. Whatever you decide to do, will be fantastic, but I hope you choose Canada as it is just a wonderful place to experience!

    By Blogger Etchen, at Mon Apr 17, 04:02:00 p.m.  

  • Thanks Etchen! Ah, I'm still rather confused about everything. A little queasy about going to Canada alone, as I'm not sure whether any friends are joining me. But I'll figure it out. It does sound great. Now I'm leaning towards Toronto...

    By Blogger Martin, at Sun Apr 23, 12:00:00 a.m.  

  • Oh! Toronto is just a wonderful and busy city with a very diverse group of citizens. It is by far one of the better Canadian cities and you will be close to a great many sights and experiences. Let me know if you end up deciding on Canda for sure and I can give you a heads up on different things. ;-)

    By Blogger Etchen, at Tue Apr 25, 03:53:00 p.m.  

  • Yes, I've put down my deposit and sent off my visa application. So I'm definitely going to Canada!

    Haven't booked flights yet, so I could change my mind about the city - but I'm 90% sure about Toronto! Thanks for the offer - I'll definitely take it up. :)

    Once my exams are over, that is. The blog is going to be very sporadic for the next month. Though I'll write something up at the end of next week about the Trinity Ball.

    It's the end of the year party, but this is pretty special. It's in the old cobblestoned squares and courtyards of the college, with rock bands and dance tents - but it's black-tie. And it runs from 10pm to 5am. For all us final years, it's going to be a last hurrah - like an end-of-the-millennium party!

    Hope you're well, and not too much stress over your way!

    By Blogger Martin, at Fri May 05, 12:30:00 a.m.  

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