So…you’ve done it. You’ve got the piece of paper proving three (minimum) years of hard work, essays, reports, presentations and hangovers. Instead of the generic “I’m loving University. Yes that’s right, I’m studying *insert degree here*, and I’m in my third and final year” the shift of conversation now leads to “so, what are your plans now you’ve finished three years of fun and frolicks, what are you doing in the real world?” I think it is fitting to include this image, one that tickled my friends and I as it was exactly how we were feeling ever since we put the pens down at the end of our exams.

However, in all seriousness, now the three (plus) years are done for some of us and it’s time to hand back the graduation robe, it is time to assess what options we have in the commonly referred to “current climate”. Internships are the way forward, if living with Mum and Dad and only needing to worry about paying for the commute to the internship, this is an ideal option for post-university life. Gaining an insight into the sector you’ve already dreamed of can be helpful when showing if it really is what you want to do. Back at school I did my compulsory work experience placement with Essex Police. This was a fantastic experience that to this day I remember, and it definitely confirmed my desire to consider a future career in the force, or the Press Office…or something within the remit of crime (not committing it). Whilst many internships operate on non-payed schemes, cliched as it is, the experience is invaluable.

Many of my friends have launched straight into jobs, and I am finding it incredibly hard to accept that we have gone so quickly from exchanging chocolate cake and stories in the library (Suze, this is us) to wearing suits on the way to a 9-to-5 job. I completely admire those who ‘sucked it up’ and got on with the sheer reality that we have to grow up and get jobs at some point in our lives. Of course I know this, and have had my fair share of part time jobs in the past, however I cannot help but feel I am fueling my inner airy-fairy English student reading-poems-by-the-river into an exterior reality that I will find difficult to snap out of. Why is this? Probably due to the fact that I know in September I will be embarking on my journey to Durham to start my year long MA programme. “MAs are only for people who want to continue the student lifestyle” I heard someone quip, however, this is not the case and I wanted to explore the importance of making an MA future decision.

Studying at MA level is going to be tough, mentally draining, but incredibly stimulating. This is why not only I am going to pay an extra £10,000 to study for a year but also why the majority of my best friends are too. Whilst we may be studying at completely different universities, the sentiment is the same. Personally I was dying to stay in Liverpool for another year, after falling completely in love with the surroundings and its people. However, that is not the priority I should take and am glad I was realistic and searched for an MA that was perfect for my interests and potential future as a PHD student…time will tell.

I think MAs are a great asset to people who want to continue their interest in a subject further, especially if their vocation in life is to be a lecturer. What do you think? Is it worth paying that much money for one more year of studying? Can you even put a price on that…like with everything, it’s all completely relative.