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7 Signs you are a Master's Student

Date:27 February 2020
If you ever see a senior citizen walking around the UB, don't worry, it's just a Master's student.
If you ever see a senior citizen walking around the UB, don't worry, it's just a Master's student.

1. You forget that people read for fun 

After going through 800 pages of reading per week, the thought that people actually enjoy reading seems quite far fetched to you. Admittedly, Gucci Manes’ biography is probably a lot easier to digest than an article on the philosophy of quantum mechanics, however, when you get home from the library after a long day, even the subtitles of your favourite Netflix show can be a bit overwhelming sometimes. My advice: You’ve had enough for the day when the words start floating around the page and change colours. 

2. People question the legitimacy of your student card

Being a Master student means, at least in most cases, that you already belong to the ‘older (I prefer experienced) generation of students on campus. Add a minor caffeine addiction and some long nights into the mix and you suddenly end up looking like Barack Obama after 2 presidencies. I’m not admitting that this has happened to me before, but in some cases this might lead a diligent cashier to question whether that is actually you on the photo of your student card which you’ve had since starting uni.      

3. Your family has no clue what you are doing 

Most of the time, when you tell your family what exactly you are researching, you will simply get a smile and a slight nod to mask their utter confusion. This might be due to 2 things: 

  1. You yourself have not fully understood what you are actually doing and are talking absolute nonsense (which does happen occasionally) or 
  2. You have actually become a real expert, or at least knowledgeable, in your field. 

In most cases it’s the latter, so don’t take that reaction as a sign of disinterest but pride yourself with it instead. 

4. Your project group is your second family

Talking about families: there are a surprising amount of parallels between your project group and your family which you might not have thought about. For example, just like your real family, you often can’t choose the members of your project group. You also tend to talk to your group buddies just as much as to your parents or siblings. You even have fights, share notes and encourage one another at times. Do you see what I mean? The only difference to an actual family is that your overall performance gets evaluated with a grade, and you inevitably end up breaking up at the end of the block. Then again this pretty much sounds like a typical Christmas at home...

5. You live in the UB 

During your Master’s degree, the UB becomes your second home. So much so, that you start questioning why you are even paying rent for your own room because you never spend time there and you’d even sleep in the library if you could. Rumour has it, that once you know the shifts of the library staff by heart and have memorized all the codes in the snack machine, you can officially apply to become a member of the secret UB Master’s society. There are no known benefits to this, but you will be required to pay a minimum daily tax of 40 cents for subpar coffee to retain your status.     

6. You just smile when Bachelor’s students complain 

When you meet someone complaining about the course load during their Bachelor’s you can’t help but blink and think back to how easy studying used to be. Just imagine the times when you only had 7 lectures per course, had to prepare one journal article for a class, or only had to write one 4000 word paper every semester. Oh, those were the days! People say that memories grow sweeter with time, and compared with your Master’s program, your Bachelor’s indeed seems like a dream filled with cotton candy dipped in caramel. 

7. You discover what you truly love doing

Regardless of all the sleepless hours and countless essays, in the end, it is all worth it. In your Master’s you get to learn about the things that interest you the most and that you want to become a real expert in. Despite all the hardships, you know that you will come out stronger, smarter and better prepared for any academic challenge that awaits you outside of the library. Amidst all the coursework and complaining, you really get to know yourself a lot better as a person and find out what you genuinely love doing. And that is arguably the most important sign of being a Master’s student. 

Interested in pursuing a Master’s degree at the UG? Then sign up for our Master’s Day taking place on the 27th March to find out more!

About the author

Hey there! My name is Asmo and I’m a Finnish/German student exploring life in the Netherlands. Besides being into photography and politics, I am currently doing my Master's degree in European Law. Oh, and I write blogs as well.


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