Never did I imagine that I would have virtual lectures, or trying to write a group assignment over Zoom and Google Docs, but here we are in the last week of May and I’ve just submitted my last assignment of my masters. Okay, slight exaggeration, I’ve still got an exam in June and a dissertation due in September. However, it’s crazy how quick time goes, and how my masters is basically over.

Luckily, I’ve only had one ‘virtual module’, with the lectures being pre-recorded and to watch when we want to and a few ‘live’ lectures on Adobe connect to ask questions and figure out the two assignments. It’s been a weird old month, and if I am being honest, back at the end of March I thought this lockdown would be over by now. I would have completed my last assignment, a group project, at university, sitting around a table, before going for a couple of drinks before getting the train home. Instead, I submitted the group assignment at 9pm in my pyjamas on my sofa, with none of my group around me. Instead I ask over WhatsApp if it was all okay (basically I transferred it from the google doc to a word document to a PDF). It’s a strange one. I don’t even know if I really learnt much from the module, although I did listen / watch every lecture, make more notes than what I would have probably had done sitting in a lecture hall and did all the activities and some of the reading, but it all feels like a blur.

I’ve watched lectures sitting on my bed, and being in live lectures in lounge wear which I would have never gone into university, nor travelled to London in. I’ve had issues with zoom while trying to do a group meeting, but getting there and it turned out okay in the end. It’s still being a massive struggle and very different from the usual university days as a masters student.

The last time I was in uni was back in March, having just completed a module on International Marketing – well the lectures complete, just a group assignment to complete. Again, most of that assignment we completed it over google docs and WhatsApp, but Group 8 got through it and we were really proud of our work, albeit stressed is probably an understatement.

Then came around my last module, Digital Sport Technologies, and we had to recruit two extra members for the group work. Thats an easy thing to do when sitting in a lecture where you know everybody by face and could easily recruit, but hard when you can’t see anyone. Luckily we were recruited and the group was fine. Yes we had issues, but it wouldn’t be group work without issues or having to re-write someones section as they copied a quote from a website and didn’t do anything else 🙃 ….

Now I have a remote exam in less than three weeks. Strangely I’m not even stressed and I haven’t really revised. I keep putting it off knowing that the exam is open book and I can take up all the 23 hours if I wished. I can google, look at my lecture notes, look at the lecture material for all the inspirations if I get stuck. I can message my friends and we can stress in the moment together. However, if this had been in real life – sat in a lecture hall for 3 hours – I would be stress head right now. I would be revising every second of the day making sure I knew everything, instead I’m relaxed and I’m pretty sure I should be concerned about that.

The reality of being a masters student during this time is weird. It is what I planned and I’m kinda lost. At times I don’t even feel like I’m doing a masters. I’m lost in terms of what to do come September after I had in my dissertation. I need to get work experience, but all sport (well majority) is cancelled, and if and when football comes back it is more than likely to be behind closed doors. Agencies aren’t accepting work experience, and you can’t shadow anyone if they are working from home. Trying to get your foot in the door is hard. Trying to get people to take part in your dissertation and to be able to interview them is even harder. LinkedIn is great, I’ve been connecting with people in the industry, finding out about sport marketing and partnerships, getting some great advice and insights, but I want to get that experience. I want to leave my retail job, and I don’t want to go back on the 15th June.

Funnily enough I have probably done more uni work because of lockdown and not going in to serve Clacton’s finest in Burton. I’m reading more. I’m actually pretty busy and I don’t have to put plans on hold or work out when I can call or FaceTime around work. It’s been kinda great. I don’t have to put my uni work on hold because I have to go to work, and by the time I would have got in been too tired to concentrate or hungry.

Everything has a silver lining, but the reality of being a masters student during coronavirus is a challenge, and something that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I’m just glad my graduation is (hopefully still) in December.

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