Ho ho ho! 3 days after my return home from uni and already the sudden exposure to truly terrible Christmas adverts has exhausted my needle-thin patience. I love Christmas, I really do. I need a break from a super heavy term one, filled with essays and presentations and presenting my first ever (!!) academic poster (on Pauli’s Exclusion Principle, which is quite a snazzy little thing that, in short, makes matter what it is. I can do a post on it at some point in the future, that could be fun. Depending on your definition of fun).
Anyway. This Christmas break is going to be more hectic than ever before. Looming ahead in the next couple of weeks are Masters’ applications, PhD applications, funding applications, URSS applications, Met Office work placement applications, whatever-else-the-heck applications, a History of Mathematics essay on the necessity of proof of existence of solutions of partial differential equations in the 19th century, and a bloody 10-page interim project report to type up. Unlike my proper physicist friends, I have never had to write up a lab report in the past so my hopes for success here are pretty dire. Not to mention my perpetual stumbling over MATLAB hurdles, which my project partner appears to be bypassing on a magic carpet of sorts. Do I have time for all this? Nope. I’m off on a roadtrip to Italy tomorrow to absorb the Christmas spirit in the form of rum babas and to exercise my rusty photography muscles. A little upgrade on my previous DSLR in the shape of a Canon 760D has landed through the chimney on my birthday too; did I ever mention I am now twenty one!?
This is where my troubles lie. I am 21 years of age and currently owing £29k to the government in the form of a student loan. This is only to grow by at least another £10k if I am to climb on up and pursue a Masters’ degree in Atmospheric / Oceanic / Climate physics / Applied Meteorology. Graduate, get a job, all that jazz. Sounds lovely, except for the fact that I will be inundated with a pile of debt for the entirety of my working life.
Or there’s the option of pursuing a funded four-year Doctoral Training Scheme in the same field of study, which is exciting. Also scary as hell, but exciting. It also means less debt in the short run, but it does mean not having a job that pays over £21k until I’m 26 at least. Which is when a danger of becoming broody and thinking about a family comes in. Of course, one needs a husband first but that’s an issue of a different dimension altogether. It’s one of those Venn diagrams:
So where do I go from here? As 2015 draws to a close, I hope to have it all figured out by 1st January 2016. And if I don’t – then I turn to my best buddies, Coffee and Chocolate, and we work it out together step by little step.