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Sarah -in -pageHi, I'm Sarah! ☺

A little bit about myself

Currently on the MRes in Psychology. Loves a good stottie, massive lover of Newcastle (excluding Geordie Shore, soz) and the North East. Drinks and talks far too much about tea (currently enjoying Summer Sencha by Easy Teasy - who just so happen to be former Northumbria University students specialising in loose leaf and tea infused chocolate, mmm). Craft in my spare time, mainly clay and felt - relaxation is key on a Masters course!

Where and what did you study at undergrad?

I graduated from Northumbria University (woop) in 2014 with a degree in BSc Psychology. I really enjoyed the course and it set me up well for any career I wanted to go in to.

What did you do after you graduated?

I knew I wanted to go back to do even more studying - I just wasn't sure when the 'right' time was. I decided to work in another one of my passions (food), save up some dosh and see a tiny bit of the world.

I was supervisor at Nudo Sushi Box for a while, ate all the sushi ever and made some good friends who love food just as much. At the same time, I worked for local companies / street food traders Northumbrian Smokehouse, and the soon to be restaurant (yay!) Papa Ganoush. Everything is homemade; I am a big advocate of all things local, love passionate people and absolutely love working on the markets (yes, I still work some markets whilst studying).

I saved up, left Nudo and kept the local markets on. They were kind enough to let me travel for a bit - I visited South East Asia and Australia. I know it's a cliché, though I didn't go 'to find myself', but for the culture, warmth and FOOD mmm.

Why did you choose to come back to Northumbria?

After all the food ever, I was feeling ready to go back and get my geek on. I actually missed studying and researching human behaviour. It was around January time, so I applied for the MRes in Psychology and worked in a local high school for more experience.

I had quite clearly exhausted a lot of my savings, so the new government loan came just in the nick of time. It supports both part time and full time students with a loan of up to £10,000 to go towards tuition fees and living expenses.

I am interested in sleep research; the Northumbria Centre for Sleep Research is the UK's first entirely natural sleep research centre and I am lucky it is here in the glorious North East. Northumbria itself is ranked in the world's Top 150; Universities from 39 countries are represented in the global league table and Northumbria is one of only 24 institutions in this group - that's pretty amazing.

I chose to come back since I am already in love with the city and I know Northumbria has everything I would look for in a postgraduate course. As much as I would like to try living in a different city, I am fortunate that everything is already here.

Was it difficult to start again after 2 years out of university?

The first few weeks were hard to pick up, I felt a bit out of my depth - my writing of reports skills seemed to have gone out of the window, and people seemed ahead on some modules. However, after talking to my supervisor, he said even he feels his writing style can disappear afer just a few weeks out. I asked my friends and they said they struggled on the course at first too, even the ones who had just graduated the same year. This put my mind at rest; those moments of alarm are completely normal.

Whether you are new to a postgraduate course after a few years out, or jumping straight back into it, it is going to be a big step up, though certainly a step in the right direction in whatever you want to do. A few weeks later, I now feel on top of my work and have got my organisation skills back in order.

Are you enjoying it so far?

I keep referring to the course as 3rd year on steroids, in a good way. It is really intense, the workload feels similar to 3rd year, yet more enjoyable - the course is exactly what I want to do. I have had brilliant support and can't wait to keep going. My first assignment has gone well and I am excited to start my own project, making use of all the fantastic facilities Northumbria has to offer.

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