The first semester of my masters year is nearly over. It's been great so far, busy, but great. It is the first time when I could really really get into a topic - from both the theory side (dissertation) and empirical side (practical research project). It's a research-based year and so it's different from the first 3 years of my degree. I get a chance to explore, play and think for myself, instead of focusing a lot of my energy on deadlines and marking criteria for different little pieces of work. I can plan my own experiments and I'm also responsible for my work and learning to a new degree. My time is unstructured unless I structure it.
I loved most of my degree and I'm glad I had a chance to try and learn lots of different things, as I think it helped me to not only develop a range of skills, but also allowed me to realise what my interests are and what type of research I'd like to be involved in in the future. This year confirms what I thought before: research is it for me. This is what I should do. This is what I will do.
Having this confirmation is helping me through the PhD application process, which is tough and stressful. There is however something incredibly exciting about learning, researching and possibly teaching, sharing the passion and knowledge, as a career, and this also helps to push through. The competition is high and the funding situation is not great, but hopefully, with a bit of luck, there is a PhD out there for me.