11 February 2020
I'm not going to mislead you. Yes! It is that bit more challenging. You have additional hands and feet clinging on to you; additional sets of eyes looking up to you; and your heart is in so many places all at once. Any parent would be able to relate to that description—hopefully!
I would like to think I'm not exceedingly emotional, but the dream of pursuing an MSc was an exhilarating one, especially when I got accepted to the University of Edinburgh Business School. For a moment I felt I had physically grown wings. And as I went on my journey, the wings manifested themselves into reality.
You are Capable
A full-time MSc at the University of Edinburgh means a lot of things. It means commitment and drive, it means thriving amid deadlines, it means multi-tasking and time management. As a parent with all the added responsibility, sure, the feel-factor of these demands does go up by a factor of ten. But most importantly, it also means you are capable, and you are here!
From the very first instance, I fell in love with the campus: the crispness in the air, the amiability of the faces around me. And let's not forget to add, the very diverse fashion sense of all my peers! It is a place where you can be utterly yourself, and you are accepted into the community of learners without having to make much effort. The only condition are your genuineness, and your eagerness to learn.
There were several instances when, after a day buzzing with classes, workshops, and events, my fellow students huddled together like a happy colony of ants walking to a pub to unwind, or planning day excursions on weekends. I found myself rushing to catch the bus to get home in time for my 5- and 3-year-olds' bedtime routine. After all I hadn't seen them all day! It was a natural instinct. Going back home to warm hugs was always an additionally excitement. The feeling reminded me of when, as a 9-year-old gifted with a pair of rabbits, I felt the unparalleled excitement of getting back home from school for endless sessions of obsessing over the cute wee creatures' red eyes and furry tails!
The Right Support
Being a stay-at-home parent can be a bit of a mind-freeze (okay, there was a lot of brain freeze!) And getting back into full-time education at one of the world's most reputable business schools can be a 360-degree swirl. But I can assure you, if you set your heart to it, and are lucky to have a supportive close circle, that's half the battle won. The Business School is committed to supporting your journey through and through. I can also confidently add, you will find your balance and you will find your swing. And by the end of the year that goes whizzing by, you will have achieved something that will last you a lifetime.
The people I have met, from peers to professors and everything in between, have all added to my journey in various ways. I feel amazed that there is always something to learn. In all scenes, and all settings, you are constantly surrounded by a fascinatingly diverse set of individuals, each with so much to offer, each so willing to share! And if you're anything like me, when you might be in need of a bit of a break, the school's chaplaincy with its welcoming space, mindfulness sessions, and the free cuppa always helps!
Having been through this bedazzling journey where no day is the same, I invite you to soar high if you're dreaming about it, spread the wings of your thoughts, and plunge away. As Paul Coelho said:
...it is only a leap of faith that distinguishes between a dark night and a starry future.
Moomal Unar is studying for the MSc Human Resource Management.