Despite being back in Newcastle for a week now, it doesn’t really feel like I’ve got started yet. This might be an obvious statement, few people go flying into the start of a PhD project, but it is nonetheless a weird feeling to have. I haven’t even received the feedback from the MA dissertation I completed at the end of August, which was essentially a ‘trial-run’ of different methods and ideas that can be taken forward into the PhD. So to a certain extent I should chill out about it and let this ‘induction’ period run its course, wait for my first meeting in a week or so with my supervisors, do some related reading etc. But that is easier said than done. For me, not having closure on the last academic year makes it difficult to mentally ‘move on’ into the next one.
One event that did keep me busy (excluding induction events and the coverage of the party conference season, always an interesting time for British politics geeks such as myself) was working at the GPS (School of Geography, Politics and Sociology) table at the undergraduate’s module fair last Wednesday. My role was essentially as the spokesperson for the Politics modules that the school allows students from outside GPS to take to make up their credits. Although by the end of the three hours I had certainly had enough of explaining what each of six different modules consists of over and over again, I certainly did enjoy talking to so many enthusiastic and interested first year UG students. The majority of those I spoke to seemed very keen to listen and learn about what knowledge and skills they could gain from taking Politics modules. It was a refreshing experience.
P.S. One last plug for the fantastic video that the Politics department produced on why people should come to Newcastle University to study politics. Watch it HERE.