What to do with your end-of-Masters freedom

In the next month or so, your year's worth of dissertation hell will be over. Harriet Williamson has a few ideas on how to fill your time

By early to mid-September, most of the Masters dissertations for humanities will be bound, printed and submitted, and the course completed. You will be a 'Master of Something' with a winter graduation to look forward to. The end.

To me, it all seems rather final and frightening, so I decided to compile a list of things to do, some practical and others simply to celebrate. At times it might feel as if summer has been withheld, only available to undergrads who have long dispensed with their final exams, but fear not! September/early October offers plenty of opportunities for CV-building, quick getaways and general hay-making, and after wrestling with a dissertation for four months, stressing and sweating over it, this might be exactly what you need.

Ibiza closing parties

For those who want a taste of real madness, the White Isle is the place to be. The closing events continue into early October and although entry to clubs is expensive (not going to lie here), the Ibiza experience is unique in its embrace of the flashiest and tackiest elements of holiday debauchery. Surely there is no better antidote to four months in front of a laptop screen, attempting to understand Foucault?

Hampstead & Highgate Literary Festival

For the literary-minded, the festival boasts over 60 events, including writing workshops, lectures, interviews, book sales and signings. It runs from 15-17 September and Ruby Wax, Tracy Chevailer and Nick Ross are among the confirmed speakers. I’ve definitely forgotten what it’s like to read something unconnected to my dissertation, so this is a perfect opportunity to reconnect with reading for pleasure, plus students get 10 per cent off all ticket prices.

London Fashion Weekend

I’m a little bit fashion-crazy and unfortunately not famous enough to be given a ringside seat at London Fashion Week between Alexa Chung and Mary Kate Olsen, but the Weekend event is a brilliant way to get a taste of the couture action as a lowly member of the public. The event runs from 19 - 22 September and you can browse new designer picks for cheaper. It’s probably not going to be reasonable prices, but a girl can dream! For £25 you can shop and get a goody bag (a tote by a British designer with stuff in it) which sounds pretty sweet to me!

Oktoberfest

From 21 September until 6 October the world’s most famous beer festival will be in full swing. What better way to celebrate finishing your Masters than in Munich, with a tankard of beer?

Job applications

On the practical side, dissertation hand-in means that you have the freedom to commit to job applications with renewed vigour. I’m not going to say ‘the job market’s tough right now’ because we’ve heard it so many times that its beginning to sound meaningless, but setting up some work experience is definitely worth the hassle. The Masters alone usually isn’t enough to attract employers, so hone your tea-making skills and start approaching likely institutions or businesses for internship opportunities.

PhD proposals

I found writing a PhD proposal during my Masters year to be supremely difficult, not least because the deadline for funding applications coincided with the hand-in date for two major essays, so the end of dissertation-writing will provide a welcome lull in which to crack the proposal. Making good links with potential supervisors is key and it’s also a good idea to ask to see examples of past proposals. Finishing a lengthy dissertation should allow you to approach the PhD proposal from a position of greater academic confidence and strength.

Whatever you choose to do to celebrate your end of dissertation freedom, remember to ride high on the knowledge that you have completed your most advanced academic challenge thus far. Although, petitioning friends and family to actually read your work might be an even tougher nut to crack!

Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Sport
Brendan Rodgers is confident that Sterling will put pen to paper on a new deal at Anfield
footballLIVE: Follow all the latest from tonight's Capital One quarter-finals
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Voices
Jimmy Mubenga died after being restrained on an aircraft by G4S escorts
voicesJonathan Cox: Tragedy of Jimmy Mubenga highlights lack of dignity shown to migrants
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Life and Style
tech
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Software Developer

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Join a fast growing software co...

Guru Careers: Graduate Account Executive / Digital Account Executive

£20k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Graduate / Digital Account Exe...

Guru Careers: Junior Designer / Design Graduate

£18k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Junior Designer / Design Graduate to join...

Recruitment Genius: Key Sales Account Manager / Graduate Trainee

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Key Sales Account Manager/Graduate Trainee i...

Day In a Page

Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum
France's Front National and the fear of a ‘gay lobby’ around Marine Le Pen

Front National fear of ‘gay lobby’

Marine Le Pen appoints Sébastien Chenu as cultural adviser
'Enhanced interrogation techniques?' When language is distorted to hide state crimes

Robert Fisk on the CIA 'torture report'

Once again language is distorted in order to hide US state wrongdoing
Radio 1’s new chart host must placate the Swifties and Azaleans

Radio 1 to mediate between the Swifties and Azaleans

New chart host Clara Amfo must placate pop's fan armies
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

The head of Veterans Aid on how his charity is changing perceptions of ex-servicemen and women in need
Torture: It didn't work then, it doesn't work now

Torture: It didn't work then, it doesn't work now

Its use is always wrong and, despite CIA justifications post 9/11, the information obtained from it is invariably tainted, argues Patrick Cockburn
Rebranding Christmas: More public bodies are refusing to give the festival its name for fear of causing offence

Rebranding Christmas

More public bodies are refusing to give the festival its name for fear of causing offence. They are missing the point, and we all need to grow up
A Greek island - yours for the price of a London flat

A sun-kissed island - yours for the price of a London flat

Cash-strapped Greeks are selling off their slices of paradise
Pogues could enjoy fairytale Christmas No 1 thanks to digital streaming

Pogues could enjoy fairytale Christmas No 1 thanks to digital streaming

New system means that evergreen songs could top the festive charts
Prince of Wales: Gruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence

Prince of Wales: Gruff Rhys

He is a musician of wondrous oddity. He is on a perpetual quest to seek the lost tribes of the Welsh diaspora. Just don't ask Gruff Rhys if he's a national treasure...