How I did completed both my Degree and Post Grad simultaneously by 21 years old

Hello everyone!

In case you needed advice on if it is the best thing to do a double degree or even two qualifications simultaneously, I’m glad to help. I’ve been there and done that and it is not that bad at all…

When I was typing the title of this blog article, it took me in a flashback for a second. I was thinking if that was what really happened. I really did, and I did it. I am now a 22 year old with one degree and one post grad!! (my graduation happened a few days after my 22nd birthday- which means I was done with exams way before that so yay!) 

If you ever thought for a second that because you didn’t end up being the first in class at school and you didn’t get the highest marks you will not be able to study forever- I kid you not, you are WRONG. I wasn’t “smart” either. I had no one to look up to or anyone to get advice even. Let alone I was only 17 when I joined my university so I literally had no friends my age who even had the thought of higher studies in their minds at that time. I was alone and that was okay. I clearly remember that I only had two things in my mind- perseverance and a big dream.

See, my family background wasn’t the most helpful at the time because my parents just told me to not fail because I went to a private university and I had an “external party” of people who kept waiting till I screwed things up. I remember clearly that when I first went to my university for the first time, I had no clue what a degree was! I just went to university because it was my next step after school. But that’s another blog article for some other time. Today I will be telling you guys that even the craziest thing you want to do if you focus and think about the big picture. 

That's me in the furthest right!

So to give a little background on what my degree was, I majored in marketing management. My university is called Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT) and yes, they have a business faculty. I did their 4 year local degree program (BBA Special Honours) here. I joined SLIIT in 2015, just 3 months after getting my AL results so this qualification was clearly what I started first. I still remember that when I “realized” that my degree was only academic and being the 17 year old I was, I instantly got bored of the fact of traditional education. I wanted to learn the practical aspect of marketing and I just want to be idling around with my time. I then had heard about The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), which is a UK based qualification (and since I did my IGCSE and GCE in Edexcel) I fell in love with it. I knew I NEEDED to do that as well. 

I convinced my dad to pay for the course, and in true marketing fashion I was able to. I started CIM in 2016 when I was 18 years old. My mom was totally against this because she got scared that I will go nuts and lose it and blah blah blah (true mom style, lol- she never thought that I could pull it off!)

Now that you know the background to the qualifications I did, I will be showing you what is important in terms of actually taking all those exams. Remember, just because your parents can pay for you, it necessarily doesn’t mean that your grades are assured. You need to be smart and work smart to achieve results.

  1. Manifestation is Key

Since you are reading this article, it means that you want to do two things simultaneously. Now, I don’t want to sound like your parent but you need to manifest your goal. Doing this is important because it helps you to make goals in the back of your mind. No charts, scribbles in the front page of your notebook, timetable or motivational TED talks will help you to focus on the end goal. Your manifestation only will.

2. Always think about the bigger picture.

There will be countless times when you will feel like it was a bad move to take so much stress into your life willingly, but every time this happened the only thing that kept me going was the bigger picture. I wanted to be double qualified when I was 21 and I did everything in my life to achieve it in that period of my life. Seeing the bigger picture is important because when life is life and doesn’t be the safe straight road we planned- this helps a lot to be sane. 

3. Know your deadlines

Doing one degree is hard enough, but then imagine two! It is important that you know when your deadlines are to avoid dates from clashing. Make a note in a calendar of all the deadlines coming up – from small group projects to assignments to final exams. This is the only “plan” I ever kept when I was studying and it was a life saver.

I used to hand make my own planner (I didn’t have enough money at the time to get my own fancy planner) and used to print only the monthly planner to write down all my deadlines in the boxes so that I knew my deadlines in one glance. It is easy and practical and you will know how to manage your time.

4. Procrastination is for losers

When you are in a race for time, you really don’t have the luxury to procrastinate. If you are willing to make this sacrifice then it will all be worth it. You will have to make sure you do all your work by the specific day- but if not you will either be unable to submit your assignment on time or even have time to prepare for your final exam.

5. What comfort zone?

When multi-tasking, it is important that you put the thought of comfort down the drain, because if you are lazy and want constant breaks and get distracted easily- doing two exams at once is going to be VERY VERY difficult. I’m saying this from experience, even on days I was the most tired- if I had some work to do that was pending, I had to do it on that particular day itself if not my entire schedule would go bonkers.

6. Priorities, not missed opportunities.

There is a reason why a lot of people don’t do two qualifications in one go. It is because many think that they will have to give up all the fun in life. But then again, you have to remember why you are different to them. If you are doing 2 qualifications, my advice is that it’s best if you can avoid all kinds of distractions- and by that I mean those all-nighter parties, movie marathons and binge watching  TV series just because of your “bigger picture.”

7. Work smart, not hard.

When it comes to achieving a goal there is a big difference between hard and smart. Why I’m saying this is because of this simple explanation. Imagine a friend of yours with a textbook in hand just blankly reading through it without anything actually going to the head and also wasting a lot of time “studying.” Working hard necessarily doesn’t guarantee a result. On the other hand imagine that same friend taking small breaks when he/she is sleepy, but when she’s reading the textbook it actually goes to his/her head- this is being smart. This has a result. 

It is up to you to understand how studying works for you- make your own style. With time being precious like this, find creative ways to make everything you do actually stick in your head.

8. Sometimes being alone is okay.

Back when I was doing both my degrees, one day I realised that I literally had no messages on Whatsapp. This was the mot weirdest experience to me, and I was shocked. Later the thought came to me that I hadn’t had the time to really talk to my friends and to hang out with them. This is OKAY. And if your friends are not texting you, they are good and supportive friends too. Just focus for a couple of years and once again think of the bigger picture. See after a couple of years how free you will feel after all these exams are done. Imagine all the free time you will have when everyone else is just starting to do their exam. Think of the bigger picture. It’s very important.

9. Try your best, don’t be hard on yourself.

There will be times on days where you have tried your absolute best but you feel the exact opposite. You will want to scream and give up but at that time always remember to think about all the hard work you have already done and try your best to make up your mind to overcome this tiny hiccup. I mean honestly saying, you have to make up your mind. Finish what you started and don’t EVER stop in the middle. It is just a small patchwork to make you keep dragging it. 

If you feel like you have done the absolute best, just let it be and take a little time off. And more one that in the next point.

10. Don’t forget to have fun!

Just like I said before, working smart is important. Mental health is very crucial when you are doing two qualifications because the load is very heavy. Don’t overthink and stress out- just do your daily work then and there and RELAX. If you don’t understand anything- Google is there to help you. It is honestly what helped me. Not a single textbook or lecture slide. So calm down and enjoy the journey. It won’t come back so make sure you get the best of it. I wish I had someone to tell me this, but unfortunately I did’t and I missed out a lot.  I’m telling you to have a healthy balance. 

After all, you are planning/ currently doing a double degree. You have to be smart to be able to tackle that. Also, don’t get all hyped up when I say this, but the thought of you even wanting to do a double degree is enough for me to tell you that you are going to do just fine. Everything is going to be okay!

So just keep what I mentioned in mind and enjoy the ride. Let me know in the comments on what part of this article helped you the most!

Hope that you guys enjoyed reading this article!