My first alarm goes off. I always set this alarm because every night I say to myself you are going to wake up early, get some work done and maybe go for a run before your lecture. Nine times out of ten, I turn it off and go back to sleep. I have alarms set every 15 minutes for the next hour to get me up – it’s not my fault I fall back to sleep so easily.
My other housemates are getting up. One of my housemates has boiled the kettle for the third time: she boils it, forgets about it and then it goes cold and has to boil it again. I am beginning to think it is probably time I think about getting up, so I reach for iPad and stick on an episode of whatever I was last watching.
Yup, I am getting hungry. I pause Netflix and listen to see if anyone is in the kitchen. It’s not that I don’t get on with my housemates – I’m just not a morning person and they want to talk. I don’t like talking in the morning. I go to the kitchen, grab my bowl, cut up banana, pour on some yoghurt, granola and chia seeds. Then return watching Netflix, read the news or check Instagram.
My lectures typically start at 10am, so at this point, I really must start getting up. So, I spend the next 50 minutes, getting dressed, packing my bag, making my lunch and a smoothie, oh and wandering around trying to remember what I was doing. I have an alarm that goes off 10 minutes before I actually have to leave my house, so I don’t get distracted and end up late…
10.00 am – 12.30 pm
Lecture time! We get a break in the middle of this. During the break people disappear off to get tea, coffee, a snack or pop to the Hub to pick up their post. If you get enough post they will start to recognise you, it’s like that here, a community.
12.30 – 1.30 pm
Lunch. I nearly always bring lunch from home, it’s much cheaper. But on the days, I can’t be bothered (or brought a salad but am dying for carbs), I’ll go the canteen and pick something up. The great thing about the canteen is that if you are like me and have a variety of dietary requirements if they don’t have anything on their menu, they’ll cook something up.
I eat my lunch in the Chaplaincy with some other people on my course. This is normally the time when we all just chat and clarify bits of work with one another.
Some lunchtimes, I go to the Giving Voice meetings, we learnt to sign in Makaton (a sort of simple sign language) to Lean on Me and then did some performances.
1.30 – 4.00 pm
Another lecture. Sometimes we have seminars as well as lectures. Seminars are really helpful as we get to go over the content in a smaller group and practise.
Finished. Okay, so by now I am normally pretty tired. So, I go home, chill in my room for a bit and watch some Netflix. Honestly, sitting in lectures all day is hard work!
As I type all my notes during lectures, I go through them all, make sure what I have written makes sense and spell-check it all. I then print them off and put them into the right folders, along with any handouts or worksheets we have been given. I also check to see if there is any work I need to do for tomorrow, such as reading or seminar questions. As I work from my laptop, I don’t normally download the lectures slides until I’m sitting in the lecture room, that way hopefully I have the most update to date ones.
The rest of the evening….
I’ll make some tea, chat with my housemates as they cook and then spend some time working in my room. Then I will watch some more Netflix (writing this down has made me realise how much Netflix I watch, I should definitely cut back!). Some nights I facetime my parents, but as we always end up talking for hours, I only did this when I didn’t have any work that needed to be done immediately, otherwise would never get anything done!
Sometimes I just don’t feel productive and will just hang out with my housemates, watching a film, playing a game, eating together or just messing around.
The best evenings, well nights… When we go out as a house. Not everyone in our house drinks alcohol but we all join in with the drinking games – Pepsi in hand – and have a laugh. We go out as a house and have some great nights at the Sub, the silent disco being our favourite, and more good nights out in town.
The days when I don’t have lectures, look nothing like this: I tend to sleep in, do work for a few hours, maybe go for a swim, see my friends, watch Netflix (sometimes its Prime Video….but I know I have a problem), prepare for my next lectures and work on any upcoming assignments. I always have one day off a week where I don’t do any studying. I have a lazy day or go on a ‘day trip’ with my housemates to the beach, Exeter or just into Plymouth during the day to do some shopping.
Thank you to first year student Betony Brock for writing this.
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