University is a big change from sixth form in many ways. For me, one of the biggest changes was in the structure of the academic week/timetable. I thought I would introduce you to my timetable to give you a taste of what your average week at the University of York would be like as an Environmental Science student. Although weeks differ in intensity between terms and academic years, this week would be a pretty standard week for me, now in my third year.
Monday. Mondays are usually one of my busiest days in terms of lectures lecture-wise. Usually I have about 4 one hour lectures in the day, normally with a 9am to start the week.
Tuesday. Usually quite busy as well, although not as busy as Mondays!!
Wednesday. Wednesday is national BUCS sports day so everyone at university only has contact hours in the morning, leaving the afternoon free to travel to matches. However, if you are not part of a sports team there are plenty of many other options to fill your time with besides just going back to bed! The Environment Department offers the opportunity to link up with St Nicholas Fields, a nature reserve close to campus. Here there is opportunity to do some volunteer work on whatever projects the reserve is running at the time. Not only does this allow you to get some well needed fresh air after two days of lectures, it is also really useful for building up your CV.
Last term I took part in the York Students in Schools programme (YSIS) and used my Wednesday afternoons to be a teaching assistant at a local primary school. This was a really great opportunity for me as I am considering a career in teaching. Making the most of your free time during the week can be very useful – it gives you time to do things other than academic work, as well as giving opportunities to work on deadlines to avoid a last minute panic!
Thursday and Friday. The last two days of the working week are often a lot less busy for me, and usually involves me spending a lot of my time working independently or with friends in the library. This time in the library means that I have time to keep on top of my work while leaving my weekend free for fun! As Environmental Science is a science subject, lots of our modules also involve practical sessions. These practical sessions often take place after the lectures at the beginning of the week, so usually on a Thursday or Friday.
You are lucky if you decide to join the Environment department at York now because we have just had a brand new beautiful building built for us. This means instead of trekking from one side of campus to the other between lectures as we had to do in first year, your lectures, seminars and practicals will all be contained to one area.
The new building is really nice, and houses all the staff as well as lecture and seminar rooms and lab space. This which means that everyone is under one roof which is really handy if you ever need to catch a lecturer to ask them a question. The building also has some space to work in for when you have gaps between lectures and that you can’t be bothered to walk home and back in. The building is also perfectly located between three of the best food spots on campus: Cookies, James and Wentworth. Cookies is the café attached to the Biology Department next door, and believe it or not sells incredible homemade cookies! James College not only has a daily selection of hot food options, it also sells waffles with various incredible toppings. Wentworth café is part of the college and department on the other side of the department building and has a Starbucks, need I say more?! Perfectly situated? I think so!
All in all, a week in the life of an Environmental Science student is always great fun and is now even greater fun as it takes place in a beautiful new building!