Hi Guys! I’m Lauren and I am a 2nd Year student studying sociology at York. So far my university experience has been so fun, educating and very versatile. With topics varying from reality TV to body hair removal, York has a really contemporary department, dealing with the most up-to-date issues within society. I’ve lived in this beautiful city for the past two years and I will give you a glimpse into the week of a typical York student.
So far this week I have had 4 lectures. The first was for my Gender and Sexualities module – we were looking into the idea of masculinity within society. I gained great insights into how ideas of masculinity have changed dramatically from how they were constructed historically. My second lecture was for my Health and Illness module, in which we investigated the idea of medicalisation: the way in which things in society that have not previously been considered a medical issue (for example, shyness) become seen as treatable issues. I found it very interesting as it was an area I had never looked into before.
My Popular Culture lecture explored a very new area being investigated within sociology: memes! They’re one of the biggest internet sensations at the moment and they are so easily communicated globally. We looked into how and why memes are create and shared, through the politics of social media circulation, and how they have moral values planted within them. This lecture was cool, as it was looking at something all of us students could relate to. It was interesting to try and transform it into a sociological research topic.
Finally, I had my Research Methods lecture, where we explored the qualitative method of interviewing. We thought about how we would analyse our interviews once we’d conducted them using processes such as thematic analysis. This gave us some methodological foundations for when we begin conducting our own research!
Before my seminars for each of these lectures I did my readings at home with my flatmates, so we could have a read and a good catch-up whilst discussing our readings with one another. We chatted about some of the issues raised in the lectures: Has medicalisation gone too far? Should we be labelling lazy people as having a laziness medical issue? It’s fun because it makes the reading more interactive and opens your eyes to ideas you may not have thought of at first!
At the beginning of my week I always go to body toning which is what I see as my attempt at being somewhat healthy and exercising haha! Around halfway through the week I went to one of Alcuin’s Live Lounge events with my friends and housemates to watch students perform in a relaxed environment which was very chilled and a nice break from studies!
Once a week me and my flatmates have a meal together as a way of catching up with one another when our timetables and lifestyles become very busy. This week we enjoyed a nice curry night where we made a huge bowl of tikka masala with all the extras, and had a night in by the TV enjoying whatever trashy throwaway show we could find.
With the weekend in sight, I planned to do a reading or two on Saturday morning and prepare for my friends coming round on the Saturday night. We had a relax and wind-down from working through the week, going into town and enjoying the great selection of potential food restaurants (and then ending up in Wetherspoons because it’s student heaven). I got to show my out-of-town friends the great sights we now take for granted such as the Minster, the river boat trips, the Jorvik centre and the dungeons!
The week was very busy and hectic with work, but I always manage to find downtime to relax with my housemates and see my friends. I’m living independently and managing my studies to make sure I don’t fall behind. With things like the Aerobics Society to keep me active, and more relaxed events like Live Lounges and quiz nights I get a break from the educational side of uni and get time to go to things that interest me, which is crucial!
Always make sure you have a nice balance of work and leisure. The University has so many opportunities for us students: you can find anything to suit your interests and fit around your studies, which as you can see I have!