Week-in-the-life of a typical maths student!

Hey there! I’m Charlotte, a third year student studying mathematics here at York. It has been a super experience – one I’d definitely recommend! Here is a what a typical week looks like for me…

Being a student is all about getting the perfect work-life balance. I therefore thought I’d split things up and talk to you about the academic side of things first of all, and then about the other stuff I get up to during a typical week!

A maths student’s academic week is comprised of lectures, seminars, examples classes and independent study. I am taking four modules this term and have two one-hour lectures per module per week, along with either a seminar or an examples class. Everyone taking the module attends the lectures, this is the time when all the information you’ll need is laid out on a board in front of you. Example classes are similar to lectures in the fact that everyone attends them together; these do what they say on the tin and allow you to observe your lecturer work through questions similar to those on your assignment sheets. Seminars are the time when you get to ask questions and work through problems with the supervision of an academic. The group sizes are much smaller, on average I’d say there are between 15 and 20 people per seminar. The combination of these three types of teaching mean I’m well prepared when it comes to doing assignments.

Working through questions on assignment sheets, learning definitions and (eventually) revision are what I mean by independent study – the thing that takes up the rest of my time academically speaking. I try to get this sort of work done, usually in the library, between 9am and 6pm each week day, so that I can have the weekends to relax!

Most of the time I work on my own, so I can properly concentrate. However a couple of times a week I like to study with my course mates so that we can help each other out. We have supervisors at York, an academic who is also your personal tutor; I met mine this week to go over my MSc applications, as this is what I’ve decided I’d like to do next year. It’s incredibly helpful having this support in place, something I feel it sets York apart from other universities.

You may know already that all universities leave timetables empty on Wednesday afternoons. This is in order for sports teams to have time to practise and compete. Now, I am not particularly sporty! I do go to Zumba classes at uni occasionally (which I LOVE), but.. I spend Wednesday afternoons working as a student ambassador for the maths department. I adore this job, and if you are the type of person who enjoys a similar sort of role at school or college, then I recommend you sign up to this sort of thing when you get to uni! The work involves giving campus tours to prospective students, running seminars for them and giving ‘student life’ talks. It has been a great thing to talk about during interviews and applications, but more importantly, I genuinely enjoy the work week to week (and get paid!).

I don’t live on campus anymore, as I did in first year, so once I’m done at university for the day, I head home to have dinner (usually with my housemates) and then chill out for the evening. As I mentioned before, some evenings I go to Zumba classes. My housemates are all obsessed with going to the gym, but I prefer Zumba! I often have friends round or go and catch up with my first-year housemates who I no longer live with.

My weekends vary week to week. Whether it be a night out, a visit from a family member, or a shopping trip, I like to do something to completely switch off from my studies; being third year, I have more work to do and slightly more pressure associated with my studies than, say, in first year.

We are absolutely spoilt when it comes to York itself. It is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever visited, let alone lived in! There is an abundance of history if that is your thing, be it the Minster, York dungeons or the Jorvik Viking centre. Or if visiting little independent shops is more up your street, then a little wander around the Shambles is a must. My housemates lovvvve coffee, and I am always up for discovering a new little coffee shop with them – there are so many!

My boyfriend came to visit a couple of weeks ago, and a huge group of us went bowling together. It was super fun! A few of us ended up playing laser tag afterwards and had the whole place to ourselves. It was absolutely hilarious. Whatever you like to do to relax, you’ll be sure to find it in York.

Hopefully I’ve given you a helpful little insight into my typical week. Being a student really has been the best experience, and I’m sure if you come here you’ll absolutely love it – as I have!