A Day in the Life of an English student

Behind the scenes of a 730am (targeted) wake-up time..

7.30am: I’m up this early in the morning because I have an early morning seminar for my American Literature, 1910-Present module. I spend 9-11am every Thursday morning in this seminar, and love every minute of it! I leave home twenty minutes before class starts to take a nice walk to uni. At 8.30am, my phone reminder goes off, reminding me to bring my lit texts to class. (This is because I always remember to pack in my laptop and notebook but somehow tend to forget the actual texts being discussed for the week.).

9 to 11am: The seminar starts off with a group presentation on the texts we are doing this week, before our tutor leads us into a discussion of the main themes of the texts, and the historical context of the texts. This week, we’re discussing Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow and White Noise by Don DeLillo. Then comes my favourite part of the seminar, close reading! We pick a few key passages of each novel to analyse and discuss our different interpretations. English at York emphasises on having student-led seminars and encourages us to speak up a lot. This turns out wonderfully –  I really like how seminars are like mini-debates! Seminars are casual, informal and very stimulating. Some really amazing points are raised by classmates and tutors and they often prompt me to do more research into that particular topic. Last term, something my tutor said in a seminar on Samuel Beckett made me change the entire slant of my essay!

12+ pm: I’m back home and fixing up a quick lunch, before grabbing some snacks to take with me to uni. I also pack in my gym clothes and gym wristband, because I plan to spend an hour at the gym before coming back for dinner.

2 to 5pm: Okay, I must confess I’m not one for spending full days in the library because I get very restless. Instead, I do 3-hour study sessions two to three times a week instead, and focus as much as I can to get as much done in that short period. I also prefer studying alone because I tend to talk and get distracted when I study with friends, being the extreme extrovert that I am.

Sometimes I go to the top floor of Spring Lane Building or James College’s Costa to do work too, depending on how I feel on the day itself. Because I need to take out some books from the library today, I’m headed there.

My favourite part of the library’s the second floor of the Morrell section, where the English Lit books are kept. 2 reasons why it’s my fave place: 1) because it’s a Quiet zone and so there won’t be noise when I’m researching/writing my essay, and 2) It’s near all the English Lit texts, so if I do need to find a reference book, it’ll only be a 1 minute walk away from my chair to the shelves!

A popular study spot would be in the Fairhurst section of the library, where there are no reference books but talking is allowed. In Fairhurst, there are many different types of seats and tables and some are near whiteboards, which come in useful for group project discussions. (Going on a tangent here, but I suppose a lot of people like to study here because it can get too stressful/overwhelming when studying in Morrell and being surrounded by all the reference books.)

5-6pm: After sitting down for so long in the library, I start feeling the itch to move around, which is why I usually gym after studying. Also, exercising is just a really good way to work off the stress from uni (sounds cliché, but it really is!). I go to the York Sports Centre on Campus West, which is the main uni campus (the same one where the library is). There’s a newer, bigger gym on Campus East, but I felt that the Sport Centre on the west campus was just overall more convenient for me.

Disclaimer: I don’t usually make it to the gym every Thursday evening. Sometimes I end up taking the bus to town to have a little walk around The Shambles and grab dinner there or sometimes I’m still at the library because I find myself on a roll!

7pm: I cook dinner and chat with my housemates about random things. I usually take it easy after dinner, so I usually do work for about one to one and a half more hours, and then chill the rest of the night.

10pm: I usually surf the net for an hour (or two), watch a movie or new TV episode on Netflix and then call it a day!