Interview with a second year Biology student

Hi I’m Fanni, and I’m part of the student content team. In this blog post, I’m going to interview my housemate Atalie who will walk us through one of her days and give us some recommendations about where to go in York or on campus to switch off.

Atalie during the interview
Image credit: Fanni

Hi Atalie, thank you for agreeing to sit down for this interview with me. To start off the interview could you tell me a little bit about yourself?

Atalie: I’m a second-year integrated Masters Biology student. I’m currently living off campus with four other people.

Could you walk me through a week in your life? What’s your workload, what hours do you do?

Atalie: A week in my life includes workshops, practicals, lectures and tutorials.  I have quite a big workload for Biology. Maybe from six lectures plus a workshop to two workshops and a practical a week. Although practicals are only every other week. In first year I didn’t really have any days off but in second year I have some days off every now and then and that’s good for revision and catching up.

Can you tell me how a typical day in your life looks like?

Atalie:  I would wake up quite early as I usually have a 9am on Campus West. I would make myself some breakfast and coffee and pack a lunch that I can eat between lectures. If I don’t have the time to make lunch I’ll have a soup or a panini in Cookies, the Biology Café. I leave the house around 8:30 and walk to campus while listening to Spotify or my favourite podcasts. The walk is very scenic, and it takes around 20 minutes to get to the department. If it’s super rainy I’d take the free 66 bus to campus. Let’s say I have two to three lectures that day. If I have any breaks between them I’ll go to the library and loan a laptop and catch up on some notes and write them up into flashcards. When my day is finished I would go home and do any extra work that needs finishing up. After dinner, I’d usually watch a film with my housemates. I work at the Library Café, so if I’m working I’ll usually be on a closing shift that ends at 8:30pm and I’d go home after that.

What extra-curricular activities do you do? Are you part of any societies?

Atalie:  I’m part of the Aerobics Society which I go to every week. I’m also part of the LGBT Network and Social society. I sometimes go to network meetings and the LGBT Social Society puts on regular drinking and non-drinking events. The icebreakers that are held every start of term are my favourite. I’m part of the Norman Rea Gallery too which I really enjoy the exhibitions of and as a Biology Student I’m part of BioSoc as well.

Do you go to these societies on your days off or do you do something else?

Atalie: Well, I kinda fit in the societies in whenever I have time. If I’m on campus and I know that the Aerobics society is holding a session later that afternoon I’d stay on Campus for a couple hours and go to it. The Norman Rea Gallery exhibitions are usually in the evening and are only held three times a term. I’d usually go to the exhibitions with my housemates after dinner. On my days off I usually make an effort to stay home and catch up on sleep, but still be productive. I usually do exercise in my room to YouTube videos or go running if the weather allows.

Are there any places you would recommend on campus or in town to switch off?

Humpit Hummus at Church Street in York Image Credit: Fanni

Atalie: I really enjoy Humpit Hummus and Bagel Nash in town. I think they are excellent options if you are in town and want to grab a bite. I love the museums and the art gallery in town and that with your student card you can get into almost every museum and the York Minster for free. I also enjoy walking along the Shambles and going to the tea shops where you can sample some free tea outside. All places in York are really good and friendly even if you go just for a stroll, I find it very relaxing especially in the winter when they got all the Christmas lights up.

Any favourite places on campus you like to go to?

Atalie: Hmm, I like to go to the Quiet Place if I got a moment, let’s say an hour before or after my lecture. I sometimes take a walk around the lake with my course-and housemate Alex and look at some ducks and geese. But I think the Quiet Place is my favourite place on campus just around the Derwent Lake, behind Heslington Hall.

I understand that as an off-campus student you do not have catering as an option available. How do you fit shopping and cooking into your schedule?

Atalie cooking stuffed aubergines Image credit: Fanni

Atalie: Well, me and one of my housemates bulk-cook and meal plan. We go to Aldi every two weeks and we’ll cook for the both of us for about three days. That really helps us keep things cheap and easy. Aldi has lots of good deals on like the Aldi Super 6 which we always look up before going, and we always write a shopping list.

The finished aubergines Image credit: Fanni

We have found that bulk cooking is very efficient as we don’t have to re-buy loads of things during the period between to shopping trips. We make sure to take time out to cooks so you can just have something you can heat up later.



What advice would you give to freshers coming to York this autumn?

Atalie: I’d make sure to join the Facebook groups that are set up after results day. That will give you some peace of mind and even though friendships are not born in Facebook chats but it’s nice to know some names and faces. I’d recommend coming to university with an open mind and try to attend Freshers events even if you are really shy because everybody is very eager to make friends. You can practice a couple of opening sentences and just throw yourself in there. Societies are also a great way to meet like-minded people and I’ve met some great people through attending society events.

Thank you very much for this interview Atalie!

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I'm a second-year History of Art student. Currently part of the student content team for the academic year 2017-2018.