Hello, I’m Aneeska, a second year History of Art undergrad at York! Stay tuned to hear about my regular day. I hope this will give you more of an insight into life at the University of York!
I currently live off campus. One of the joys of being in second year is that you get a chance to live in a house with friends.
I live a fifteen-minute walk away from the university. So, my typical morning consists of walking up University Road to campus. It’s always a pretty walk with trees lining the road.
The walk is a really good start to my day. It’s a nice refresher first thing. I pop my headphones in, take in some fresh air, clear my head, and stroll up to uni.
Modules, lectures and seminars
Most of my History of Art lectures and seminars are held in Vanbrugh College (where the department is based). In the second year, you focus on two modules each term. During my autumn term, I studied about the Sydenham Crystal Palace (1854) with a particular focus on how the Victorian’s wanted to depict a view of world culture. My other module this term was Action/Re-action. This module was a contemporary one, focusing on performance art and theatre. We explored how various artists and art historians in the twentieth century challenged the traditional notions of art.
My typical day would consist of a seminar and/or lecture in these modules, where we would discuss set readings in detail. I particularly like the seminar settings, as the small groups make it a comfortable environment. It’s enlightening to see everyone building on each other’s ideas and working collectively.
Home for lunch
Afterwards, I would walk back home, listening to another song on the way. I would see whose awake at home, ask who wants a cuppa, and pop the kettle on. Those who haven’t got an early start will traipse downstairs in their gown and PJs. Someone else might join for a quick chat and a drink before they head off to their classes. It’s a lovely way to break up your day after a long class in the morning. Come home, catch up with friends, and relax.
I live with other arts and humanities students (3/4 of us studying Art History). So we tend to spend our afternoons doing our readings together.
We’ll go to a coffee shop (York has so many to choose from, Gatehouse Coffee & Café Concerto being my particular favourites) or the uni library, and motivate each other through it.
I really like working outside of the house. I get to keep the house as a work-free haven, where I can unwind and have fun with my friends.
I am on the committee for Student Minds at York, and often we’ll meet up for an hourly afternoon catch up.
We’re a student mental health charity, focusing on making mental health less of a taboo, and signposting students to the right support services. We’ll book a seminar room, and discuss ideas for future events, and work together to make it happen.
Our recent event was in collaboration with the Students’ Union (YUSU). We handed out positive messages to students in busy work zones across campus, i.e. the library and the Roger Kirk Centre.
It can be difficult when you have lots of deadlines and exams, so it’s nice to be able to add a little bit of extra joy to people’s day with a reassuring message.
In the evenings I’ll go to the Aerobics society classes. Exercise really helps me with my mental health. I find it a great way to switch off from work and rejuvenate. I’m on the Aerobics society committee as a Class Rep. So, I’ll help set up the classes and get the equipment out. I have met some lovely friends through aerobics.
Societies a great way to make friends and meet like-minded people. I particularly like the HIIT and Toning classes. They’re quite fast paced, with various routines, but you get better each week and it’s such a great feeling when you manage to get through an intense workout.
Spending time with my housemates
Afterwards, I’ll head home (I tend to see the sunset on the way back, which is always a treat) freshen up, and make some dinner.
As a house, we’ll make dinners together. It makes it so much easier when you all chip in to make a wholesome dinner after a busy day. Chicken Pie has become a staple house favourite of ours!
We’re only a ten-minute walk away from the city centre. So sometimes in the evenings, we’ll walk into town. We’ll grab a drink in town, and chat about our day. There are some lovely cute pubs tucked away in the cobbled streets (with York having 365 pubs to choose from!!) Ye Olde Starre Inne is a house favourite. It’s at its finest when the fire’s lit and you can curl up next to it with a drink.
We’ll come back and watch a film at home (Harry Potter, Stardust and About Time being favourites of ours!) I really like having more communal space this year. It gives us enough space to relax together.
I tend to end busy days by having 30 minutes to myself to recuperate before bed. I’ll pop my phone on airplane mode, either read for a little while or listen to some soothing music (Alexis Ffrench being my go-to most evenings).
And that will be my typical day! I hope this has given you a chance to see everything York has to offer. From the various societies you can get involved with, quaint coffee shops and pubs to explore, and a chance to make some great friends along the way 😊