Hi! My name is Heidi and I am a third year SPS (Social and Political Sciences) student. I have a pretty packed timetable, despite having relatively few contact hours as I’ve really thrown myself into uni life and have tried to make the most of all the opportunities that York has to offer. I’ve been really fortunate during my time at York to get involved in a wide variety of things and have met some wonderful people along the way. In this blog post, I’m going to take you through a typical week in my life!
Mondays are a slightly quieter day for me as I don’t have any lectures or seminars (this is quite common for third years as there aren’t as many teaching hours to give more time for independent study and working on my dissertation).
I usually start my days at around 7am (or slightly later if I’ve had something on the evening before). On Mondays, I usually work in the library on my seminar readings for the coming week from 8:30 until about midday. Then I head over to one of the campus cafes to meet a group of visiting international students, for whom I am a mentor, to have lunch. This is an opportunity I got through the Centre for Global Programmes and I can’t recommend being a mentor enough! It’s a really wonderful way to meet new people and is incredibly rewarding.
After lunch, the other mentors and I have a quick meeting to discuss our plans for organising some social events with the students for the coming week. The meeting usually ends around 2pm at which point I head to the gym for an hour or so, having been sitting down all morning. I really enjoy going to the gym and find it a great way to take some time off academic work but still being productive.
After the gym, I had back to my house for a few hours to catch up with my housemates and have dinner. On Monday evenings I have a choir rehearsal which lasts for 2 hours. After the rehearsal, a few of us usually head to V Bar (one of the campus bars run by the student’s union) for a chat and to enjoy the music played by the live band they have on Monday nights.
Tuesdays are my busiest day of the week. I have two lectures, my Languages for All (LFA) lesson, and a seminar run by my department. My first lecture begins at 9am and lasts for an hour. This gives me an hour break before my next lecture starts at 11am. I usually use this hour to go for a coffee with some coursemates or to catch up on emails. I am my department’s representative to the Students’ Union (YUSU) so my email inbox is usually overflowing!
Following my next lecture, I head to the library for a few hours to consolidate my notes from my morning lectures and to do some of the reading for the seminar. At 3pm I have the ‘SPS Forum’ – a seminar event that is run by my department and manifests itself in a variety of ways. Sometimes we have external speakers who come and give a lecture about their research, other times we have talks from Careers about all the events that are coming up and we also have sessions specifically for third-year students about our dissertations and the best way to approach our research.
After the SPS Forum, I have about 5 mins to get across campus for my LFA class. I am studying Arabic with the LFA programme and am really enjoying it. My LFA class finishes at 8pm by which time I am very hungry and definitely ready to head home after a long day.
Wednesdays are a lovely day for me as I only have one seminar in the morning followed by Chamber Choir in the afternoon. My seminar doesn’t start until 10:30am so I squeeze in a trip to the gym beforehand. My seminar finishes at midday so I head to the library for an hour before Chamber Choir starts at 1pm. Chamber Choir rehearsals are 3 hours long so don’t finish until 4pm. After Choir I either head back to the library to do my Arabic homework or I go home depending on my evening plans.
Thursdays are another pretty hectic day despite me only having 1 seminar! My Thursdays start with myself and the other mentors helping out as teaching assistants for the visiting international students I went for lunch with on Monday. We usually help out in their classrooms for about 4 hours.
After a quick lunch, I head over to the Students’ Union where I have a meeting with my faculty rep and the other department reps. We discuss all sorts of things ranging from best practice with assessments and feedback to organising our social for the end of term! After the meeting, I have a seminar which involves different members of the group giving a presentation about some aspects of the topic we have been covering.
After the seminar, I head to the gym for a boxing class with a friend which is great fun. There are two gyms at York and both have a wide range of classes to choose from. After the gym, I head home for dinner and to watch the latest episode of a TV series that my housemates and I have been obsessed with!
Fridays are busy but exciting because it’s nearly the weekend! I go to the gym first thing on Friday mornings to set myself up for a full day in the library. Fridays are my dissertation day when I spend about 7-8 hours in the library working on whichever section of my dissertation most needs my attention.
Once I’m finished in the library, I head home for a quick dinner before taking the visiting international students to the Student Cinema screening of a film. After the screening, myself and the other mentors have a brief chat with the students about the film to encourage them to practice their English.
For me, weekends usually involve slightly dull domestic things like cleaning the house and going food shopping. But also lots of fun things like walking the city walls on a sunny day or going for brunch at one of the hundreds of cafes and coffee shops in York.
There is so much to do in York and the surrounding areas that you could never get bored. As I’m in my third year, there is always some work that needs doing so I usually have to spend a few hours doing some preparation for the week ahead.