First thing’s first, the course itself. I currently have eight lectures a week, in addition to seminars and problem classes. At the moment, I’m studying four modules which include Mathematical Finance, Cryptography and Mathematical Ecology. After first year, there’s a wide choice of modules, so I can focus on the maths I enjoy (and get rid of the maths I don’t!).
Maths tends to have lots of contact hours, so I spend a lot of my time on campus. Between lectures, I’m usually with my course mates in the library, or in one of the campus cafes, fuelling up on coffee or grabbing a bite to eat. This is a good opportunity for self study and to work on my weekly assignments.
Assignments usually consist of three or four questions, which are marked by my seminar leader. They give me a chance to see how well I’ve understood the course so far. If I have any issues, it’s easy to schedule in a meeting with my supervisor. They can help directly with maths problems or any wider issues about life at university.
Every Wednesday, lectures for all subjects finish at midday in order for societies and other extracurricular activities to take place. My Wednesdays usually consist of a morning of lectures followed by occasional shifts working for the university.
I work as a student ambassador, helping to run the maths visit days for prospective students. This involves giving campus tours, helping run taster seminars and answering any questions from the parents or students. Working as a student ambassador is a great way for me to earn some money with manageable hours and without the need to leave campus!
I also volunteer as a MathSTYC (Maths Second and Third Year Contact). As a first year student, you’ll have a MathSTYC, who you can go to for help with your studies and any other issues. If they can’t help you themselves, they can at least point you in the right direction!
Apart from your studies, there are hundreds of societies to be a part of. I am a member of the tennis society and also play badminton for my college (Langwith). My training sessions take place Monday evening and Saturday afternoons, with any matches usually taking place at the weekend.
Societies are a great way of meeting new people with similar interests. They’re also a good opportunity to try something new. I was a complete beginner when I started to play badminton for my college. The team was extremely welcoming and I’ve now played in several friendly inter-college matches.
Now after fitting all that into a week, its time for a well deserved weekend. I live with five other students that I met in my first year living in Langwith College. I tend to take time to relax or go into town with my housemates. York is a beautiful and historic city which offers so much to do both in the day and at night.
At the end of the weekend, I have fully recharged. By Monday I’m ready to do it all again…