On a typical day, I am up and ready nice and early for 9am contact hours. As a third-year student, I don’t tend to have many contact hours compared to my prior years in the degree. In my first year I had 9am labs every day for most of the year! These can be lectures, workshops or labs, however for me it’s usually a lecture. I will usually be up at 8am, packing my laptop and usually a packed lunch, ready to walk to university.
Lectures and workshops
My lectures often happen early in the morning and later into the evening. They last about an hour each, and can range from Nano-Electronics to Accounting and Finance. Lectures are the primary source of your degree content, so I always have my notepad and previous notes ready. This means I’m able to not only jot down the lecture material, but make sure I understand it as I go along. I’ve found that bringing my laptop to have the lecture notes up is also helpful, as it means I can finish writing notes if the lecturer has moved on to a following slide before I’ve finished. It’s always good to have a drink with you during lectures, so I like to head to the nearest vending machine before I head in.
Workshops are quite different from lectures; I’m thrown into the content I’ve been taught in lectures and given question sheets to put what I’ve learned into action. Often these workshops are a method to help us with the content, in preparation for exams. However, occasionally we have assessed pieces of work for workshops, with due dates. It’s good to do these during the workshop hours, as the best help you can get is available here. There are usually PhD students, or demonstrators, who help us with the work as we go through it. They also provide insight we may not have otherwise had. Overall it is a great way to solidify the content in your mind.
Archery and free time
After my morning lectures, that’s usually the best time to get lunch. Usually it’s a bit early for lunch by 10am or 11am, but I’ll eat whenever I’m able to! I always head straight into the Costa Coffee in James College, to get a lovely vegetarian panini with a hot chocolate, maybe a flapjack if I’m feeling extra peckish. This is a good place to take some time to chill out, or go over work that I may need to catch up on. I’ll usually have between 4 – 5 hours until my evening lecture, so I spend this time either focusing on dissertation work in one of the many computer rooms, going home for a bit to rest (and maybe make myself something proper to eat) or going into the city centre with a friend to do a bit of shopping.
However, since recently starting Archery Society, this time can now be taken up by my beginners’ course. I’m loving archery so far, everyone is so welcoming, and I’m having a lot of fun mastering my archery skills! I often did it when I was younger, and I wanted to get more involved with the society aspect of university. So my choice of society seemed apparent and I couldn’t be having more fun! I can’t wait to get more involved in both the archery and social aspects.
Once I’ve finished up for the day, there are a number of things I like to do. If I’m close to a deadline or exam, I’ll continue to work/revise until bedtime (however much I may not want to!). Otherwise, I like to go to Courtyard with my coursemates or housemates; it’s a great place to eat or get a drink after a long day. If I’m feeling too exhausted for that though, it’s always nice to head straight home, get in my pyjamas and watch a film with my housemates. Everyone I have met at university has been absolutely lovely, and using my free time with any of them is an absolute joy.
This university is everything I expected of it when I first came here, and more. Over the time I’ve studied here, I have more and more new experiences, and I couldn’t be happier. The Department of Electronic Engineering is so incredibly supportive for anything you may need, for your degree or otherwise. They have ensured my university experience is one like no other.