Back when I was applying to university, I wasn’t entirely sure what it would actually be like on a day-to-day basis. For anyone who might be wondering this too, I thought I would share a description of a recent week in my final year. Although everyone’s university experience is different and no two weeks are the same, I hope this provides some insight into what life as a Biomedical Sciences student at York can look like!
On Monday morning, I had a meeting with my research project director. The research project currently forms the bulk of final year for all BSc students on my course. Immediately after, I headed to a Mechanisms to Therapies workshop, one of my favourite modules. In groups, we critically analysed a clinical trial paper that was set as reading the previous week. I then went to work in the Creative Lounge, a study space in Biology, with friends from my course. In between this, I had an interview for a section editor position at The Yorker, a student-run media outlet which I am hoping to get involved in. Fingers crossed! At 5pm, I went home and made myself a quick dinner before heading to Campus East for a games night with ABACUS society (Association of British and Chinese University Students).
Tuesday was a quieter day in comparison. All of my modules this year have online lectures, so I can take notes from the comfort of my room. The weather has suddenly turned much colder, so I was very happy to work while enveloped in a fluffy blanket! After lunch, I made my way to a Japanese LFA (Languages For All) seminar, which I’m taking as an elective module. Some subjects offer this as part of your course, or alternatively, you can learn a language as an extracurricular activity. It’s really refreshing to learn something completely different to my degree, and another great way to make friends. Once I got back home, I went for a run before making mushroom risotto for dinner.
I usually have nothing timetabled on Wednesdays. In an attempt to use this time wisely, I spent the morning in the library doing preparation work for my two workshops the next day. Over lunch, I attended a virtual talk by a guest speaker from the scientific publishing industry, who gave some valuable advice about careers, but also life in general. Once this finished, I completed my Japanese post-seminar work, then met up with a friend for dinner. After some deliberation, we decided to go for pizzas – always a solid choice.
Cancer Cell and Molecular Biology workshops are on Thursday mornings. This week, we went through some practice questions to help prepare us for the summer exam. These sessions are also the perfect time to ask the lecturers any questions. I then grabbed lunch at Cookies, the Biology café, followed by my final workshop of the week, Ageing and Regenerative Medicine. The next few hours were spent in the library doing the recommended reading for my modules, usually published research papers. I found them quite tough to understand, and tried not to be too disheartened by the fact that I didn’t manage to finish everything. On the bright side, I caught a very pretty sunset on my walk home. I had a relaxing night in, listening to podcasts and making progress with a blanket that I’m crocheting for a family member.
I stayed at home in the morning to have another crack at reading those research papers. I also did some background reading for my research project. After lunch, I headed onto campus for an Intercultural Peer-Assisted Learning (IPAL) session. It’s a great chance to practice my Japanese with students who are native speakers and learn a bit more about the culture. In the evening, one of my housemates cooked dinner for the rest of us (we have a fortnightly rota). Then we played some card games and rounded off the night by watching the first Lord of the Rings film. I’m itching to watch the rest after that cliffhanger ending!
Saturday and Sunday
After a much-needed lie-in, I spent Saturday morning catching up on chores that had built up over the week, like my weekly grocery shop, laundry, and tidying my room. My tactic to help time fly by is always to put on a podcast. This weekend, some friends and I took a trip to Robin Hood’s Bay, just over an hour’s drive from York. We went for a long coastal walk, followed by fish and chips by the sea. The perfect reward for getting through another busy week at university!