A Day in the Life- Lauren

Hello, I’m Lauren and I study English Literature at Newcastle University. I have just finished my first year and hope to provide you with some insight to what university and student life is like.

9am Lecture

 

English Literature has very few contact hours, meaning that we have less lectures and seminars than other degree programmes. The biggest change from school to university is that you will find every day is completely different. This is something I didn’t really expect due to being used to the set hours in place at school. Some days my university schedule is very full whereas other days I may have only one lecture to attend.

 

10am Working in the library for a few hours -Reading module content or working on essays etc.

Having very few contact hours means that it is your responsibility to do additional work that isn’t allocated in your timetabled teaching hours. My advice would be to use the resources your university has available especially quiet study spaces such as the library because you are less likely to become distracted by your flatmates when working from home. Working on campus also gives you separation from your flat so that space is saved for socialising. This ensures you have a healthy work-life balance.

Another tip I wish I had been told before starting university is to plan the week ahead of you. For example, I would usually plan my days out as if I was at work (9am-5pm) so I had some structure to my week, as this is what I struggled with initially when I started my course. I’d write down when I had lectures or seminars and then fill in the gaps with independent tasks I needed to complete. Writing this down meant I was more likely to carry out the tasked, prevented me procrastinating and greatly helped with my organisation.

 

1pm Meeting up with friends for lunch.

Although studying is essential, it is important to take time out to meet friends. It allows you to talk about your experiences with other people. If you are moving away from home to go to university, making sure you have regular check ins with your friends is a big part of adapting to university life and helps with not missing home too much.

Even if it’s just meeting up somewhere for coffee or for a quick catch up in the student union can be important in maintaining a good wellbeing.

 

3pm Seminar

I was quite nervous when I first started university because you are introduced to new teaching styles. My timetable for first year mostly consisted of lectures and seminars in equal amounts. For English Literature, you will find that two lectures are usually allocated per novel/collection of poetry, which means the lectures are really engaging as you are constantly being taught new topics.

Seminars (small group teaching) is what I most worried about going to university as there is an expectation for you to contribute ideas to the discussion. However, you soon realise that seminars are completely fine and working within study groups brings you closer to your peers and is actually a really good way of making friends at university!

 

6pm Having food with flatmates - My flatmates sometimes cooked meals for each other. This was made by our international flatmate and was a good way of understanding different cultures more.