A Day in the Life of a Second Year English Student
Last year, I made a blogpost titled ‘A Day in the Life of a First Year English Student’.
It’s only fitting that I share what my day looks like in second year!
When I wrote that article, I couldn’t have imagined how different circumstances would be this year.
However, I can confidently assure you that the one thing that hasn’t change is how much I enjoy my English degree at Warwick!
Looking back on my time last year, I can say that I have naturally spent much less time in the library.
However, I am pleased with one change I have made.
The pandemic has been difficult for everyone, and as a student it can be particularly overwhelming.
Each day I ensure that I take some time for myself, and I strongly believe everyone, no matter the degree, should do the same.
For context, this year my contact hours are similar to last year; around 8-10 hours.
However, the nature of these contact hours has changed.
Last year I had a balance of lectures, which were naturally in person, and seminars.
This year I have far less lecture time, but with longer seminars to compensate for this.
Things that have stayed the same as last year is the pace of reading, which is still roughly a novel per module, thus four novels a week.
Similarly, I am still expected to not only read the texts, but also read around them, often with material provided by my tutors.
I have my Literature and Empire seminar at 10:30, so I take 9:00 to get ready for this, or to do any other reading I might have.
Any English student will know, and incoming students should know, that the reading is perpetual, so I always need to use this time!
It is also important to properly get up and eat something before your morning seminar.
It is so easy to skip this step during a pandemic, considering that most of us are simply moving from our beds to are desks which are probably less than a metre away,
However, I’m sure I don’t need to explain to you the positive benefits of looking after yourself, and the knock on effects for your mental wellbeing.
This seminar lasts for an hour and a half.
Often, there may be a presentation from another student.
If not, I try to stay engaged by taking notes.
I factor this hour in as a break to use as I please; normally to get lunch.
It is so important to structure your day and take active, rather than passive breaks!
I use this time to carry on reading, or perhaps start thinking about upcoming essays.
I know that after this hour I have a lecture, so sometimes I refresh my reading or lecture notes.
In this hour I have my one compulsory module, Literature in Theory.
This class often uses breakout rooms which makes it more engaging.
The class above is my final seminar of the day.
Therefore, I can take the rest of the day to work independently.
One thing I find really important when working in my room all day is to have a set time to finish working.
When the lines become blurred between my free time and my working time, it can often become overwhelming and I really notice the negative impact on my mental health.
As the weather gets slightly nicer, I also try to factor in a walk everyday!
Perhaps there will be more to do in the near future, but for now, I find a daily walk really helps to clear my mind!