Day in the Life of a History Student (Lockdown)
I’d like to share with you what an average day at home has looked like for me this year. Of course this would be quite different to usual times, but hopefully you’ll be interested to see how uni life has continued this year. This is only a rough guide and would change from one day to the next, but this is broadly what my day has looked like as a Second Year History student this year:
9am – Watch a lecture
Lectures have all been online this year, which means I can watch them whenever suits me. I have quite enjoyed this because it means I can work at my own pace and take notes in less of a hurry!
10:30am – Seminar reading
As any History student will tell you, there’s a fair bit of reading to be done! As with most Arts/Humanities degrees, the contact hours are lower, which means the onus is on you to work more independently. For that reason, we’re set a few articles/chapters/primary sources to read in advance of seminars for each module. Having looked at them in our own time, we can then discuss them as a group. I personally find this to be the most time-consuming aspect of my degree, but then some of my friends do their readings much more quickly than I do, so it definitely varies from one person to another and depends on how you approach the readings.
12:30am – Admin tasks
Maybe ticking a few things off the to-do list, like filing, replying to emails, printing off notes etc. Setting aside time for these types of tasks definitely helps me to keep organised and on top of things.
1pm – Lunch
2pm – Seminar preparation
I like to take a bit of time before a seminar to finish off the reading for the week and review it. Often we’ve already been given a lot of information through the lectures and the readings. I like to make sure it’s fresh in my memory before the seminar so that I can engage fully with the discussions, so I like to read through all my notes, highlight key information, and maybe note any questions I still have.
3pm – Seminar
Whilst we had a few on-campus seminars in Term 1, all seminars have been online for me since Christmas. We have a call on Microsoft Teams. The tutor might summarise the material for the week, asking us questions to ensure we’ve understood it. We’ll then separate into breakout rooms to discuss the questions, before joining back to the main group for feedback and sharing our ideas.
4pm – Break (maybe a walk, having a snack, spend time with family, etc)
4:30pm – Seminar reading
As I said earlier, this is what takes up most of my time. I’ll start the reading for another module so that I’m ready for the next seminar. I make some notes as I go.
6:30pm – Dinner and rest!
This is roughly how my days have looked this year, but it would be very different for any other student. One thing I really enjoy about my degree is the flexibility it allows, which has only increased this year. Other than seminars, I don’t have many other firm time commitments in my course. I’ve found this kind of routine to suit me best, but depending on how much work I have, whether or not I have an imminent essay, or anything else going on, I can structure my day accordingly.