POV: A Week as a Chemistry Student in Exam Season
A lot of prospective students ask me about the workload and day to day timetable for a chemistry student, and, quite honeslty, it changes week on week, term on term. But be rest assured it’s always busy! Term three has less contact hours than terms one and two, but still quite a bit – especially compared to over courses. But I thought I’d give you a little run through of everything I’ve done this week with 10 days to go before my first exam of the year!
My long-distance boyfriend was here this weekend, so it was a slower morning than usual. Up at 8.30am, chocolate pancakes and some cuddles before he headed off home. At 11am I had my first revision lecture on Mechanistic and Biological Chemistry. Then another at 12pm on Properties of Solution and Foundations of Electrochemistry and Statistical Mechanics. That hurt my brain. I had an hours lunch break between 1 and 2. Then I was meant to have another lecture in Selective Organic Synthesis, but by this point I was feelig tired and thought I would work more effectivly doing my own revision in the library. So I sat in the library and wrote notes until about 5.30pm (taking a couple coffee/chat breaks with my coursemates). I then had my tap dance lesson 6-7pm, which was good fun to switch off from work mode. Then I headed home, had dinner, watched a bit of TV with my housemates then did a few more notes before calling the boyfriend and heading to sleep around 11.30pm.
I had nothing timetabled today so cracked on with my notes. My aim this week is to completely finish my notes so that I can begin exam question a week before my exam. So today I went over all of Tim Bugg’s lectures – Mechanisitc and Biolgical Chemistry, and mindmapped what I needed to know. When I’m at home working, it’s important for me to take breaks. I normally take an hour or two in the day to go to the gym, but currently I’m not pushing myself to go if I don’t feel like it, so instead I had a walk round the block in the sun after lunch at about 1.30pm. The afternoons are a bit harder to stay motivated, so I take more regular break every 40 mins or so, maybe watch a bit of netflix (I’m binging Working Moms at the moment) or crocheting (yes, I’m a granny but I can make cute tops for the summer so….). A pretty boring day, but needs must in exam season!
I got back into my noraml routine today, 7.30 am got up, had fried egg on toast for breakfast, cleaned the kitchen, made myself feel human by putting make up on for the first time in weeks, and then was out the door by 9.30am. I had a 10am lecture on Transition Metal Chemistry which was very useful to go over exam questions. I then had a placement briefing 11-1pm with the careers people, which was very informative about how I will be assessed when I take a year to work, begining in July. Lunch was provided which is always a bonus! Was then home by 1.30pm, and then wrote some more notes up until about 7pm. Then I had the evening off to set up my housemates birthday party and decorate a cake for the next day. It was lovely to have an evening off. We had a nice walk round the block too, fully appreciating warmer and lighter nights!
Fisrt whole day off in weeks. And god I needed it! We had a BBQ and some friends over for my friends birthday, we probably drank and ate too much, but it was nice to do something human apart from being a revision machine like I have the last few weeks. So it is ppossible to have a social life as a chemistry student, don’t worry!
On a bit of a hangover, I had a lie in and a McDonald’s breakfast. Maybe not my most productive day, but I had an online lecutre at 10am, which I attended… from bed, and got notes done on Organometallics done slowly through out the day. Whenever I’m a bit hungover, I’m aware that I need to make self care more of a priority as I can become quite anxious otherwise, so I didn’t push myself too hard, but made sure I at least got something done. Friday nights are virtual date night for me and my boyfriend so at about 7.30pm we sit down, call, play some online games and then watch a movie. This week’s was ‘Mother’ with Jennifer Lopez, highly recommend.
Back to work today! Admittedly a bit of a lie in, up and around at about 10.30 am, not bad for a weekend though right? Made a coffee and caught up with my friends who had been out the night before, and then sitting down to work at 11.30am. Finished notes on Organometallics that I started yesterday and moved on to the Materials and Polymers module. It’s a bit tedious, but got to keep going, if I get all this done by monday, i will be rewarded with a Harry Styles concert on Tuesday!! (Honestly the only thing keeping me going right now!) Had lunch at about 1.30pm. Went for a walk to the shop at about 3.30pm to split the day up. Dinner again at about 7pm, and watched Love is Blind with my housemate, and then worked until about 10pm.
We made it the last day of the week!!! Another full on revising day, finsihing off all of the Polymers and Materials module finally- it consists of 6 lecturers!!!!! I took a break at around 3.30pm to go see my cousin’s band play in Leamington which was a good break in the sunshine. But then straight back to revising until about 11pm. Tomorrow I’m in uni for lectures and hopefully finally get all notes done, so that Tuesday I can start on questions.
I hope this blog was informative in showing what the reality of a chemistry student is like. Good luck to anyone who is also taking their exams soon, and to everyone else, take care!