What a typical day at university has looked like for me this year
As student life has changed in so many ways, discover what a typical day now looks like for third year music student, Alex, at The University of Manchester.
A typical day for me starts at 9am when I wake up to shower and have breakfast. I live in a rented house with four other music students, and we all have varying morning routines. I like to make myself something nutritional which is going to keep me going until lunch. I also scroll through social media a lot in the mornings, which is a habit I don’t necessarily want to keep but alas.
After breakfast I spend some time going through my emails. I work as the Vice President of the Manchester University Music Society, which is quite a big role in terms of needing to be organised and on top of things, so I like to work out what I need to do each day before I get started so I can be as productive as possible. I also make sure that I haven’t missed any emails from my lecturers/academic advisors. Staying on top of my calendar and diary is really important for me in order to maintain my organisation. Without doing this I would have no idea what was going on at any given day, and I would find myself missing out on opportunities and social online activities.
Usually I spend most of the day preparing for my lectures and seminars, as well as getting some dissertation work done if I can! Lectures for me usually last for around two hours, and I’ve been enjoying having them on Zoom, especially since I can grab a cup of tea and a snack when I need it. Sometimes it is tough for me to stay focused, but as soon as I need a break I do take it. I think it’s important for us all to cut ourselves some slack when it comes to work at the moment since it is all so different.
Every day I try and get out the house at least once. This does mean that I’ve been going on rather long walks, often by myself, just to get some fresh air when everyone else in my house is busy. I’ve been enjoying getting to know the area where I live and it definitely helps me in so many ways when I can take the time out of my day to just focus on myself and not work. I also recommend any student to get a bike if you are able to; it’s great exercise and a fantastic way to get to know your city, and also so much better for the environment.
In terms of other exercise, I have been attending the UoM Dance Society ballet classes weekly on Zoom. I set up my laptop and a chair for a barre in my kitchen and spend an hour doing the class. Ballet is something I’ve recently got back into after being injured, and it’s been so vital that I keep up a hobby during these times considering there is far less than we would usually get up to.
Focusing on music
As I mentioned, my biggest commitment at the moment is the Manchester University Music Society. I spend a long time on publicity, as well as attending talks and events. I try and get some music-making in wherever I can, and my house and I have done some videos together for the YouTube channel which have been really fun. Our most recent video was a ‘House Jam’ where we covered Waterfalls by TLC.
My evenings are spent with my housemates, or on a walk with my boyfriend. One thing that quarantine has allowed me to do is experiment with cooking. I’ve been really getting into trying new recipes and cooking with new ingredients which has been really fun, and a generally good life skill to have. I try not to lock myself away working in my room when it gets dark, so I can avoid isolating myself from my friends. I think it’s so important to chat to people and check up on your friends as much as you’re comfortable with, since everyone is going through the same thing. I usually go to sleep around midnight or later, ready to begin my routine again the next morning.