So, have you ever wondered what a day in the life of a university student might look like? As a recent graduate of BA (Hons) Performing Arts at Teesside University, I have many experiences that I would love to share with you!
The last 3 years of my life have been a whirlwind of assignments, new experiences, and life lessons. University for me has not only been an incredible learning journey, but also a very personal growing experience. I decided to move from Doncaster to Teesside and live in student accommodation for my 1st year, where I met the most incredible group of friends.
I lived in a place called Central Halls, where I had my own room and bathroom with a shared kitchen area. The adjustment from moving out of my family home was very strange, to begin with, but being surrounded by people that were feeling the same made it a lot easier. Putting up my fairy lights and having my giant stuffed unicorn made it feel like my little home.
During freshers, I spent a lot of time going to the events on campus such as freshers fair, societies and clubs’ day and quiz nights – this was a great opportunity to bond with my flatmates and course mates. It was also a way to get more of a ‘vibe’ of the university campus and see all the social elements that you can get involved with. I don’t know about you, but as much as I love eating pizza and watching Netflix, it is always fun learning new skills. During my first year, I played for the volleyball team. Throughout my studies, I also participated in the pole fitness club. This massively helped my confidence as well as my ability to flip myself upside down!
I met so many lovely people through this, from various courses, who are still my friends to this day! I found this to be particularly helpful on the days where I needed a bit of a stress release from my workload, and I always felt so much better afterward. I would definitely recommend finding an activity that you enjoy and making time for this every week to make sure you are allowing yourself some ‘down’ time.
The most significant transition from further education to a university that I found was the way that you were taught. I very much enjoyed the fact that I only had one 9am start for some modules as I am not much of a morning person… I can safely say that my coffee consumption significantly increased when I had early mornings (whoops!). Each course will have a varied amount of contact hours. This means the amount of time you spend physically in classes with your tutors; however, you will also be expected to work for a certain amount of time outside of scheduled hours. This is a very different approach from school, but one that really worked for me! I found having this freedom allowed me to decide when and where I wanted to complete assignments, whether in my favourite spot in the library or sometimes even in bed eating a share bag of chocolate (that I definitely did not share…). A tip to organise your work that really helped me, was to make a list of all the things you need to complete before submitting an assignment for each separate module. This helped me keep track of everything I needed to do, and I also used my calendar to visualise my schedule, so I knew how much free time I had. I also worked part-time for a small section of my studies in my second year but was able to work on the weekends where I had no sessions. This was challenging at times but keeping organised made time for my studies as well as fun things like going to the cinema and spending way too much money on snacks.
Being in Teesside, I was able to take part in local events such as SIRF (Stockton International Riverside Festival) as a paid representative and performer. I was also able to perform at Bolton Castle through my course, which was super exciting.
I learned so much about myself through all the experiences I had at university, and I have made life-long friends. Every day brought something different, and I really enjoyed the independence that this environment gave me while still having access to so much support. After a long day of studying and socialising, I could come back to my cosy home filled with my favourite things!