Second year student, Lara Higham, takes us through a typical day as a Biology with Science and Society student at the University of Manchester. Look out for lunch time tips and Louis Theroux documentaries in the midst of 8 hours of work across a number of different modules.
7am: My alarm goes off, I wake up, I make myself a coffee and I make a brief mental plan of what I have to do today.
8am: For breakfast, I usually have toast, fruit and coffee. Quite often I have to simultaneously check that I have everything with me for lectures. For Biology units, this is usually a pen and paper but for HSTM (History of Science, Technology & Medicine) units I also have to take any papers I’ve printed off and also my laptop so that I can look at sources.
9am: I go to my Animal Physiology lecture, where I usually take notes. Most of the lectures are based on adaptations to the environment, how they were found with experiments and how they benefit the animal. My favourite lectures have been about hibernation, and the mechanisms involved in this. Some of my favourite lecturers teach on this unit.
10am: Every other week I have a meeting in the SU with fellow committee members of the CATS (Cancer in Teens and Young People) society. I run the charity’s social media pages, which involves helping to raise awareness of cancer symptoms and promoting the various fundraising events that we run.
11am: I walk home and talk to my friends about my lecture, providing that the lecture is interesting enough! None of them are biologists so it’s not particularly relevant but they haven’t told me to stop yet! I do a few hours of reading for my HSTM unit ‘From Cholera to Aids: A Global History of Epidemics’, which, unfortunately, can take a lot longer than I expect it to. Most of the time I do a few hours of reading on Sunday and then try to highlight and finish the reading before the lecture starts.
1pm: I have lunch with my friends before heading off to the next lecture. I usually have lunch at home because I live so close, but if I’m on campus my favourite places to go are Kro Bar and Christie’s Bistro. If I need to work over lunch I might have a meal deal (but it has to be from Morrisons!)
2pm: I go to the ‘From Cholera to Aids’ lecture. This is two hours long; the first hour is a
lecture which is usually focused on a specific epidemic or something more transferable such as quarantines or structural violence. The second hour is a discussion about the reading. I like both parts, but the discussions are incredibly interesting, we have a lot of unique perspectives and examples due to the wide variety of courses people study and the places people come from. I sit by my coursemates and chat with them during the break to see how they are finding the course.
4pm: Usually, I try to do around 8 hours of work a day, so I go to the library and do the
reading for tomorrow’s lecture which is Science, Technology and Democracy.
6pm: On Mondays I usually spend the evening with my boyfriend, Harry. We might go out for dinner or for a drink somewhere like Big Hands. Quite often though we just go back to my house, make dinner and then spend the rest of the night watching Louis Theroux documentaries- my favourite thing he has done is his film about Scientology. If I’m on my own I like to watch Black Mirror and then go on discussion forums for hours afterwards. When I watch TV with my friends it is usually for a weekly series such as the Great British Bake Off, or Hunted.
10pm: I say goodnight to everyone, pack my bag for the next day and go to bed.