Typical week in the life of a third-year chemistry student

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My week begins pretty well with lectures starting at 11. We always have multiple modules going on at once, so there will be a variety of organic, inorganic or physical chemistry lectures to study. I will either make lunch at home or bring it to campus (even a £3.50 meal deal can be expensive, welcome to student reality). Then, I have a couple more hours of lectures and after a fairly long day I go home. Luckily for me, my house in Selly Oak is a mere 10-minute walk from campus. I will usually watch TV for an hour as a detox from all the chemistry and then do some work in my room. This will be catching up on notes, working on an essay or workshop or most likely, writing more of my dissertation. Yes, the dreaded dissertation. If you talk to any final year, you are guaranteed to discuss their dissertation as this is basically all we think about.


This is quite a chill day as I only have 2 hours of lectures in the afternoon. So, sometimes after lectures I will go to the library for a few hours (I’m a lot more productive there…provided I can find a seat) or alternatively, I go to the gym for an hour with one of my housemates. I’m by no means a ‘gym junkie’ but I aim to go to the gym around 3 times a week to just maintain some form of exercise at uni. I will arrange and lead a meeting for SATNAV (the science magazine at UoB which I am now the Chair of), and this will take around an hour. (I will be doing another blog post on this, so stay tuned!)


On Wednesdays I only have one lecture at 10am. On these days I like to make the most of my ‘freedom’ to be productive or to meet friends or my sister. I will work for a bit after the lecture until lunch time, then make food at home and have a cup of tea  – arguably, the best part of any day. I like to work on my dissertation or any essays that need doing on these days as I can dedicate more time to them. If I’m feeling particularly motivated, I’ll go to the gym later as Wednesdays are free for everyone because it’s when all the sports clubs have dedicated training or games, but I’m not in a sports society so instead I use the gym. As my sister is a second year here at UoB we like to meet maybe once or twice a week for a catch up so I might go to her house and play MarioKart for an hour in the evening.


I have a lazy morning on Thursdays and will go to the gym at around 11 if I didn’t go the day before. Then back for lunch and I like to get some chores around the house done. Usually this involves tidying my room, cleaning the kitchen or organising the rest of my week. I like to always have a basic structure and outline to my week as they are quite busy. Lectures start at 2pm and go on till 5pm, then I come home and will probably be chatting to my housemates until I cook dinner. Most nights we all eat at the same time and watch TV together (more often than not it’s The Chase…classic student obsession you will soon realise.) I will then do some work in the evening for an hour or two to round off the day, then will get in bed and read my book.


I have one lecture at 11am and then I will do some more work after this on campus. I always work better on campus than at home as I find I focus better and have less distractions. Fridays are usually the day my housemates and I dedicate to doing something whether it be watching a movie in the evening, going out for a meal or to the pub or for shopping or exploring Birmingham’s attentions. One of our favourite things so far is Ghetto Golf.


I like to go swimming on a Saturday with my sister for an hour (visiting the steam room and sauna is also a must). Depending on how much work I have, I will either go to the library for around 5 hours or just work from home. This is usually the day I dedicate to FaceTiming my parents and sister at home to give them the weekly gossip. Of course, the most important event of the week is Fab (the student club night out at the Guild on campus) and I go fairly regularly with all my housemates. It’s our favourite night out because the music is great, the drinks are cheap and it’s very close by so no need for taxis.


A day of rest! Another lazy morning (shock after a night out) and one of my favourite things to do after a night out is go for brunch (I’m usually not awake for breakfast). My favourite venue is the Boston Tea Party in Harborne – a short walk away from Selly Oak. I’ll probably have more work to do as Chemistry is a demanding course and you will definitely need to put in the effort every day. On Sundays, I also like to then make a plan for the approaching week and will also make sure I have completed everything I wanted to in this week.

99% of my time is basically taken up with this view: my dissertation
My sister and I standing in Chancellor’s Court
Take a much needed study break at UoB’s brand new gym
Campus can be very cold this time of year!