A week in the life of... a current student

We asked some students to tell us what a typical day/week in their University lives is like. Below is an account from one of our current students.

Sarah Dovey

Sarah DoveyProgramme: Ba Mathematics and philosophy

Department: Philosophy,(home) and Mathematics

Year of Study: 3

About me: I am a 3rd year mathematics and philosophy student and long time member of the debating society. I absolutely adore my course, (some cynical people would say slightly too much), and am trying to make the most out of university.  

Typical week


This is based on a typical week in the second semester. 


No lectures today, so it’s off to campus to get some work done. What that work actually is varies from week to week. Usually it’s getting stuck into some reading for philosophy or getting my head around some maths problems. Once the point of optimum clarity or maximum confusion, depending on the success of my endeavours, is reached, I head home and spend time with my housemates.


Today I pay the price for my relatively easy Monday. Three 2 hour lectures, starting at 10 am and ending at 7pm. It’s not as bad as it could be though. For all my mild grumbling, the lectures themselves are very interesting; especially the ethics lecture in the morning, which is one of my favourite lectures of the week. As far as breaks are concerned, I have a two hour gap for lunch, which I spend catching up with my friend who is in my morning lecture. I also get an hour breather from 4 – 5, which is sometimes used to catch up with the general admin of day to day life, checking emails and such, and sometimes, less productively but more enjoyably, used as an excuse to buy cake from the library cafe. By the time I emerge at 7pm I am absolutely shattered, but more knowledgeable than before, which in the end is the point.    


Wednesday really starts at 11am when I travel to campus to sit in on a philosophy lecture. It is quite satisfying to be able to discuss interesting concepts, while knowing you won’t be assessed on it later. In the afternoon, it’s time for debating. There aren’t usually lectures on Wednesday afternoons as this is the time that most of the societies meet. I attend the weekly workshop, and then spend an unspecified amount of hours down the pub. Pub time is of course constrained by my workload so can vary in length from week to week, but however long I’m there, it’s good to unwind and socialise. The members of the debating society also form one of my main friendship groups at university, so any amount of time spent socialising with them is welcome and more valuable than I can say.


Up at (the student’s definition of) the crack of dawn today to make my way in for a logic lecture and then it’s off to an ethics seminar. The rest of the day is mine to do with as I please, which means more mathematics, philosophy reading and of course, a bit of mucking about with any of my friends who are available and want to participate in intelligent discussion or general silliness.


Friday is arguably one of my favourite days of the week. Is it because you get the day off to go on daring adventures where you perform feats of unparalleled valour, I hear you ask? No, I reply, much better. It’s a day of philosophy of maths and logic, which means lots of discussion, lots of logic and lots of fun. A lot of the stuff we do is quite tricky but I love a challenge. After all this, it’s back home to start the weekend    

Saturday  & Sunday

The weekend is used mainly to have a couple of well deserved lie ins and catch up with work I didn’t manage to do in the week. Sometimes I go home for a bit and spend some time with my parents. The advantage of not living too far away is that I get to visit them fairly regularly. If I’m in Birmingham I often spend some quality time with my housemates. This usually takes the form of watching tv or movies, enjoying the good ones and enjoying mocking the bad ones.

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