I have also just been elected as the new Home Students Officer 2013-14 in the Guild of Students, here to represent the best interests of all students living off-campus during their studies and look after their welfare to give them the best possible experience at university. My typical week is mostly a barrage of course reading and essays, followed with an occasional night out with my law friends, which is very enjoyable!! I currently work part-time at a retail store but my ultimate goal and aspirations are to become a Solicitor at a Commercial law firm after graduation.
I wake up early and travel in to University by car for a Land Law seminar at 9am followed by a short 2-hour break. This break may be filled with work in the library or usually I tend to go to the University Centre to eat after having skipped breakfast. After, I would attend an hour lecture on the Legal Foundations of the EU, by which time I would be exhausted, ready for a nap at home! Then I would spend my evening in the local pub in Selly Oak with my course friends followed by seminar preparation at home.
Another early seminar at 9am on the ‘exciting’ [using the term loosely] module of Equity and Trusts. This followed either an entirely empty day of no lectures and seminars or, on alternating weeks, a 6-hour break before a 2-hour lecture at 4pm on Jurisprudence. The usual course of action after the end of any day would be followed up with food in the Guild of Student’s very own bar/restaurant ‘Joes Bar’ with the guys on my course. This may also be followed up with an event or meeting held by one of the societies I have joined such as the Sikh society or Pro bono work as part of the Law Society.
On alternating weeks I would have a 2-hour Jurisprudence seminar at 8am followed directly after with an hour lecture on Land law. The rest of the day would be free and as soon as my lecture I finished I would normally race back home, usually to take a break from doing any work now that my seminars are over for the week by catching up on the TV programmes I have missed out on all week. The exception being that me and my fellow home students [from my course] would go in to the city centre to eat or catch an afternoon showing of a film.
Again another early morning start with a 9am lecture for 1-hour, followed by a short 2-hour break usually filled with reading in the library followed by another 1-hour lecture. The rest of the day would be filled with either incessant printing out of seminar work for the next week, reading/preparing for next week’s seminar work or multiple attempts at general module reading. The positive to having early starts is that I do not have particularly far to travel and so I don’t have to wake up extremely early. However I rarely have the time to travel back in between lectures as do most of my fellow home students. For my friends who do travel quite far it would be a wasted journey to travel immediately back home after lectures and so the rest of the day is spent either in the university gym, in the library or some down time in the Guild restaurant.
Probably the best day of my life at university, with no early morning start and it’s the end of the week. Only one lecture in the afternoon followed up with an entire day free to do as I please. Me and my friends often debated as to how to spend the rest of our day, either going in to town to shop or see a film or find somewhere new to eat! The evening may alternatively by chance be the evening of a Guild Council meeting, which any student is free to attend, and provides a good insight into the work that students are carrying out to better the services the University offers such as extending library opening hours and the ideological/sociological issues it aims to tackle such as equality of women on campus and in the guild, and helping students with personal issues.
Either a full day at work or a short shift at work followed by a day of attempting some module work and possibly a student night out at ‘Fab n’ Fresh’, at the Guild of Students. I began my part-time job shortly before starting my second year which has been easily manageable by working under 12 hours a week and prioritising my time effectively!
Another lie in followed by preparation for the next week’s seminar work!!
The difference between the life of a home student and a student in accommodation is the social life. The key is to put yourself out there and introduce yourselves to others, especially home students who are in a similar situation, which even as a reserved shy person myself felt quite daunting before I came to university. Although in reality this helped me meet a great number of people who have helped me have a great time at university. I regularly enjoy a nice lunch at the Guild during the day and often fantastic nights out with my fellow home students and on campus law students. The benefit is that I also have the support of my family at home, home-cooked food and being able to save money from living rent-free! Being a home student is ultimately just as enjoyable as if you were living on campus, as long as you make the most of university, join societies, introduce yourselves to others and you will absolutely enjoy yourself!