When I was a prospective student looking into universities, I found it quite hard to imagine what my day-to-day schedule would be like. Coming from the American High School system where I went to school for 7 hours a day and then had 5+ hours of homework each night, I had hoped for a more relaxed schedule than I was used to! I was pleasantly surprised when I started Uni to learn that students generally have fewer contact hours, but they must manage their time wisely since they are expected to self-study and prepare for their classes themselves. While schedules vary widely between students, depending on their university, course, and how they structure their free time, I will aim to show what a day in the life of a University of Sussex media student looks like.
My Average Tuesday:
Tuesday is the only day of the week where I have more than one class. There are two types of classes: seminars and lectures. Seminars are interactive classes led by tutors who stimulate conversation within the group, while lectures are less interactive and are more like presentations. The length of each class varies from module to module: I have had lectures that last between 1-2 hours and seminars that last from 1-3 hours. Modules will usually consist of one lecture and one seminar, but can differ, especially for practical media courses such as animation or graphic design.
I start every Tuesday at 12:00 with a lecture for my American Popular Music module. This is a fairly small lecture, and includes everyone who is taking the module.
After my lecture, I popped down to the farmer’s market-which is held just outside Falmer House every Tuesday morning to mid-afternoon-where I picked up a delicious (vegetarian and gluten-free!) burrito bowl for lunch.
The School of Media, Film, and Music, located in the Silverstone building on campus, has a lovely little social area on the top floor with tables, chairs, sofas, and vending machines. After I stopped by the market and picked up a few veggies, I took my lunch to the social space to do a bit of reading before my seminar.
I have quite a big break between my two classes, so sometimes I will grab some lunch and study, other times I will catch a bus home and come back to campus later on. After I had some quality study time, I headed to my Sound, Culture, and Society seminar from 16:00-18:00 before heading home for the day, where I did my reading and seminar preparations for the next day’s class.
As I mentioned before, Tuesdays are my longest days, and I only have 3 hours of contact time. In fact, each week, I only have about 8 hours of actual contact time but I spend at least 2-3 hours a day studying independently. Every day tends to be different, but once you develop a schedule you will find that it is quite easy to organise your time.
Natalie Maryam Nouri is a 2nd year Media and Communications student and International Student Ambassador from the USA.