Diary of a postgrad student – a typical day

Life has settled into some sort of routine for me these days.

Wednesday’s are my busiest day with lectures from 9 until 3 (although that has changed until 1 now)

So I get up early. I need to get up early to get a roadside parking space at Roseangle. A lot of people park there to catch a train every day. I’m out of the house by 7:15am.

Being a mother

I have to make sure my daughter is up and ready for school. Normally I get her up at 7:15 but on Uni days it’s 6:45. I have to make sure she has her piece (Scottish term for snack), and has her hair done. She can do it herself as she’s 9, but she doesn’t do a very good job. I get her breakfast sorted and then hand over to my husband who will see her off to school. I also need to make sure the bins are out for the bin men. We have a longish drive so this involves the torch on my phone as we get into the winter!


Being a student

Once parked up, I walk past the Uni and straight to Starbucks. It seems to open from around 7:30 – most of the other coffee shops open from 8am. I usually get a couple of Pokemon gyms on the way. One day I took over 4 Pokemon gyms before I got my coffee. Great result!

I sit in Starbucks and have a latte and a toasted fruit bread for breakfast. I am not a big eater of breakfast, but when you have a solid block of 4 hours of lectures, you need something.

I leave Starbucks and head to Henry’s Coffee on the Perth road to meet my friend who comes across from St Andrews. We wander in to lectures together. I am still one of the first people in the room. The doors are usually locked when I first arrive.

Most lecturers seem to be focused on getting us comfortable with group work and presentations. These are both things I have extensive experience of , so I don’t have quite the same level of terror at the start of these lectures as some of my fellow students. The tasks so far have been very doable which is comforting. We have just got our first assignment which is going to be quite a steep learning curve. I’ve already started working on it and am hoping to be finished well ahead of the 20th October deadline.

After lectures finish at 1pm we grab some lunch and then usually head to the library or somewhere to work on the next group presentation that is due. I’m loving Google Slides. It makes everything a lot easier.

Then I stagger back to the car with a brain made of mush.

When I get home, I get down to work on my practicum. I have verbs and sentences to find that meet very specific criteria. I am back and forth with Roger and Laura constantly refining what I have found. I also do any reading or tasks we have been given from the morning’s lectures.

Being a wife and mother

Then I have clients. But first I have to work out what everyone will be having for dinner. My daughter is wheat intolerant so there are not many takeaway options. Besides, I live in the sticks so no one delivers to us.

Being a therapist

Then it’s time for clients. I read the notes and head down to my therapy room which is a conversion of the double garage attached to my house. Sometimes they are clients on Skype and Facetime. This is great because it means I don’t have to worry about what I’m wearing. If it is a face to face client, I need to switch to my Think it Change it T-shirt (a melting rubiks cube is not really the best for rapport building!).

Being me

I’m usually finished by around 9pm. At this point the hubby and I will have something to eat and catch up on whatever we are watching on Netflix. Or if it’s a Tuesday it’s Great British Bake off. I love that programme.

The other days of the week are not quite so intense, although the balance is the same in terms of sorting my daughter for school, doing Uni work, seeing clients, doing talks etc.

Balancing everything else

This week the schools have been off in Angus (Dundee is not off until next week) so we have done a few extra things. I also had my father visiting (only the 2nd time he’s ever stayed with me) so we tried a few extra things.

Firstly we did a Dark Dundee walking tour. If you ever get a chance to do one of these you must. It doesn’t matter if you are local or from far away, they are funny as hell and informative. The distance you cover in the walk is tiny. We started off at DJCAD and finished at the Overgate. They tell you the history of Dundee from the perspective of the people who would have been there. They bring it to life in all its gruesome detail. Don’t worry, there are no people jumping out at you or shock tactics – just storytelling in the best way possible. I think tours start from about £10 so it’s not even that expensive. It’s great if you have friends and relatives visiting.



We also went to the Enchanted Forest in Pitlochry. I’m not going to tell you much about that because the tickets are all sold out and that would be really mean. I managed to get last minute tickets from a friend of a friend. It was really amazing.




I also often to talks. I did one in Kirkcaldy on Tuesday. That was a very long day that day.

But hey, I wouldn’t want to be bored…

Written by:

Hi, my name is Dawn Walton and I am a 44 year old therapist that lives in the Dundee area. I'm originally from Anglesey in North Wales, but I've lived here for 17 years. My first degree was in Computing at UMIST in Manchester. Now I'm studying a Masters in Psychological Research Methods with the aim of going on to do a Phd.

I love Starbucks and Pokemon Go. So they are likely to feature in my posts quite often!

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