Have you ever wondered what a typical day of online university looks like for a fourth-year English & film Student at Dundee? While possibly something of a niche question, you’ve certainly come to the right place to find your answer! While online University might seem like a daunting prospect, I have learnt in the past couple of weeks that it is important to find a routine that encompasses time for both academia and fun and (hopefully!) to stick to it. By giving yourself some much-needed structure in a time of worldwide chaos, you can be sure to make the most of your online experience of University.
Rise and ShineeeeeEEEEE 🌞 –
At what time does a fourth-year English Student’s Monday morning begin, you ask? Well, oftentimes it is dependent on what has gone down the previous night. However, with all of Dundee’s nightlife being shut down for the time being, my evening shenanigans are no longer pub-based (as it really should be for a fourth year with impending dissertation) and instead, are currently centred around watching Halloween movies and wholesomely baking seasonal cookies with my flatmates.
You’d think that staying in every night would help me to get up earlier but I still find myself snoozing that alarm right up until the last second. 7.30am? No. 5 more minutes. A dangerous game. I’m usually on the go by 7.45am…perhaps, 8am….oh well, it doesn’t matter! It’s not like I have to walk to class!
Time for Breakfast 🍳 ⏰ –
From then on, I’m on autopilot. First I walk to the kitchen, pop the kettle on and then do the dishes from the night before as I wait for it to boil. I’m not a big breakfast person so I usually like to grab either a banana or some sort of biscuit to fuel me through my class. I then make my first of many cups of tea of the day.
Microsoft Teams & I 💻-
I then make my way to the Microsoft Teams lecture hall that is more commonly known as my bedroom. It takes my computer a wee while to heat up, so while it does its thing, I typically scoff down my breakfast and read over my notes for class. Who wants to be the first on the team’s call? Certainly not me! Reassured that others are there before me, I hesitantly press join.
My only class on a Monday is a two hour combined lecture and tutorial for my Old English module. After the first hour of obsessively checking that my mic is on mute and that my camera is off, we get a short break. I use this to make my second cup of tea and to grab a second breakfast as my stomach has already started to grumble. Once my class is finished, I like to type up my notes and then I sit down for a well-deserved break and my third cup of tea.
Studying and Essay Writing ✍️💤 –
As I am an English student who is completely based online this semester, I typically spend a lot of time in my room independently studying. In order to keep myself on task but also to give myself some time to breathe, I like to work in 1-hour blocks where I spend 45 minutes reading, writing, or taking notes followed bt a 15-minutes break to scroll through Twitter or Facebook or perhaps to make another cup of tea. Today I am working on an essay that is due in the coming weeks on the representation of the female body in Old English poetry and so I plan to divide my time between reading secondary sources and jotting down my initial thoughts on the topic to devise an essay plan.
Ladies Who Lunch 🥗-
While last semester I would treat myself to a quick bite to eat at the student union between classes and trips to the library, I now check the fridge and polish off any leftovers from my dinner the previous night. While I’m heating up my tomato pasta in the microwave, my flatmates head in from their on-campus classes. We sit at the table to eat and catch up on each other’s mornings and then wash it all down with our fourth (or is it fifth?) cup of tea of the day.
Afternoon 🌤 into Evening 🌙 –
Now it’s time to head back to the books. I typically repeat my 45-minutes on, 15-minutes off structure until I begin to feel my stomach rumble again. My flatmates and I usually like to get together to cook but on a Monday night, I have OpSoc rehearsals at 7pm so I like to eat earlier than them. I decide that tonight I fancy a stir fry, it’s simple, quick and I can save the leftovers for lunch again tomorrow. After being pleasantly surprised by the meal that I created with my subpar cooking skills, I quickly make and slurp down my sixth cup of tea of the day and open up zoom just in time for rehearsals.
Time to put on the Dancing Shoes 👞-
OpSoc rehearsals are my favourite part of the week. I’ve always enjoyed taking part in school musical productions and I was thrilled when I discovered that Dundee University had a musical theatre society. This is now my fourth year in the society and although, for the time being, we are only allowed to meet online, our virtual rehearsals are more than adequately able to fulfil all my musical theatre needs! Tonight, I had to clear a space in my box-sized room as we were to be learning the choreography to one of the numbers for our end of year performance. While I’ll admit that I’m not the greatest dancer (and others evidently agree according to the worst dancer credit next to my name in my secondary school yearbook), I love just being able to let loose and dance along to cheesy musical theatre songs with my all friends – even if they are just tiny dots on my computer screen right now!
Virtual Pub Time 🍔 –
In past years after OpSoc rehearsals, we always find ourselves heading down to our sponsor pub to get in a game of pool or a cheeky discounted steak burger. But with all society gatherings being online at the moment, we have to make do with a couple of rounds of Among Us on the OpSoc society Discord and a rustler burger. While it’s not the same as being in an actual room with my friends, a virtual room is a fine substitute. After a few hours of fun, I decide that it’s time to turn in for the night. I make myself my seventh (and final!) cup of tea of the day and curl into bed with tomorrow’s reading in preparation for another day of online uni!