Coming to Exeter, for me, not only meant studying something that I’m truly passionate about, but also it meant moving away from home for the first time. During my undergraduate degree, logistically and practically it was better if I stayed at home. My university was just fifteen minutes away (when the traffic was not a nightmare) and it really did not make any sense for me to move away and add an extra cost to things. So even though I managed my on schedule and my own things, we all know what living with your parents is like. You can only manage so much.
Clearly my routine and the way I handle things needed to change when I moved here, and to be honest with you I was looking forward to it. So I’m taking this time to reflect how my day to day is and hopefully give you an idea of how life can go by in Exeter as a MA student. Just bear in mind that this is how I chose to organize my time and it doesn’t mean that you should do it exactly like this.
6:00 am: I wake up rather early, mainly because it’s a habit I developed back home. Also since it takes me a while to truly wake up and go through my morning routine, I prefer to do it with calm rather than rushing everything. This also gives me plenty of time to make a wholesome and healthy breakfast. And let me tell you, breakfast is something I will not sacrifice for anything.
7:30 am: I’m out the door. While walking to the gym –which takes me 20 min, but it definitely counts as cardio– I take the time to either check and reply to a few messages or see if I got any emails that might alter my day, or I just enjoy the walk with some music.
7:50-9:10 am: Essentially this is how long it takes me to do cardio and a little bit of weight training. I know I could easily go to gym in the afternoon, but I personally feel my day flows better if by the time I’m done with my classes or meetings, I have “free time”.
9:30-12.30pm: This term I was lucky enough to only get one class. So three days a week I have to go to my Performance Practice class and do some research through practice. Right now we are working on devising our own performance pieces that will help us understand something particular, whether it is from working in a confined space to understanding how political theatre works: this class gives us the creative space to delve deeper.
12:30-2:00 pm: This is my vital lunch break. At the beginning of the term I could afford to go back home and have my lunch there and just relax for a little while. However, as the last month starts and assignment due dates come a little bit closer and my dissertation seems more imminent, I now stay at uni and have lunch there with one of my good friends, who also happens to be taking my same course, so that we can then have a study date.
2:00-4:30pm: Study Dates. I become less productive during these hours of the day, thankfully my friend and I discovered last term that our productivity goes up when we go to a café and study there. The ambience, the coffee and the cakes or cookies really do something for us and we work there for quite a while. We read for our thesis or if we have some research to do for our performance practice module, then we do that. The fact that we do this together allows for us to feel like it’s not really studying and it gives us the opportunity to talk about what we are doing and get some feedback or just get some academic/life frustrations out of your chest.
5:00pm: Normally by this time I’ll be home and I take a solid half an hour to relax, change into something more comfortable, watch something on YouTube or catch up with a show. Just a little break to help my mind reset.
5:30-8:00pm: This is another “study session” for me. The thesis that I felt drawn to, was the traditional one, which requires lots of reading and lots of writing. This means that there is always something to be doing; which suits me perfectly because I really enjoy doing research and personality wise I am more at ease when I have something to do and feel kind of busy. Also, because I want to take advantage of living in the UK and traveling to Europe is easier from here, I have schedule a few “mid-term city breaks”, so I need to do lots of work ahead so I don’t fall behind.
8:00pm: After the clock strikes eight I am officially done with anything academic. Normally I would start making an easy dinner because by now I am feeling tired and I am more of a salad for dinner kind of person. However, me and some of my friends decided to have a weekly “date night” just to make sure we are making time for one another, and take advantage of the fact that we are living together. God knows where we’ll be in the coming months. Tonight we decided that we’re feeling burgers –contrary to my “light dinner” statement– so we’re heading into town to see what we can find.
I hope you enjoyed reading what my day to day looks like and it gives you an idea of how life can be for an MA Theatre Practice student.