By Feilin Liu, from China, studying MA Translation Studies
I have been a student at the University of Exeter for two months, and I’m gonna talk about my typical day here.
As a postgraduate student working on MA Translation Studies, in general, I mostly have classes on Wednesday and Thursday in the first term. Therefore, I have plenty of time to arrange myself. But if you think this means I have lots of time to hang out with my friends or even travel around, you are totally wrong. That’s because we have non-stop readings and assignments to finish. It is really busy for me as an international student studying abroad for the first time. Therefore, I’ve spent most of my time in the library (I’ll tell you how much I love the library in St Luke’s library in my next blog maybe) in my spare time.
Now, I’ll show you my timetable on a normal day with no lectures and workshops.
7:00-8:00 a.m.: Get up and prepare my breakfast (usually a cup of milky tea and a sandwich both made by myself).
8:00-8:30 (sometimes 9:00) a.m.: Have breakfast, browse Weibo (Chinese equivalence of Twitter) and WeChat (main Chinese social media) moments, etc. I like to get to know what’s happening in the world and around you know.
9:00-12:30 a.m.: Start studying. Work on my readings and assignments (this always makes me crazy .) I like to use the Forest app to help me concentrate.
12:30-14:00 p.m.: Have lunch. Sometimes a sandwich, sometimes go back home and make a quick lunch. Have a short rest.
14:00-18:00 p.m.: Continue studying…
18:00 p.m.-00:00 a.m.: Have dinner. I always have some Chinese food at home (maybe there will be a blog about this too). Binge watching on Bilibili (video sharing website popular among the young), talk with my friends, etc. This is my happiest time of day. BUT! Sometimes when there is an assignment due around the corner, I have to go back to the library again. I then go back home at around 10 p.m.).
00:00 a.m.: Go to bed. I’m wondering if I should go to sleep a little earlier…
That’s my whole day here most of the time. Maybe it sounds a little boring, but I really enjoy it (except for the deadline time).
One of the hardest things about the Christmas period is that whilst there are so many deadlines and January exams to study for, this is also the time of year with the most festivities. It seems impossible to get it right; on the one hand, staying in and studying means you are doing your best in your degree. However, on the other hand, knowing friends will be getting mulled wine from the Christmas market while you sit inside on a dark, cold evening is enough to make you lose interest in working completely. With seasonal changes in light affecting mental health and overworking meaning you can be at risk of burnout or anxiety, getting the balance right is vital.
Here are some tips which I’ve found helpful in keeping on the right track.
1. Make sure that when you are studying, you are doing it effectively, and right
Understand the way that you work best. For me, waking up at a regular time and working in the morning is easiest – it’s when I have the greatest amount of energy, clarity and focus.
2. Establish a routine at the beginning of each week
Use a weekly planner – free online with a quick google search – and decide when you are going to work, what you are going to work on, and when you are going to stop and relax.
3. Don’t be overambitious
Be realistic about what you can actually get done in a day.
4. Pomodoro your way to greater focus
Human beings are incapable of focusing for large lengths of time without breaks, so try the Pomodoro technique. Set a timer for 25-40 minutes and work solidly. Take 5-10 minute breaks in between these chunks and step away from your laptop, make some tea, put up some decorations or do something else you enjoy.
5. Start your assignment today!
We’ve all been there; a deadline feels like months away but before you know it there is only a week to go! Don’t be the person stuck indoors over Christmas because of deadline procrastination, get going now!
6. Eat that Frog!
I use Brian Tracey’s Eat That Frog ABCD method to prioritise my work starting with the most important, scary tasks – the ‘A’s’, things you absolutely have to get done – all the way down to the ‘D’s’, bits which you could leave until later. You tackle the most horrible things at the beginning of the day when you have the most energy, and then that spurs you on to do the others. It also means if you don’t get the D, C, or even B tasks done, there is no guilt sucking your motivation the next day, and when you stop to enjoy coffee with a friend, you aren’t stressing about work.
7. 10 minute time trick
Struggling to get started? Just put on a timer for ten minutes and tell yourself that you will work steadily for just that tiny amount of time, no matter how terrible what you achieve is. Switch your phone off, close your door and do it. Telling yourself you just have ten minutes removes all the pressure of perfectionism, and before you know it, you’ll be pressing repeat on the timer and getting stuck in.
8. Don’t overwork
No matter what you might think, as long as you are doing your best that is enough. We are only human. Don’t completely cut out downtime just to get your deadlines in. Your mental health and wellbeing comes first…
If you need support now or over the holidays, speak to your lecturers or reach out to the Wellbeing team.
Written by Evanna Kappos, studying English Literature.
When moving to England there are certain things everybody comments about, a little bit about the weather, a subtle comment about Netflix’s The Crown, perhaps even a nod towards the imaginary that they really love their tea. Additionally, you will most likely know a lot of things from the culture that undoubtedly moved you towards considering and eventually choosing a university on this lovely little island. For me, I knew quite a bit about the culture, my school was a ‘British School’, I had visited quite a few times, and some of my closest friends had done their undergrad in different British universities. So over-all, I felt I had a decent picture or understanding of how my time there would go.
Nonetheless, the theory of living in England and the practice of living in England are quite different things and within the reality of it, there were a few things that actually took me by surprise. These are things that are probably no secret to anyone, I even knew about some of them coming here, but, again, the way they played out made them come as a surprise. (more…)
It is that time of the year again – assignment deadlines are stacking up and exams are just around the corner…There is a lot to do, you have got essays to write, exams to revise for and it feels like you’re always busy. However, this blog post is here to tell you that your work and revision can wait, but your health, especially your mental health, should be your top priority.
It is normal to feel stressed, that just means you care about what you do and that is a great thing. Just remember you need breaks and a clear mindset in order to work well, so you need to allow yourself to take breaks. Here are some of my personal tips on what to do when you are starting to feel overwhelmed by everything in life.
Jasmine May 13th, 2019 Exams and Assessment, International, Lectures and Seminars, Life in the South West, Life on Campus, Preparing for University, Studying Anxiety, depression, mental health, wellbeing
It is that time of year, the time where the questions about your next step become more imminent and the pressure seems to be slightly on as the possibility to apply to a number of universities opens again. Thinking about the future, how this one decision seems to have much more weight than the others in shaping what your life will turn out to be. And to be quite honest the fact that there is a huge variety of options for “what to study?” “where to study?” “why there and not here?”, makes the whole process even more daunting. Now to that added stress factor in that you might be considering moving away from your country to study abroad.
If you are indeed thinking about doing your undergrad or your postgraduate studies abroad, I am not going to deny that it can be harder to make this decision. This is mainly because most of us cannot visit campus on open days and are essentially missing out on the one to one information and the vibe that you can get from the university during these events. As a result, we must rely heavily on the information we find online about accommodation, studies, social life, academic style: literally every aspect of what “uni life” means.
Taking this into account allow me to help you (even in the slightest) by telling you how I came to the decision of choosing Exeter. And why, even though is not technically a “drama academy”, I stand by my choice of studying theatre in a university as opposed to any other option. (more…)
One of the really cool things about studying BSc Business at the Penryn Campus is the field trips!
I am currently in my third year, and have just come back from an incredible field trip to NYC for my BEP3090 Research Module. The premise of the module was to perform a mainly ethnographic study on an independently proposed research topic.
The idea was to give students the opportunity to observe business operation and internal dynamics in real life, in a national or an international context. On the trip, we were given access to international organisations and institutions through visits, guided tours, networking and informal interactions.
For my topic, I chose to observe the ways in which different organisations brand themselves to be ‘sustainable’ and whether or not these brand images held true in reality.
Read below to see a bit more of what we got up to throughout the week. (more…)
I have almost finished my degree. I’ve submitted my last assignments and finished my lectures. The only thing I still have to do is to finish my dissertation. To make the most out of my last days as a student, my friends and I decided to explore Cornwall a bit more and visit these three amazing places. (more…)
Olga April 9th, 2019 Cornwall, Exploring Devon and Cornwall, International, Life in the South West, Life on Campus, Lifestyle, Penryn Campus, Undergraduate cornwall, exploring cornwall, international, life in the south west, life on campus, penryn campus, travelling, undergraduate, university of exeter
One of my favourite things about being on BSc Business is the wealth of fun field trips we get to go on throughout the three years.
To give you a better picture of some of the cool places you could be visiting if you go on the course, I’ve decided to compile a list of my highlights from the past three years so far. (more…)
Living in a new environment with a different culture and climate is definitely challenging. Keep reading if you are keen for some beauty tips to help you survive the harsh winter days and the solution to the myths about British weather and living environment.
I know that deciding what university to attend is an incredibly important and difficult decision – I’ve done it. That’s why I’m here to tell you some of the reason why I chose the University of Exeter. (more…)
Just had an exceptionally stressful exam? Finished and handed-in a lengthy and demanding assignment? Or are you just feeling a bit bored and want to do something fun in Exeter? If any answer to those questions is yes, then this article is especially for you. In this blog post I want to show you my favourite places around Exeter, as it’s always great to get out for a walk and explore the city. Whether you just want to let off some steam, sit down and enjoy your favourite book in the same spot that Jane Austen did or do some sports such as kayaking, then I’ve got you covered! After living in Exeter for over a year I have travelled, on my old rust (but vintage!) bike, to many interesting places. However, there are places I always love to come back to and from those I tailored and chose my favourite three. I selected places that are close to University of Exeter (I swear!) and to get there won’t take longer than 30 minutes’ walk. So, without further ado here is my complete guide of 3 places that you should visit in Exeter.
I worked at several education fairs last summer on behalf of the University of Exeter and there were a few questions that were popular from prospective students and their parents. I have compiled a list of questions and answered them here, hopefully it is helpful to all international students who may be wondering some of the same things.
Jasmine December 18th, 2018 Clearing, Exams and Assessment, Food and eating, Freshers Week, International, Lectures and Seminars, Life in the South West, Life on Campus, Preparing for University, Studying, The city of Exeter, Undergraduate
This year is my last year at the university. Dissertation, consultancy project, graduate job, assignments, part-time work and personal life – sounds like it is going to be the busiest year. Here I’m going to explain how my day usually looks like.
Let’s start! (more…)
A blush spreads across the trees. Gremlins, ghouls and freshmen anticipate All Hallows’ Eve and pumpkin spice lattes. It is autumn in England! As a Pakistani who grew up in Multan’s desert heat, autumn was always a briefly snatched season, with the trees barely changing colour before winter arrived. In Exeter, autumn paints trees and vines red and yellow and burns them orange, in a brief little cheer before winter. Drawing on from how I spent a day recently, here’s a guide to an autumn’s day in Exeter. (more…)
Starting your new life at university might be scary but here you can find a little bit of information about what to do first when you’re on campus, where to get more information about Freshers events as well as get some tips from the current students. (more…)