No day at university is exactly the same for anyone, but this should give you a rough idea of what studying History at university looks like! I studied History at the University of York, and I’ve based this on an average day during my first year at York.
07:30: During the week I like to wake up early to get showered before the rest of the house wakes up, I live with 20 people in Halifax College so it’s a bit of a rush! I’m out of the door around 08:40 to walk to my seminar on campus, it’s about a 10-minute walk.
09:00 - 11:00: The earliest you will ever have scheduled lectures or seminars at York is 09:00, and the seminars vary between 1 hour and 3 hours. This one is 2 hours long, it’s my option choice and I chose to study Aztec and Mayan history this term with around 15 other students. Most of the seminar involves source work in small groups, and one pair of us present a short research project each week to the class. We have around 3 essential readings a week, but I try to read some recommended items too in order to have more to discuss in class.
11:30 - 12:45: After my seminar a group of us head to the Student Union restaurant Courtyard to grab coffee and an early lunch. The university’s app YoYo allows you to collect points when you buy drinks and food in their restaurants, so I get my coffee for free! Spending time with your course-mates is a great way to vent about reading and essays, as quite a lot of your time is spent studying independently in the library or at home. It also makes talking in seminars a lot less nerve-wracking as you know everyone a little better.
13:00 - 14:00: Just around the corner from Courtyard is our lecture hall, and every first-year History student is here for our core module, Making Histories. We have 1 lecture and 1 seminar a week for this module, and it’s designed to introduce us to key historical theories and research practices. All universities will offer a similar course in your first-year. Lectures are a great way to take in lots of information directly from the professor, and they pop their slides up on the Intranet after the lecture too in case you miss anything.
14:00 - 17:00: The rest of the afternoon is spent in the library, as I have an essay due in at the end of the week. I’ve already reserved the books I need on the university’s website, so I just have to pick them up from the Key Texts section. All core texts for History modules have a time limit of 2 hours on them to ensure everyone can access the materials fairly, as well as most of the resources being available online. I read through a few chapters, make notes on relevant points, and finish up my plan so I can start writing tomorrow afternoon.
17:00 - 18:00: It’s around a 15-minute walk home, so I grab some ingredients for dinner at the on-campus shop on my way home. Once I’m back in my room I give my mum a quick call whilst she’s driving home from work, it’s nice to check in with family regularly to avoid feeling overwhelmed with homesickness, and I travel home every 5 weeks to see everyone too.
18:00 - 19:30: My best friend and I cook dinner together every night, so we pop some music on and play cards whilst we’re cooking. The kitchen is the best area in the evenings, everyone is usually home by 18:00 (unless they’re at society meetings or sports practice) so we all catch-up about our days and plan our night out tonight.
21:00 - 23:00: After getting ready we’re all back in the kitchen to start pre-drinks. Living in a big house of students is fantastic for nights out, there are about 15 of us out tonight so we play drinking games and darts (narrowly avoiding the kitchen walls!) until our taxi arrives.
23:30 - 04:00: Once we’re in town we head to Lowther for their £2:50 trebles, and then onto the clubs Society and Salvation. Club entry is only £5 on student nights, and there’s discounted drinks on offer too. The club closes about 03:00, so we catch the university club bus home and order takeaway in the kitchen before heading to bed - it’s been a long day!