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A week in the life of a Natural Sciences student.....


Cartoon scientist

Hi, my name is Connor and this is an insight into my working week on the Physics, Maths and Chemistry Natural Sciences pathway, looking at both my lecture course and the more relaxing side of student life.......‌




Monday:‌  My week begins after a weekend of society activities, such as astronomy and physics, where it is common for events such as stellar observing at the on-campus observatory or meeting for social events across the campus. The weekend also provides a great opportunity to have down time / relax and digest the week’s lecture notes.Monday morning is free for me, so I can collate my extensive notes for revision in preparation for the week ahead. At 2pm I head across campus to the Natural Science hub for my first Maths lecture. This is a 2 hour introduction for the week’s topic and a nice way to ease back into that more advanced work.


Alternating between a full day (9am to 4pm) chemistry Lab and a free day, Tuesdays are for catching up on any outstanding work, such as tasks set for the week, usually consisting of 3 hours extra work for each subject. The work relates to the content learnt in the previous week. In contrast Lab days are long but fascinating adventures into chemical synthesis techniques. I have had the joy of forming sparkling crystals of Benzhydrol and banana scented esters. Labs are tiring but a feeling of great achievement is felt when you achieve a successful reaction. The laboratories at York (new in 2012) are second-to-none, with a lab team offering fantastic support at every stage. Catering always provide a lovely meal to fill me up after a long day in the labs.

Wednesday:‌ Society day for the University, hence only 10am - 12pm for lectures, consisting of Maths and Physics. Wednesdays for me are laid out perfectly to provide a morning of learning before a welcome mid-week social opportunity. Our physics lecturer provides an intriguing insight into Heat and Matter this term, which he conveys an immense passion for, both with course content and insights into his own studies relating to real-life applications to break-up long note taking stints.                                                                                                                                                                     The afternoon for me is then spent refereeing the university football teams, providing a nice weekly income for use in the variety of campus bars and catering facilities.  These provide a wide range of discounted drinks and food varieties (burritos, sandwiches, wraps, curry and noodle bowls, to name a few options). My evenings are spent at society events for Astronomy and Physics, ranging from a pizza social, movie nights and lectures covering a wider area of the subjects. So far I have enjoyed a pizza party, variety of lectures on CERN, plasma and green energy. Societies are great value, plus fill Wednesday afternoons with a chance to catch up with friends and discuss our courses together.


Back to lectures for most of today. All 3 subjects are timetabled on Thursdays, so I get the full spectra of the Physics, Maths and Chemistry pathway.  Natural Sciences Hour occupies the evening from 5pm – 6pm, consisting of a 30 minute talk from an expert in their occupation, followed by FREE PIZZA ‌(supplied by the Natural Sciences team).  So far talks have been on; planning of construction projects, plasma in medicine, chasing atoms and being a Patent attorney (more interesting than it sounds).

Friday:  For myself this is the busiest day, always full of Maths, Physics and Chemistry from 9am - 4pm.  Though a long day, the large volume of information and related  lecture notes are left fresh in the mind to be digested over the weekend. A busy Friday makes the weekend more welcoming too. Friday nights are great for meeting friends/social groups in a bar to watch sport and end the week catching up. Some bars even provide a Friday quiz night with prizes.