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A Week in the Life: Cambridge edition

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Interview Discussion 30-01-2014
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    Monday:
    Wake up with a possible hangover, very tired, no sailing.

    Tuesday:
    No hangover, no sailing.
    Cindies.

    Wednesday:
    Hungover, sailing at the local reservior in dry kit.
    Swap, then Cindies.

    Thursday:
    Hungover, no sailing.

    Friday:
    Not hungover, no sailing.
    Possible bop.

    Saturday:
    Either still drunk if there was a bop on Friday, or not hungover at all, sailing at a different uni in dry kit.
    Sailing social.

    Sunday:
    Still drunk/very hungover (either/or). Sailing in the same different uni in wet kit.
    Possible swap, then revs/life.

    For those of you counting: Yes, I spend three entire days a week sailing and get hammered 3 or 4 times a week. And I manage to just-about keep up with work. It's all about keeping busy.

    Edit: Just adding a bit more detail.
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    :rofl: Ok I wasn't going to..but mb3000 made it inevitable.

    Social and Political Sciences - Part I (first year)
    For the purpose of this 'typical week' we shall assume that I have one supervision on the Thursday, and one supervision on the Monday after this week.

    Monday: Wake up at 10. Go to Psychology lecture at 12. Drop by library and collect 4 books for essay deadline on Thursday. Go to room. Make lunch and mooch on TSR for 2hrs. Read from 3 to 6. Go to Hall with housemates. Take my reading to college husband's room, with laptop. Read, with intermittent conversation and some TSR go home at 5.

    Tuesday: Wake up at 10. Psychology lecture at 12. Go to Sainsburys. Get home and panic realising that essay deadline is noon on Wednesday. Read all afternoon. Briefly eat at Hall at 6. Take my laptop and books to college library. Read till close at midnight. Go home, carry on reading till 2. Start writing essay. (coffee and 2 red bulls involved) Collapse at 4am, setting alarm for 6.

    Wednesday: Wake up at 6, carry on writing essay after more coffee. Finish essay at 11:30. Fling on clothes, print essay, put on sunglasses and iPod and leg-it to Christ's to drop essay in DoS's pigeon hole by noon. Take roundabout route and drop off Psychology books at SPS library, and pick up 4 or 5 Soc Anth books. Get home. Collapse and sleep till 6, having missed an 11 Politics lecture and a 2-4 Sociology lecture. Go out somewhere for dinner with a friend. Go home and read till 4 (checking facebook and TSR at intervals).

    Thursday: Wake up at 9.30. Soc Anth lecture at 10. Psychology supervision with my DoS at 12. Make lunch and TSR a bit. Read all afternoon. Take laundry to Fen Court. Read some more. Retrieve washing. Go out for dinner with a friend. Come back and take books to friend's room and read all evening. Go home round 6.

    Friday: Wake up at 9.30. Politics lecture at 10. Go home and read. Catch train to London and climb with a friend. Get back to Cambridge at 7:30. File into Yippie's Noodle Bar. Get home at 9. Read till 4.

    Saturday: Wake up at about 12. Panic about essay deadline on Sunday. Gradually get up and drag things to library at 2:30. Read till 6. Go to hall. Go back to library and read till 12. Go to friend's room and carry on reading. Go home at 3. Start essay and keep going....

    Sunday:....keep writing. Finish essay round 11. Email it to Soc Anth supervisor. Collapse and sleep till 6. Eat out with a friend. Go to Clowns afterwards. Watch a DVD. Chat till 5. Go to sleep in preparation of early start for 10am Soc Anth Supervision.

    Apologies to those who read the first draft. Had to edit it because a friend moaned it wasn't accurate :p: The above accurately portrays what a typical week looks like. Below describes a term.

    Usually within a term I will go to about two formals, and all the superhalls (two or three). There are also occasionally subject-specific dinners, and college society drinks evenings. The Dean occasionally emails the freshers and invites them to mingle and partake of free sherry in his parlour. The Chapel occasionally has good choral services with nice food. At the end of every Lent the Chapel has a retreat (free for all Petreans) which this year entailed a weekend of good food and a visit to very pretty places in East Sussex. The Peterhouse Politics and History Societies have about two or three meetings a term with famous politicians or academics speaking. These usually involve dressing up and chatting over champagne before settling into comfy old armchairs for the talk, followed by discussion. A string quintet performed in our theatre this term. My college 'family' has remained roughly intact, and I occasionally meet for coffee with my 'mother' or go out for a 'family meal'. My house has 8 freshers, a second and a third year. Those of us living in the bottom half will often take our reading and sit in the corridor drinking tea round mid-term when the work pressure gets oppressive. Also at 6pm they will knock on my door and ask if I'm going to hall so that we can walk over together. Mid-term when work gets too much, I might see some plays or a concert with a friend. Sometimes I get on well with supervision partners from other colleges, and we go out together to brainstorm/swap essays/revise together. I occasionally meet up with Tablander TSRers, either at a meet, or in smaller groups. Clearly TSR squeezes into the cracks as a procrastination tool, as do facebook and MSN at times.

    Practically, Peterhouse is an old, central college. Apparently Darwin lived in my house, which is on a very old, lovely street across the road from college. Peterhouse itself is very pretty, our Hall being the oldest or second oldest college building in Cambridge. Even ordinary meals are eaten in the hall by candlelight. The SPS department and library are on Free School Lane, which is 5 mins away from both Peterhouse and my house. Free School Lane and the department are both very old and pretty. Our lecture theatre - originally built for Physics - is creaky, wooden, and handsome with alot of character. Essentially, I live roughly 5 mins walk away from everywhere I go. Two of my supervisors are 20mins walk away, up near Castle Hill..but the other two see us in our department. So barring Politics and Anthropology supervisions, the furthest I ever strictly need to walk is 8mins to Sainsburys. Bedders empty our bins every day, and vacuum our rooms twice a term. They clean public areas every day. Nonetheless I avoid using our gyp, which is messy. I buy all my lunch and breakfast things from Sainsburys, and eat at Hall for dinner, or go out.

    And this post from a thread about supervisions explains what SPS supervisions are like. The lectures are lecture-like - Maxwell Lecture Room already having received tribute in the last paragraph. It may be worth adding that SPS lectures mostly involve brief Q&A time after the lecture ends. In this way I was able to attain year-wide fame to go with my internet fame, by unthinkingly blurting out that another student's answer to the lecturer's question to her was utterly ridiculous, in those exact words The first part of this post broke down what the workload looks like. However, I sometimes have three instead of two essays in a week. In Michaelmas I had four essays in 8 days in three cycles. I only figured it all out in the third cycle, which ironically coincided with my being very sick. The example week above is more reflective of Lent, as we talked to our DoS and coordinated timetables more efficiently.
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    whao..this is typical? I heard Cambridge was going to be a lot of work but I didn't realise it's going to be this much!

    What if I'm a Natsci? Surely you can't write that many essays?
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    (Original post by Eviole)
    whao..this is typical? I heard Cambridge was going to be a lot of work but I didn't realise it's going to be this much!

    What if I'm a Natsci? Surely you can't write that many essays?
    Bio natsci has some essays but they're different to arts subject essays. I don't really know much about it though. As a 1st year NatSci you'll enjoy 4 supervisions a week and 12 lectures a week. Practical times depend on the subjects you're doing. Natsci (early on, anyway) is a lot more timetabled than SPS is.
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    (Original post by Eviole)
    whao..this is typical?
    no, craghyrax is a cambridge anomaly.

    err... i'll do one.

    monday - wake up, row, lectures, eat in hall, work in the afternoon (whereby work i mean go on TSR/talk on msn/lie on my bed and wish i got more sleep), go eat in hall again, then either go back and do more work/go back and drink in someone's room/go out and dance the night away.

    repeat identically for other days, except sunday where i hopefully get a lie in.
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    (Original post by Eviole)
    whao..this is typical? I heard Cambridge was going to be a lot of work but I didn't realise it's going to be this much!

    What if I'm a Natsci? Surely you can't write that many essays?
    None of my business being here, but just to tell you, NatSci is ridiculous amount of work. I have a friend who is studying there, and her time table is RIDICULOUS! She has 6 days of lectures, labs and what not. You can't imagine the amount of work...

    I shall leave now....
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    Get over it - I'm a compsci so I have the same 1st year timetable as the natscis. And my weekly life is as above.
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    (Original post by Eviole)
    What if I'm a Natsci? Surely you can't write that many essays?
    Yes you can. Most people find ways to do them faster, though. Go to Athena's post, click on the Oxford 'Week in the Life of' link, and read the first entry for PPE.
    (Original post by Chewwy)
    err... i'll do one.
    Thankyou. I was literally going to avoid writing one, but did so to balance Lewi's, which is a bit far on the other extreme. Most people I've met are somewhere in the middle.
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    (Original post by Chewwy)
    err... i'll do one.

    monday - wake up, row, lectures, eat in hall, work in the afternoon (whereby work i mean go on TSR/talk on msn/lie on my bed and wish i got more sleep), go eat in hall again, then either go back and do more work/go back and drink in someone's room/go out and dance the night away.

    repeat identically for other days, except sunday where i hopefully get a lie in.
    Identical, except for minor correction.

    I may write something serious, but it doesn't really get much more honest than the above.
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    (Original post by Eviole)
    whao..this is typical? I heard Cambridge was going to be a lot of work but I didn't realise it's going to be this much!

    What if I'm a Natsci? Surely you can't write that many essays?
    Cambridge isn't much work if you only want to pass. Beyond that, it's up to you.
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    Yes you can. Most people find ways to do them faster, though. Go to Athena's post, click on the Oxford 'Week in the Life of' link, and read the first entry for PPE.
    As in you can't have that many essays to write for a science subject. (?)
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    (Original post by Eviole)
    As in you can't have that many essays to write for a science subject. (?)
    I figured you meant that, but answered the question as it was put.
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    (Original post by Eviole)
    As in you can't have that many essays to write for a science subject. (?)
    First year you will have 4 sets of work to submit each week, Maths obviously won't be an essay but if you're doing Biology subjects the other 3 could well be (although some weeks will just be short answer questions and stuff). I

    f you do Chem/Phys/Materials you won't get essays, Geology you'll get some but also maps and looking at rocks and things. However, science essays can be written pretty quickly to a pretty high standard - you probably only need about 4 sides to cover pretty much everything you want, and you can draw lots of big pictures and stuff to take up room.
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    (Original post by MC REN)
    First year you will have 4 sets of work to submit each week, Maths obviously won't be an essay but if you're doing Biology subjects the other 3 could well be (although some weeks will just be short answer questions and stuff). I

    f you do Chem/Phys/Materials you won't get essays, Geology you'll get some but also maps and looking at rocks and things. However, science essays can be written pretty quickly to a pretty high standard - you probably only need about 4 sides to cover pretty much everything you want, and you can draw lots of big pictures and stuff to take up room.
    Phew, that's more like what I expected. Thank you!
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    My days are pretty much identical.

    On average:

    Wake up at 12pm, shower etc (I go to 2 or 3 lectures a week, so sometimes I'm up at more like 9 or 10)
    Watch an episode of something like Lost or Ugly Betty, have lunch
    Read from 2pm until 5.30pm (with lots of Youtube and Facebook breaks)
    5:30pm-7pm Watch Neighbours, Home and Away and Hollyoaks (weekdays only...at the weekend I do work instead)

    Wednesday I do the same but have football practice instead so don't do any work. Saturdays I play in a football match so it's pretty much wake up at 11am, get ready, watch a DVD, play football, come back, shower, go out. And every other Sunday my parents will visit so I spend the day with them, then write my essay. Oh and Thursdays my bedmaker comes so I normally wake up for 9am, sometimes throw up from the night before, get out of her way and sit in the common room asleep/watching Jeremy Kyle. Or if I haven't been out the night before, I go to the library and do some reading.

    Nights vary: most nights I'll be in the college bar, often followed up with Soul Tree, Cindies or Wetherspoons (Thursday, Tuesday/Wednesday, Friday/Saturday respectively). Sunday nights are normally spent writing my essay due for Monday. Other nights I'll just watch a DVD, read magazines or sit in peoples' rooms.

    (2nd year philosopher)
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    As a NatSci, my first and second years were pretty much the same, except I had four subjects in first year and three in second year. I'll outline the lectures etc below, but basically when I wasn't doing contact-time work, I was doing supervision work until about 9pm then went to the bar or to a friends room, cinema, formals, things like that.First year (Chem, Cells, Physiol, EMB): 12 lectures a week, Monday to Saturday, which were over by 1pm at the latest, and 9ams are likely; 4 supervisions, which can be at almost any time (weekend and evenings are quite common I'm afraid), Chem practical once a fortnight, Physiol and Cells once a week, I forget about EMB! They last most of the afternoon.Second year (Chem B, Path, CDB):9 lectures a week, 3 supervisions, Chem practical once a week, CDB once a week, Path was two short practicals a week. Chem practicals have to be written up in your own time, which can take forever.This year is very different, I'm doing Pathology as my major subject and Biology of Parasitism as my minor, for the Biological and Biomedical Sciences option. This means I have 5 exams instead of 4, and do a dissertation instead of a lab project. I have 9 lectures a week but no practicals and no set supervisions, except for my dissertation. Time not in lectures is spent (amongst faffing and other stuff) reading/writing my dissertation, reading lecture notes and papers. Time not spent working is spent in a similar was to in first and second year
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    Could one be added for the comp sci course maybe ? Also natsci + pharmacology would be quite interesting
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    (Original post by trance addict)
    Could one be added for the comp sci course maybe ? Also natsci + pharmacology would be quite interesting

    a) Surely all current students willing to write about their life will already be incentivised to do so by the OP, so asking for specific accounts is not going to yield any more replies.
    b) Exam term is about to start - writing an account takes up time, for no reward.
    c) A reply for your topics of choice shouldn't take priority over the subjects of all other users in the forum.
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    I'll get started on mine later today when I'm on a functional computer. I did 3rd year Pharmacology too so can probably comment on that if I can dredge up the memories!

    Right, so...I'll just do this week, but bear in mind that life as a clinical student is fairly variable - some weeks have far more time in hospital than others. This is also NOTHING like undergrad medicine (if I'm feeling nice, I'll do that later if someone else already hasn't). This is all in Papworth, so involves either travelling each day or staying overnight there.

    Monday: Get up 6:45, leave house at 7:45 to drive to Papworth for 8:30am lecture.
    Spend all morning going around the hospital trying to find the transplant assessment patients so I can go with them to their various investigations. Fail miserably and end up back in the students' mess.
    12:30 transplant meeting - listen to the consultants talk about the various patients either in post-transplant or coming back in with problems.
    2pm Finally find the transplant assessment patients and go through pulmonary function tests with one of them.
    4pm go home
    evening - should be revising Path but instead I go out to the Chinese buffet place with the other Guide leaders from my area (crazy social life, me!)

    Tuesday: As I've seen all the investigations that are happening today, I'm not going into Papworth (naughty Helen). I'm working at home for my exams. In the evening I'll go out to Brownies. I'm so cool.

    Wednesday: Leave house at 7:45 for 8:30 lecture
    10am lecture
    12noon meet mentor, probably see some patients with him.
    Afternoon - who knows? possibly on the wards, possibly not. Have to go home again in the evening because I'm doing an MRI study thingy.

    Thursday: Leave at 8 for 8:45 clinical meeting (someone presents a case and the doctors all bicker amongst themselves about who's best. Or something).
    Morning in transplant clinic seeing patients for long-term follow up.
    1pm Multi-disciplinary team meeting. Not quite sure what this will involve.
    2:30 end of attachment MCQ paper.
    I'll probably stay in Papworth tonight to save petrol as I don't have anything on at home.

    Friday: 8am Q&A session with one of the consultants
    11am ward teaching on Chest unit
    1pm lecture
    3:30 student presentations
    5pm home
    6:30 Supervision in Cambridge - need to have revised a whole bunch of topics for this.

    Weekends are pretty much free for whatever we want. I'm on transplant rota on Sunday so may end up in theatre but can't say for sure.
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    (Original post by trance addict)
    Could one be added for the comp sci course maybe ? Also natsci + pharmacology would be quite interesting
    I'm a first year compsci, and we have the same workload as the natscis this year. Look up for my typical week.

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