A day/week at Cambridge, what's it like? Watch

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Dancer83
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Hello,

Could someone tell what a "typical" day/week at Cambridge is like for them?How is your time divided between different things (study, sleep, eat, sport/music/other, friends etc.)?

I'm mainly interested in the NatSci Tripos and what it's like to study it at Cambridge.

Thanks,
Florence
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MadNatSci
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Hmmm, OK. I think I may have posted this before, but a typical weekday (ie Mon-Sat for a NatSci) goes pretty much as follows (I'll use a Tues/Thurs/Sat: your days vary depending on what courses you do):

8am wake up; 15 mins later haul self out of bed and shower
8.45am frantic collection of lecture notes and other stuff you need, followed by fast walk to lecture theatre
9.05am start of first lecture
9.55am end of first lecture (wake up time!)
10.05am start of next lecture - this is reeeeaaaaally helpful when you have Chemistry on the other side of town and your maths lecturer has droned on for an extra 5 minutes :rolleyes: - therefore usually a sprint up to Lensfield Road between 9.55 and 10.05
10.55am end of second lecture.

Break between 11 and 12 during which you're supposed to be reading your lecture notes. I usually dashed back to college and checked my mail in the postroom, and then checked my email during this time. Naughty, but at least vaguely productive. (Apart from the fact that checking email always included visits to UKL )

12.05pm Third lecture - physiology. This ran til 5 to 1 - you get the picture now.

Lectures for me either finished at 1 (Tues/Thurs/Sat) or 11(Mon/Weds/Fri). However there's no rest for the wicked: you have three (or four if you do QB) afternoon practicals a week. These last til 4 or 5 normally, but they do make time for you to have lunch.

You also have four supervisions a week, which are fitted into your spare time. So basically you end up with pretty much 5 days a week with contact time 9- or 10-5 (or 9- or 10-4) and then the Saturday morning lectures til about 1. Then you get set work, which I did try to do in the early evenings. From about 10 onwards it tends to be social time, unless you have massive deadlines you've neglected in which case you're working til 1am at the earliest...

That's kind of it. Sundays I enjoy my lie-in for as long as I dare, before forcing myself to do some work. I'm in the choir, so that's three evenings a week when the work is put back a bit later, and obviously your personal timetable alters according to both course options and social activities, but your contact time will be pretty much as outlined above.
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Faboba
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(Original post by MadNatSci)
Hmmm, OK. I think I may have ... but your contact time will be pretty much as outlined above.
What about for someone that wasn't crazy enough to pick Natsci?
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MadNatSci
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(Original post by Faboba)
What about for someone that wasn't crazy enough to pick Natsci?
Philosophers are evil :mad:
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priya
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(Original post by Faboba)
What about for someone that wasn't crazy enough to pick Natsci?
i agree- please PLEASE tell me the arts students don't have saturday lectures!
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christ's-boy
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(Original post by priya)
i agree- please PLEASE tell me the arts students don't have saturday lectures!
Arts students hardly have lectures, as far as I can tell, let alone Saturday lectures.

But yup, you're safe. NatScis are the only ones to have them on Saturdays. I think it's just because there's so many possible combinations that it would be very difficult to timetable into only 5 days, especially since only mornings can be used for lectures as there are practicals in the afternoons.
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KHL
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(Original post by christ's-boy)
Arts students hardly have lectures, as far as I can tell, let alone Saturday lectures.

But yup, you're safe. NatScis are the only ones to have them on Saturdays. I think it's just because there's so many possible combinations that it would be very difficult to timetable into only 5 days, especially since only mornings can be used for lectures as there are practicals in the afternoons.
that, sadly, is only true of the first year. second year medics have to wake up early on saturdays too, just like our unfortunate natsci brethren...

(Original post by priya)
i agree- please PLEASE tell me the arts students don't have saturday lectures!
what lectures?
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Counterpoint
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:eek: Woah... what about History people? WHAT ABOUT HISTORY DAMMMNIIIT !!!!! :eek:
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MadNatSci
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(Original post by Counterpoint)
:eek: Woah... what about History people? WHAT ABOUT HISTORY DAMMMNIIIT !!!!! :eek:
History?! I have never seen any of our historians up and about before 1pm. NOTHING to worry about there mate!

ALL Arts students have it easy. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise
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The Albatross
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what about architecture? from what i've neard its quite demanding! does anyoone know any cambridge architects?
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B00kwOrm
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(Original post by MadNatSci)
History?! I have never seen any of our historians up and about before 1pm. NOTHING to worry about there mate!

ALL Arts students have it easy. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise
Rofl Here we go again...

Ok, seriously, historians have a lot less lectures, so they can manage their time as they see fit. So they can get out of bed when they feel like it, unike the scientists But they still work very, one of my friends there wrote three 3 1-hour practice essays on top of going one lecture (yes, he went to a lecture!! ), so it's not like historians don't work. Although it's often assumed they don't :rolleyes: I bet it's evil NatSci's who spread that rumour around :mad:

In one old CUSU prospectus, the page about History started something like that:

"Oh, you're a historian?" That's the first thing you will hear if you tell someone you're studying History. The second one will be: "So, you don't do any work?"

:rolleyes:
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Counterpoint
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Hahaha... I'm not the most organised of people... but atleast I don't drink, so I'll be able to get some good sleeps n wake up feelin' good every mornin' hehe... I'm jus worried that other historians will be so well-read (unlike me) and sound erudite and all sorts... in debates I've already planned my answers... they go a bit like this:

"So what?"
"...and..?"
"You stink"
"I'm off, seeya"

Well, hopefully I'll come out of uni a well-read, knowledgable, and clever sounding hahah...

and what do i do to join the UKL history society? :cool:
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B00kwOrm
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(Original post by Counterpoint)

and what do i do to join the UKL history society? :cool:
You could bump up the thread for instance I'll add you to the list.
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musicbloke
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(Original post by Counterpoint)
"You stink"
Ad hominem (unless that's too sexist and un-PC these days)

MB
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ASNaC
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It is much harder to state a typical day for an arts student, because depending on where your lectures are you can pretty much arrange your time as you see fit. For the first two terms I only worked four days a week - I would put in about an average of 10 hours a day, because I then enjoyed having three days off. Also a lot more work is 'optional' within the arts. To do really well requires a lot of work, but if your only concerned with passing you can do almost nothing and still get a 2.1 or 2.2. In other words hard working arts students work just as hard as any scientist, but lazy ones are the laziest people in the university (actually second laziest - the brilliant maths students are often the laziest).

A day of work for me is pretty much as follows

9:15 am wake up, shower, eat breakfast, then leave for the Sidgewick site (three days a week I have 10:00 am lectures, if I don't I get up an hour later).

10:00 am - 1:00pm first lectures, normally only two during these three hours, the other hour is spent in the ASNaC library reading or working on a translation

1:00 pm go back to my room, eat lunch, then continue reading.

Some days I have lectures in the afternoons, but this is fairly rare - normally they are dedicated to reading during the first half of the week, and then writing up my essay in the second half.

7:00 pm go to hall, eat dinner with friends, chat for a while in hall

7:30 return to work. Either cotinue reading and writing, or work on one of the two sets of translations I have set a week.

9:30 meet up with friends in the bar for one or two pints and a few games of pool

11:30 get back to room and put in another one or two hours work before bed.

On weekends, however, I will never get to bed before 2 am, never wake up before 12 pm, and will normally be in the bar by 7 pm at the latest.
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Faboba
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Is there such a thing as a Natsci boatie or would that be tantamount to suicide?

( As far as I understand it the bottom line is this; science based subjects are heavily classroom oriented and therefore you have lots of set lectures at lots of awkward times however if you're an art student while your work is not lecture based there is a lot you'll be expected to read up on 'in your own time' which may equal or indeed exceed the amount of time required by natsci lectures. )
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priya
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(Original post by ASNaC)
It is much harder to state a typical day for an arts student, because depending on where your lectures are you can pretty much arrange your time as you see fit. For the first two terms I only worked four days a week - I would put in about an average of 10 hours a day, because I then enjoyed having three days off. Also a lot more work is 'optional' within the arts. To do really well requires a lot of work, but if your only concerned with passing you can do almost nothing and still get a 2.1 or 2.2. In other words hard working arts students work just as hard as any scientist, but lazy ones are the laziest people in the university (actually second laziest - the brilliant maths students are often the laziest).

A day of work for me is pretty much as follows

9:15 am wake up, shower, eat breakfast, then leave for the Sidgewick site (three days a week I have 10:00 am lectures, if I don't I get up an hour later).

10:00 am - 1:00pm first lectures, normally only two during these three hours, the other hour is spent in the ASNaC library reading or working on a translation

1:00 pm go back to my room, eat lunch, then continue reading.

Some days I have lectures in the afternoons, but this is fairly rare - normally they are dedicated to reading during the first half of the week, and then writing up my essay in the second half.

7:00 pm go to hall, eat dinner with friends, chat for a while in hall

7:30 return to work. Either cotinue reading and writing, or work on one of the two sets of translations I have set a week.

9:30 meet up with friends in the bar for one or two pints and a few games of pool

11:30 get back to room and put in another one or two hours work before bed.

On weekends, however, I will never get to bed before 2 am, never wake up before 12 pm, and will normally be in the bar by 7 pm at the latest.
sounds doable. i guess i'll have more cos i have to keep on top of my italian as well as truckloads of german
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ASNaC
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(Original post by priya)
sounds doable. i guess i'll have more cos i have to keep on top of my italian as well as truckloads of german
Not really... I work more than the vast majority of arts students. Most, in the first two terms at least, rarely work more than 30 hours a week (often twenty or less). Exam term is a different issue all together, but you have a lot of time ahead of you before you have to worry about that.

Foboda - there are plenty of Natsci boaties, I believe they are called insomniacs
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The Albatross
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(Original post by scarlet ibis)
what about architecture? from what i've neard its quite demanding! does anyoone know any cambridge architects?
so no-one knows any architects then? ASNaC, do you reckon a day in life of a cambridge architect would be similar to yours, cos it is supposedly an 'arts' subject.
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ASNaC
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I don't know of any architects so I am really unsure. A lot would depend on whether you have practicals (if so how many) and how many hours of lectures you have. I wouldn't worry too much - no subject is very stressful first term.
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