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Student Diary | A day in the life of a English Language student

Student Diary | A day in the life of a English Language student

by Katy

Curious to find out what a typical day is like for an English Language student? Find out why Katy chose to study her course, and what she thinks of the reality of student life...

This blog will take you on a journey of an average day in the life of an English Language student at Newcastle University. For obvious reasons (aka, I don’t want to put you all through a monotonously boring description of a long day in the library) I have chosen not to focus this blog around exam season. Instead, I’ve chosen to bring you along on an average Thursday in Semester Two. Thursdays are my busiest days at Uni, I have 4 contact hours – which, if you’re studying your A Levels right now may not seem like a lot - but trust me on this one, it feels like it! 


In the words of Kylie Jenner, ‘rise and shine!’ I’m lucky enough to live in a lovely area and my house even has a little balcony, so if the weather is nice (meaning if it’s not chucking it down with rain) I sit on the balcony, eat my breakfast and drink a huge coffee. If I have time, I throw on a podcast as I find that this helps me to be productive and gets my day off to a good start.


Seminar: Language & Cross-Cultural Communication. This is probably my favourite Semester 2 module thus far as it’s really interesting and it’s from an outside school, so it’s kind of a refreshing break from all of the English Language talk (even though I love my degree). Seminars are about an hour long, and they’re a space to have a guided discussion about lecture related material – they really help to consolidate information you’ve learned and to clarify any misunderstandings you might have. Just don’t be afraid to speak up!


Lecture: Multilingualism. After my 9:00 seminar, I rush across campus and take a seat in a busy lecture theatre (it’s a really good module, so the lecture theatre is packed) and take out my laptop ready to take notes. Some people take notes on paper, but I find it’s a lot easier on my laptop because I’m a lot faster at typing than I am at writing!


Aaaand breathe. I have a two-hour break, meaning I can go home for lunch and watch an episode of whatever Netflix series I’m binging at the moment. Or, if I have work to do, I can go to the library and grab lunch there (they have some good vegan options).


It's time for my seminar: Early English. Generally speaking, this is a module about Early English varieties and how English has changed from Old English to the language which we speak today. In all honesty, I didn’t think I was going to enjoy this module and was semi dreading it – but it’s actually really fascinating and I’m enjoying learning about the long history of English as it’s something I hadn’t really considered before.


I have an hour break before my seminar on Multilingualism, in which topics about the lecture I had this morning will be openly discussed. So, I take advantage of the hour break and do the seminar preparation, which normally involves reading an academic article and answering a series of questions. Tip: sometimes the seminar readings can be quite lengthy and hard to digest because of their academic nature, so my advice is to skim through the reading and only read the information you need in order to answer the set questions, then after the seminar, sit down and properly read the article when you have time to digest its contents.


It's time for my seminar: Multilingualism. This hour will be spent discussing the lecture material and reading.

Tip: don’t worry if you don’t understand something, or if you struggle with seminar readings. The staff at Uni are there to help you, and they really do want the best for you, so just be completely honest with them in what you don’t understand and they will do their best to help you. Also, usually the seminar leaders are PHD or Doctorate students, so they completely understand your position and general university life.


by now, I have officially finished Uni for the day! When I don’t have imminent deadlines, I will normally go home, relax and head to the gym in the evening. However, during exam/deadline season, be prepared to continue the grind!


Interested in finding out more about studying English Language at Newcastle University? Discover the practicalities of our degrees, career prospects, and opportunities to study abroad in our English Language subject page.