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A Day in the Life: Manchester Master’s Student

Semester two is finished, and the ever-looming dissertation is all that is left to finish my time at the University of Manchester. Now that classes are officially over, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on the daily occurrences that happened while I was still on campus. A day in the life so to speak. Hopefully what I convey will be what Uni life looks like in the not-too-distant future, and if not, it will be one for the history books.

Monday Morning: I wake up around 8 am and walk to the nearest coffee shop which is only a three-minute walk from where I live. If you happen to live in the city, that is about the farthest you will ever have to walk to get to a coffee shop. Foundation Coffee is a great place to get a morning drink or snack; there aren’t too many people out yet and I have my choice of several chic booths and lounge areas. After sitting down, I review my day, check the news, and read over a case study I’ve been assigned. Then by 9:40 I’m up and walking to school.

Like most days, it’s raining, but not too much. The rain is awkwardly sideways so an umbrella doesn’t do much good. I put my hood over my head and make the 13-minute walk to my first lecture of the day. I have the timing down to a science at this point. I get to class about five minutes early, say hello to a few classmates and do my best to stay focused for the next two hours.

Thursday Afternoon: I’ve finished my lectures for the day, had a quick lunch at the cafeteria in the business school, and now it’s time for a couple of hours of study. I’ve found some great places in the business school on the fourth floor to focus without distractions. Now I’m reading over a research article and highlighting the parts that may be useful in an essay I need to write in a few weeks. Most assigned readings are either case studies or business articles. I don’t mind at all. It beats lugging around textbooks.

Next is a seminar. We meet in a group of 20 or so with our seminar leader who is now a PhD student and did our same program a few years ago. We go over one of our case studies together, making suggestions on what things the business did well and where we may have done differently, trying to apply the latest theory we’ve been reading. Seminar is over in 50 minutes and it’s time to get away from studying for a bit.

I catch a bus down to the Armitage Center for basketball training, passing through busy Curry Mile. Sometimes I walk or jog because it’s just as fast as the bus, but it’s raining today. Basketball goes great. It’s nice to catch up with students from other cultures and studies and get a workout in. A moment free of academia.

Friday Night: The week is over. My studies can be put on the shelf for a day. Friday is a great day to meet up with a few students to connect on a different level. We meet up for some curry or dim sum in China town and enjoy the moment till catching up on studying begins on Saturday morning. But don’t worry, I won’t be waking up early tomorrow.