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A Day in the Life of a PPE First Year

It is Friday of 5th week in Hilary Term, or as it is referred to at Oxford “Fifth Week Blues.” I wake up at 7:45 to get dressed and grab a quick breakfast before meeting my friend to walk to the gym by 8:15. We’ll usually work out for about an hour before showering and then stopping for a coffee or an extra snack if we’re still hungry on the way to lecture at the Examination Schools. Today we have two lectures: Introduction to the Practice of Politics at 10 and Moral Philosophy at 12. Between lectures we’ll either go sit in a nearby cafe if we haven’t stopped for a snack or go to the reading room in Exam Schools and work on essay or reading.

After lectures, we head back to college with the rest of our class for lunch. Because the food is subsidized, actually pretty decent tasting, and the kitchen facilities are poor, we’ll typically eat in hall. But it’s also pretty common, especially for those with dietary restrictions like Kosher, Halal, or vegan, to cook as well. Lunch officially starts at 12:30, but since it’s one of our main socializing times, we’re often there until 2:00, which is not great for our work, but definitely good for our mental health.

At 2, we either go back to our rooms or to the library to start work. This term most of my deadlines were on Monday or Tuesday, so on Friday we will usually begin the readings. Honestly, once you’re at Oxford you realize how much work you can get done in very short periods of time, but about 1.5 - 2 days for reading and 1 day for writing an essay tends to be a good standard. Most of the books that we need are available online, and if not they’re almost always in the library. I’ll probably take notes until dinner taking small breaks to keep my sanity. In Michaelmas term, I definitely focused more on my essays than my notes, and I’ve realized now that notes are so much more important especially for revision.

6 is dinner and my friends and I will meet in the quad before going into hall. Again, the food is usually pretty good and it’s just a great way to catch up with people. After dinner, I’ll go back to my room and give myself about 30 minutes of downtime. By 7:30 I start getting ready for football practice. I’ll bike down to the field at around 8:00 to get there by 8:30. Practice goes until 10:00 and then we cycle back.

Depending on how much work I got done or how much I work I still have left to do, I’ll either go back to room and study or go to a friend’s room and chat for a bit. Typically, I’ll be in bed no later than 1, but there’s been plenty of times that we haven’t gotten back until 3 when we’re just chatting. I try to get to sleep as soon as I’m back, but more often than not I’ll give myself some time to just scroll through instagram or message my family and friends back home.

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