Find out what life is really like at Durham University

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A day in my life – Second-year Law

A typical day for me might, or might not start with a 9 am lecture. I actually prefer when they do – academic commitments are a much better alarm clock than the sort you can just keep hitting “snooze” on! If I’m being particularly productive, I’ve done some reading for the lecture already, which helps to get a vague idea of the topic ahead of time, even if I don’t understand all of it. The walk down to the lecture is always a nice way to get the day started – I live a little bit further out in Gilesgate, meaning I’ve got a 25-minute walk, but Durham is honestly such a beautiful place to live that I really enjoy walking in every day. The picture above was taken on my morning commute.

From 10 am onwards, there’s generally a bit of a gap. Law students don’t have many contact hours since individual research and study is so important for budding lawyers; a busy week for me is about 10 hours, whilst a quiet one can be as few as 5. That (unfortunately) doesn’t mean we get to be lazy though! In the first half of term, I’m generally occupied with preparing for tutorials or trying to make sense of my notes from a recent lecture. As the term goes on, this “spare time” becomes much more about writing essays.

I’ve also got a campus job this year – working as a Brand Manager for an organisation called Frontline, so I’ll often find a bit of time between lectures to do some work for that. Now that I’m in 2nd year and have a better sense of my workload, I really feel that having a campus job is a great way to make sure you’re focusing on something other than your degree.

Ultimate Frisbee

Another way I’ve been adding to my experience beyond my degree has been through sport. Durham is one of the top sporting universities in the country, and pretty much everyone tries something at college or university level. Off the top of my head, I can think of people who do rugby, dance, yoga, fencing, rowing, and all sorts of other stuff. For me, a Wednesday afternoon means two or so glorious hours of Ultimate Frisbee, and a Thursday evening is time for me to go and be really rubbish at football (but enjoy it anyway).

At some point in the evening, I’ll be heading home for dinner. I live in a house of 4 people, and we’ve been really good at cooking together. We all do different subjects and have really differing timetables, so it’s nice to be able to catch up at the end of the day – plus, it means I don’t have to cook every night!

There’s plenty to do in Durham in the evenings, and I’ll often find myself watching a play or musical by one of the uni’s many theatre companies. If not, I might be going out to a college bar with my friends, or on a special occasion go out for dinner in one of the brilliant restaurants in the city centre. A day trip to Newcastle, which is only as short train ride away is a great way to take a break from hectic student life.

I hope this offers some help and insight to a day in my life for anyone looking to apply to Durham. All that’s really left to say is that your experience at Durham really is what you make of it and that I’m really glad I’ve tried enough new things at uni to put together this article about them!

I feature in Carina’s video about part time jobs in Durham, check it out here.

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*please note this blog was written before lockdown

Ben Summer

I’m Ben, a 2nd year Law student from Mary’s. In my spare time, I love a bit of ultimate frisbee, and never say no to a good musical! I enjoy writing about all sorts of things and can be found at my blog, as well as on Twitter @bm_summer.
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