Find out what life is really like at Durham University

ArtsDepartmentsDurham CityStudent experienceUndergraduate

A day in the life of a Liberal Arts student

As the degree title suggests, daily life as a Liberal Arts student is varied and engaging- no day is ever the same. I chose to study for a Liberal Arts degree in order that I may be permitted a greater amount of flexibility and personal choice when it came to choosing modules- what’s not to love? The programme essentially allows you to design your own degree (some rules permitting of course), allowing for cross-over between subjects and thus exploration of an arguably greater variety of topics than that of a single honours degree. Having chosen to study French, Spanish and English Literature, I can assure you that this has been the best decision I have ever made, allowing me a huge amount of flexibility, the opportunity to easily meet people from different disciplines and of course the infamous Year Abroad next year – France and Spain here I come!

French novelist, playwright, film maker

So here goes, I am going to describe an average weekday in the life of a Liberal Arts student, keen student journalist and aspiring polyglot:

After a quick breakfast, I hurry down to my first class: Spanish grammar. The fact that every student is encouraged to participate actively in class and spend most of the classes speaking is something that shocked me at first, a hugely different style to the rote-learning focus of school. However, I have since realised that this interactive teaching style pertinent to language learning here at Durham has been invaluable to the development of my confidence of speaking a foreign language, which is, of course, essential for being well-prepared for the year abroad too.

The journey into journalism…..

After this, I head to the Palatinate office to carry out my fortnightly duties as a Sub-Editor for the student newspaper. I recommend getting as involved as you can with student journalism here at Durham if you’re an aspiring journalist or simply enjoy writing or editing. The multitude of opportunities to write for varying publications is fantastic, allowing you gain experience and feedback and meet new people, as well as possibly providing a platform for your future career. After all, Harold Evans, editor of The Sunday Times for fourteen years has recently said in an interview for Palatinate that his experience as editor of the newspaper has really helped him within his chosen career path, deeming it ‘indispensable for a career in journalism.’

Tealicious afternoon tea

I then manage to squeeze in a delicious afternoon tea with my friend from college at Tealicious as a girly catch-up over scones and hot chocolate – a must for any Durham student.

Off to the library….

I then head back to Elvet Riverside for an Icons and Myths lecture – an insight into Hispanic Culture that proves invaluable not only to my understanding of Spanish language but also its speakers.  I then work in the library to write up notes from the lecture and then get ahead for tomorrow’s Modern Literature seminar and French Translation class- oh the trials and tribulations of a dual linguist!

In my snippets of free time, I update social media for Her Campus Durham, an online magazine and friendly community of uni girls with a shared passion for journalism that I much recommend getting involved with.

After heading home for dinner (it turns out that cooking pasta is a more difficult task than first anticipated!) and head to the DSU for a pub-quiz with friends- a perfect chance to unwind and chat after a busy day.

Harriet Cunningham

Sign up to our Mailing List