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Napping followed by Fever: Here’s a day in the life of a first year Exeter Uni student

Featuring lot more coffee than I could have EVER expected


For any first year students, it’s hard to know exactly what to expect when arriving at Exeter. The glossy photos on the UCAS site can only prepare you for so much, and while studying and lectures are certainly a part of a first year’s daily routine, nothing can really prepare you for a typical day at Exeter Uni. Whether it be the ungodly amount of coffee you now drink, the desperate search for TP tickets, or the 2am breakdown over the piles of work you have due in, life for a first year at Exeter is sure to be full of things you never expected. So from a fresher to you, here’s the day in the life of a very stressed, very tried and very excited first year student.

7am: Wake up

As a first year with my UCAS email still freshly burned into my mind, I’m still (somehow) managing to go to those 8:30am lectures, which means a bright an early start. Waking up at 7am to down unhealthy amounts of coffee is a staple in any attentive freshers’ morning routine. At least, it has been so far. When the second term comes, I may be choosing an extra hour in bed over those pesky 8:30ams.

8:30am: The hills

By 8:30am I’m showered, dressed and charged on coffee, which is necessary when you’ve got Forum Hill standing between you and your lecture (although there are some third years who rock up like it’s nothing, I still have to take a breather when I reach the top). At least it’s not the dreaded Cardiac Hill – I don’t think even postgrads get used to that!

11:30am: Lectures

Being a fresher means getting used to the shift from upper sixth into uni and one of the biggest changes are the lectures. Instead of sitting in a class of 25, you’re now in a lecture hall of maybe 200 students, searching for a seat. At this point in the day, you’ll be desperately trying to join Eduroam while straining to her the lecturer. It’s even more fun when you’re a mere two minutes late and have to sneak past the rows of people to take your seat in a dead silent hall.

1pm: Lunch

As a fresher, I still have the benefits of uni accommodation, and therefore a uni kitchen. Lunch time as a fresher can mean something different for each student, depending on both your skill and time. For me it usually means some pitta and hummus or, if I’m feeling slightly less adventurous, left over pasta heated up in the microwave. I’ve come to realise how true the horror stories about uni meals are, as I’ve unfortunately got my own to add to the list.

3pm: Library sesh

Exeter is host to many different coffee stops, including a Pret and Starbucks in The Forum, which are both a dangerously close distance to the library. After a particularly complex reading, I’m liable to have a quick “study” sesh in the library with an iced latte. However, a quick study sesh can very quickly end into a gossip sesh with your bestie but alas, what are you going to do?

5pm: A quick nap

You really shouldn’t, but you’ve had a day of back to back lectures and seminars, and your bed is just so warm. As a fresher, I’ve quickly learnt not to underestimate a cheeky nap after class. Sometimes they’re not even planned; you lay down to rest your eyes for a few seconds, and suddenly you’re waking up an hour later.

7pm: Pres

Even though Freshers’ Week is in the distant past, nights out never really stop at Exeter. By 7pm the usual “Pres at mine? x” text has been sent out and by 8pm you’re mulling over the cheapest bottle of wine you can get from Marketplace. As a first year, it feels like my duty to make the most of those nights out.

11pm: The Fever queue