A Day in the Life of a College Student

The thing they don’t tell you: about the life of a college student.

The life of a college student is a never ending cycle of having somewhere to be or having something to do. I’m sure you’ve heard the joke that you have the options of sleep, good grades and a social life – and you can only pick two…Well I’m here to tell you that’s not true. There are far more than three things you have to juggle in college!

As an example, I thought it would be funny to go through a day in the life with me. Even better yet, through a Monday.

A typical Monday:

7:00 a.m. – Wake up call! I think I consider myself a morning person – at least I am much more productive in the morning. Plus, it doesn’t help that most of your meetings and commitments fill up the afternoons and evenings. So 7 a.m. is usually a good starting point for me.

7:15 a.m. – Gym time. To be honest I usually roll out of bed and head straight to the gym shoesgym. Even though I live off campus, I am really close and am able to just ride my bike. Getting to the gym early has its benefits. It wakes you up and there are usually far less people there.

8:45 a.m. – Breakfast. This is the time I usually get to have breakfast and 30 minutes to myself. Though sometimes that turns into finishing up some last-minute homework.

A lovely rainy Monday at that.
A lovely rainy Monday at that.

10:00 a.m. – Analytical chemistry. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, most three-day-a-week classes are 50 minutes long. So, at 10 a.m. MWF I have analytical chemistry. Analytical chemistry is basically the science of measurement, such as the chemical composition of a substance.in the lab

11:00 a.m. – Research. As a work study and undergraduate research student in a lab on campus, I spend a lot of time wearing a lab coat. Currently I am working on a project involving quorum sensing molecules and algae (which is a topic for another day). Usually between my classes I will come in and count the concentration of my algae culture so that I can come back after class ready to start my experiments. Sometimes I can squeeze in lunch, but I usually just keep a granola bar in my backpack!

1:00 p.m. – Physical chemistry. My second class of the day is physical chemistrypchem book. Physical chemistry (or p-chem) is essentially the application of physics to chemistry to solve problems about stuff like energy in a system. It’s actually really cool, and a great example of how science is forever becoming more and more interdisciplinary.

research2:00 p.m. – Back to research. After p-chem I usually head back to the lab and finish up my experiments for the day. Occasionally I get out earlier than expected, but often I don’t leave until around 5 or 5:30.

5:30 p.m. – Dinner? As the question mark implies, sometimes I am able to fit in dinner after I get out of the lab. Other times it will have to wait a little longer.

6:30 p.m. – ASBMB meeting. ASBMB is the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and I am the historian for the Florida Tech chapter. We meet bi-weekly and talk about research, science outreach and cool nerdy stuff.

7:30 p.m. – Homework. If I didn’t get to eat dinner before, now I finally can, as long as I don’t have to go grocery shopping first. Then I usually jump straight into homework. Now does it make sense why I go to the gym in the mornings?

Eventually – Bed.

So there you have it, a typical Monday in the life of Allie. I think it might be time for a nap.


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