The day in the life of a postgraduate student at IOPPN

Written by Manasija Mandalika

Hello! I’m Manasija (she/her), a postgraduate student studying Mental Health Studies at the Institute of Psychology, Psychiatry, and Neuroscience. Let me take along the journey of a typical day at IOPPN!

My day begins with a 30-minute journey from central London to Denmark Hill via the overground train. I usually listen to music to fully wake myself up and prepare for the long but fun day ahead! Upon arriving at Denmark Hill, it’s a short 5-minute walk to the campus building.

I usually have classes 2 days a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays along with a placement on Fridays. Women’s Mental Health and Basic Mental Health take place on Tuesdays while Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Statistics take place on Thursdays. Some weeks, we also have an additional workshop session on Wednesdays which covers a range of topics from plagiarism to dissertation guidelines and exam preparation.

A typical day at IOPPN for me is divided into 2 halves, with a class running from 10 am to 12 noon and another from 1-3 pm. I usually plan and reach my lecture theatre at least 10 minutes early so I have enough time to have my readings, slides and notes ready before class begins!

After my first class, I usually take the 1-hour break to relax and prepare myself for the next one. If it’s a sunny day, I love to sit on the bench outside IOPPN or treat myself to a hot chocolate from the IOPPN cafe on a colder day! The break really helps in connecting with peers and catching up on the fun things we did over the weekend! Then, I head to my second and final class for the day. Classes are super interactive and engaging, always leaving me with a desire to learn more.

After the last class, I usually chat with my friends and hang out for a bit before heading home to wind down for the day. Sometimes, we walk down to the high road and grab snacks or get a coffee!

After getting home, I make myself a yummy dinner, and watch something on Netflix for a bit before getting back to work. Work on college days usually involves doing the required readings and being prepared for the following week! When life gets tiring and stressful, I love to go to the Hackney City farm and spend time with the animals over the weekend. It’s therapeutic for me and brings me immense joy.

Some days are tiring, some days are fun. A lot of it depends on striking the balance between doing well in your Master’s programme and self-care! Luckily for us, IOPPN hosts a ton of wellness activities and events throughout the year and this takes care of my mental well-being for the most part!

I’m glad to be a part of a community which gives me the opportunity and space to explore and learn!

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