A day in the life of a first year Physics student


By Favour Ajao, BSc Physics, Department of Physics

The longest day for a first-year physics student has to be Mondays. Walking along Waterloo Bridge to make it to the King’s Building is a spectacular way to begin the week, it energises me and gets me ready for the week ahead, but also reminds me of what a beautiful city London is and how privileged I am to study in such a spectacular city.

So, the day begins with a 9am lecture on classical physics for two hours, which may sound long, but there is a ten-minute break in between the hours to ask the lecturer questions and stretch your legs. The lectures vary depending on the preferred style of the lecturer, they could use the blackboard, projector or a mixture of both. After classical physics, there is a two hour break in which I usually go over course material. There are many available places to do this. There are many study spaces in Bush House (across the road from the Strand Building), which also has social spaces if I was working with friends.

At 1pm is another two hour lecture, on mathematics, at the Bush House Auditorium. The structure of the maths lecture is very similar to that of classical physics, however, the second hour is a problem class which allows us to practice problems with the help of the lecturer and PhD students. After maths I have an hour free, for a late lunch. Sometimes I pack my lunch from home, or I get lunch from the many places available. There is always something different to try each day, either on campus, at the King’s Kitchen, The Shack or the many restaurants and cafes around Strand.

At 4pm I have a meeting with my tutor, which consists of a group of about six first year physics students and an academic in the department. We meet weekly to discuss any issues we may be having with the course and content; we have this time to ensure we really understand what is talked about in the lectures. The last lecture of the day is at 5pm which is just an hour long, and it is on lab and practical skills in the King’s Building.

Mondays usually end there, but once a month, there is a Maxwell Lecture which is open to the public; it is a lecture series hosted by the society. It is always interesting as many professionals and academics in their fields give an hour lecture on their respective fields, the talks are always super engaging and a chance to discover or learn about new branches of physics.

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