It goes without saying that this academic year is one like no other! Due to unforeseen circumstances, universities have had to adapt to a new structure of learning. This year, teaching has been online due to COVID restrictions and has therefore introduced me to the life of a student in new conditions. I thought it would be helpful to share my general routine with those curious about the experience, and hope that you find it useful!
The day begins online at 9am with a weekly introduction tutorial that takes place on Mondays. In this tutorial, the head of the course shares a summary of what will be happening during the week, makes key announcements and answers any questions people may have. I then like to get some breakfast – normally granola and some fruit before the first lecture of the day.
The lecture starts with our professor discussing the course material. We are then assigned some tutorial sheets with questions to answer, and are sorted into breakout rooms with about 10 other students to discuss the work with each other. The professor and teaching assistants are always on hand to answer any questions we may have about the work. Their help is particularly useful if you’re unsure about anything or want to check if you’re going about the questions the right way. The next lecture of the day then begins at 12pm which takes place for 2 hours; there are breaks in between and I like to grab a donut before continuing with the afternoon. This class is normally my Electronic and Engineering module or the Mathematics module, both of which I find engaging.
Engineering students normally have labs sessions on campus, which allow us to have hands-on experience with the concepts we are learning about in our modules. We have the opportunity to interact with other students at the same time, which can be good fun overall. In the middle of the week, I have my design engineering module which involves working in a group to create something which is detailed in the specification given. It has been nice to collaborate with my peers and form closer bonds with the people on my course. Sometimes we even meet up at the Strand which is where the Engineering department is located – it’s nice as we get to spend time on the campus – masks included of course! If you choose to, you can take part in a wide range of societies, for example I am in the Data science and Foodies society. One week a student from the year above gave a talk about life at King’s, which was very informative to me. This included advice on how to manage our first year at King’s, and some really handy tips – like the best spots to have lunch around campus.
Starting university life with a degree as invigorating as Engineering has presented challenges, especially during a pandemic! But I know that the experience has proven to show my strengths not only in academic progress, but also in my dedication and resilience. It has helped me develop an abundance of skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving and teamwork. I feel more confident for the future, and more prepared for what’s to come in my chosen career path.