Take a look at the typical day in the life of a Chemistry student, from tiresome lectures to inspiring lab sessions and extra-curricular pursuits.
The first of three alarms sounds. Snooze button. Second alarm… snooze button. Third, and the wretched day begins.
The Morning Lecture
There is the usual rush to leave home with enough time to avoid being the moron that walks into the 9am lecture ten minutes late. If this day is anything like yesterday, I will be that moron once more. All seats taken in the lecture room, I awkwardly squeeze into the tiny spot between two fellow Chemistry students, the whiff of their late night beer lingers as I wriggle into my spot.
By now, I have created the mother of all disturbances and I make every effort to avoid the glare of the lecturer. The lecture proceeds. Molecules, chemical reactions, electrons…the lecturer drones on and on and I make every effort to intently listen, understand and make note of all things explained and demonstrated. I am left exhausted and none the wiser with respect to the chemical conversion of reagent X to yield product Y.
As the Day Progresses
In the short break that follows, I sacrifice a trip to the coffee shop conveniently located on campus to earnestly try to meet my assignment deadline. Yes, I was assigned a week long period for its completion but with having to juggle all the other deadlines, not to mention all the mandatory reality TV, I just haven’t managed to fit it in.
At lunch, the canteen is crammed with a herd of hungry students, trying to make a grab for the last pepperoni slice. Being the rather money-conscious and cash-strapped individual that I am, I find myself a seat and unwrap my home-made sandwich, consisting of some crusty bread and last night’s leftover chicken tikka. It is far from gourmet food but feasting on delicacies and living on a budget do not go hand in hand, and besides, I quite enjoy crusty bread and cold chicken tikka.
The practical session follows shortly. I coat up in my usual lab gear, plonk a pair of goggles on and head into the lab. I follow the provided lab manual to prepare an iodide of tin and having successfully done so, I am reassured that there is indeed some justice in the world.
Trip to the “Heart” of the University
Having finished for the day, I make my way to the Students’ Union, which is often referred to as being the “heart” of the University. Getting involved in the campaigns run by the Union and fighting for student rights has always been a keen interest for me and I make a great effort to make my voice heard. Having been blessed with the gift of the gab, I manage to recruit a number of new members that are willing to become active volunteers for the Union and later head home content with the level of productivity for the day.
Before I get dolled up for the Chemistry social planned for the night, I share a pizza with the housemates before tending to my other priorities, one of which is writing for GKBC. Having researched and composed my assigned article, the night is finally mine. Well, at least until the next alarm.
About Author: Shazmeen Hansrod is a Pharmaceutical Chemistry graduate with a keen eye for the written word and a wide scope of interests – from blogging to volunteering, academia and all things science.