A week in the life of a history student

12 Apr 2017
Book with photo on top

Third Year.

Semester Two.

Week Twelve.

To channel my inner Chandler Bing; Can there be anything more stressful?


Right. So, for some mad reason I agreed to schedule this blog post for the busiest week of my undergraduate existence. An act of pure insanity. Somehow, though, I’ve managed to stay awake long enough to jot down a few bits and pieces about life as a History student at Winchester.

Because it’s all worth the stress, I promise.

Day One: Sunday, 02/04/17

Sleep, eat, proofread, repeat.

Almost a year into writing my dissertation and, somehow, it’s a day away from being printed and bound. I’ve spent today proofreading chapter after chapter, checking references, and praying that I hadn’t made too many embarrassing mistakes.

The frustrating thing about a dissertation is that it’s never done, there’s always something more to add, to edit, to tweak. It’s maddening, but also something you become immensely proud of it.

Day Two: Monday, 03/04/17

Dissertation hand-in day!

History Dissertation

I felt strangely bereft handing in my dissertation today! It was like handing over my baby after a stressful twelve-month labour.

Having said that, seeing my dissertation all bound and beautiful made all the hard work seem worth it.

Day Three: Tuesday, 04/04/17

Penultimate History lecture!

I can’t believe how quickly the past three years have gone! It feels like yesterday that I was nervously walking into the Stripe Auditorium, knees trembling, and unsure of what to expect.

Now, somehow, I’ve just had my penultimate History lecture and we’re being given advice for our final exams in May! Am I ready for that? I’ll have to be!

After the lecture, I nipped to the library and grabbed a small mountain of books- I’ve been so occupied with my dissertation lately that I’ve got an essay due on Thursday which still needs a fair bit of work.

History students don’t tend to have very many contact hours (time spent in lectures/seminars), but we’re expected to do lots of independent research and wider reading. This, in my opinion, is definitely a bonus because you can tailor your study to suit your own interests, but it can be a bit of a pain having to carry all the books home with you. I may have cheated today, however, by taking the bus.

Day Four: Wednesday, 05/04/17

Spent today finishing off my last History essay- which would have been a sad thought if I’d had a spare moment to actually stop and consider it. I’ve been pouring over my books all day, trying to find a particularly elusive quote, but it’s almost done (and so am I).

I always moan about writing essays, but when you’re writing about something you’re actually passionate about there can be a good side to them as well. And, saying that, History students at Winchester are so lucky because we have such a massive range of modules to choose from!

Take the essay I’m finishing off today, for instance. It’s for a module on Environmental History, which I love because it looks at modern and contemporary events. But, equally, I have friends who study everything from the Wars of the Roses, to Twentieth Century Britain, and from classical antiquity to Japan in the Second World War.

There really is something for everyone!

Day Five: Thursday, 06/04/17

9am lecture. Ouch. Enough said.

Would write more about this, but I’m not 100% sure I was fully awake. I’m counting down the days until the Easter Break, when I can finally get a decent night’s sleep.

Still, I printed and handed in my essay today, and then went with friends to see Beauty and the Beast at the gorgeous Everyman Cinema in town. A really lovely treat to myself for handing in my last assignment.

blossom on campus

Day Six: Friday, 07/04/17

Went into town again today to meet up with my cousin for lunch. We had pizza, garlic bread, and a nice catch-up, before I had to dash off again for my last ever English lecture. It was a very surreal experience, and more than a little bit heart-breaking.

But that was that, my last ever lecture at Winchester. I wish that I could go back and do them all over again (minus a few 9ams!)

Day Seven: Saturday, 08/04/17

Feels very weird not to be constantly thinking about my dissertation. I almost miss the constant weight of it. Almost.

But not quite. Instead, I went for a beautiful walk with my friend Maddie this morning, up to this lovely park in Oliver’s Battery, which had incredible views over Winchester. You could just about see the cathedral spires poking through the treetops.

A great start to what will, hopefully, be a slightly more relaxed week.

Interested in studying History at Winchester? Check out some of our undergraduate degrees...

About the author

Gabrielle Bex - BA (Hons) English and History

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