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Carly Bennett, Journalism Day in the Life of a Journalism Student
Posted by Carly Bennett | November 03rd 2011

Always wondered what a typical day at uni is really like? Carly Bennett, a second year journalism student from Griffith University tells all…

I’m not one to conform to the “stereotypical” uni student mold, so take this blog as merely a guide to what a day at uni is like. I say this because the majority of my uni friends and flatmates don’t get up before 10am, rarely go to class and party a lot. I’m kind of the opposite. Maybe that makes me sound like a nerd or possibly a bit too committed, but I take uni pretty seriously, and it’s quite ok if you do too. This is probably because journalism is a competitive field, and to get a good job means you have put the work in and stand out from the crowd. At the end of it, hopefully the work pays off, and all those hours of study and cramming get me that amazing job. The point is, uni is all about what you put in, and for those curious about what it is some of us uni students get up to in a day, here is a snapshot….

7.30am - Usually I’m up and awake around this time. I’ll normally go for a jog, do yoga, something to get the endorphins pumping. Then it’s a quick check of the emails (and maybe, possibly, Facebook), and the Learning @ Griffith site to see if there’s any important announcements or things I should know for my day’s classes. Learning @ Griffith is the university website, which allows students to access their student email, course details, lecturer’s contacts, assessment information and everything else uni related. Lecturers might post announcements about upcoming work that’s due or what the lecture will be about. Most unis will have a portal site like this, where you can check up on everything uni-related.

Before my first class (which for my timetable can vary anytime from 9am until 3pm) I’ll make sure I’ve had a coffee, done my readings (if there are any) and am prepared for the day’s classes, then head off. My lectures are usually 2 hours, but it all depends on your course and lecturer. Lectures are usually pretty long winded, and crammed with content, so lots of students don’t bother going. Another reason is that the lecture slides and a recording of the whole lecture are usually posted on the portal the next day, so you can catch up whenever you like.

After my lecture on a Thursday, I have a one hour break, then a tutorial (tute) for that class.

11am – My tute. Now its time to put all the theory just learnt in the lecture, to good use. Tutes are basically set up like a classroom, with the tutor out the front and a group of 20-30 students. Here we do groupwork, discuss assessments and weekly topics, and talk to the tutor about any problems we might be having. Tutes are much more relaxed than lectures, and allow you to mingle with other students. You can pretty much do as much or as little as you like. Most people actually turn up to these because you can pick up an easy 10 marks just for being in the room. Kind of a no-brainer really!

After my tute, I have another gap…Yes, uni is fairly cruisy most of the time. So it’s a quick bite of lunch, catch up with friends, then off to the next class.

2pm – This is my two hour radio journalism workshop where the class is pretty hands on, and practical. A workshop is much like a tute, but rather than just discuss topics, we get to do practical stuff like write and record news stories, and focus on the assessment items.

4pm – By this time, I’m done for the day, and usually a bit brain-zapped (two hour classes kinda take it out you), so its home for a bit of music and a green tea to relax.

So there you have it, my typical day at uni – not quite the 9-3pm day you have at high school, but nonetheless, it’s all pretty busy! Like anything, you only get out what you put in, so despite only having 12 hours contact time a week, a typical student would have to spend that amount again in doing additional study, just to keep up with readings, assessments and anything else uni related. The end of semester is usually very hectic for most of us. As well as going to class, we are all franticly trying to get assessments done and exams studied for. So you are constantly keeping busy!