I arrive onto campus fifteen minutes before my first lecture of the day using the the buses that run all the way up onto campus outside reception. I have a MetRider bus pass which gives unlimited access to the entire Cardiff Bus network from the 1st September till the 30th June.
Arriving fifteen minutes early gives me the time to pick up a cup of tea (and possibly a slice of toast) from K1 café canteen and get to my lecture early.
My lecture timetable can vary from as little as two lectures a day to five lectures. On days where I have less teaching time I sometimes go to the library or book out a private study room which is located by the learning centre. I find this a lot easier than studying at home in my shared house as I find I get distracted easily and I am more productive in this kind of environment!
During first year I also used to spend my free time in the gym on Cyncoed Campus. The facilities here are good and the staff all friendly and willing to help. Showering between lectures isn’t a problem either as the changing rooms provide for all of this alongside efficient space and lockers.
There are periods in term when pressures, stress and workloads increase, but there are plenty of options and members of staff to go to for help if this happens. My lecturers like to encourage us to turn to a friend first if we find we are struggling with any topic content. This is really good advice, as they may be struggling with the same thing and researching in pairs means more can be done in a shorter amount of time.
For example I found one piece of gymnastics coursework really difficult on my Applied Principles and Techniques module. My friend Gavin was a huge help with mine as he was able to explain bits to me that I didn’t understand.
Of course you have to make sure it’s still all of your own work even if you research with a friend – it’s really important to avoid plagiarism!
I also spend a lot of my university day in the Performance Analyst labs. Here I use the computers to code games and generally get used to the different software we use to do this. The more I practice the better I get at using all the different features included.
At first I wasn’t very confident in using some of the programmes, such as NacSport, and found it intimidating. But after a few hours in the labs experimenting with it I now know how it works, and what I can potentially gain from using it.
Once all my lectures have finished for the day, I usually try to spend some time in the downstairs library or social learning centre. Here, there is access to loads of computers so I can get on with any assignments I have due. Occasionally, if I feel I have been particularly productive, I’ll end the day with dinner in the SU. I never get bored of the menu here and it is especially cheap – plus it’s a great place to meet with friends in the evening!