Marina: A week in my student life

Hello everyone, I am Marina, your Link to Leeds ambassador from India. I study MA New Media in the University of Leeds and currently reside in a private accommodation in Hyde Park area. I am someone who believes in making the best of everyday, and this is how a week in my life goes: 

I usually start my Sundays on a relaxed note, by catching up on my sleep and taking time to schedule my week ahead. As a Link to Leeds ambassador, I get mails from many prospective students on a weekly basis. So I devote the day to reply to those pending mails, while also tidying up my room and doing some reading (currently I am reading two books- Michael Obama’s Becoming and Michael Arditti’s The Anointed). This particular Sunday, I managed to grab lunch with a friend at a café called IF, which also happens to be one of my favourite places to eat. I love the matcha latte and pancakes they serve there. 

Mondays are usually that day of the week which I look forward to the most, as most of my plans and tasks conceptualise then. I start my day with a run in Hyde Park, which is a very popular student area. I prefer going to the University to work on my studies and job applications. I usually sit inside the Leeds University Union (LUU) building and take my lunch and caffeine breaks in the café, Balcony. 

As my week progresses, I engage in interests like yoga and dance, which help me a lot in keeping active and maintaining my mental health. The sports and gym facility of the University, The Edge also holds several classes for dance, Zumba, yoga and Pilates, among other activities that is really helpful for students. 

When it comes to my grocery shopping, I usually do it mid-week and follow my self-made ‘10 items on the list’ formula. This means that I wait till I have 10 items to buy penned down on a list, and only then do I go on a grocery run. This helps me in avoiding impulsive buying and also in maintaining a record of the expenses. I usually spend around £10- £20 on groceries on weekly basis. 

As a student of the University of Leeds, one gets many opportunities to undertake part-time jobs, like the one that I am pursuing. In my role as a Link to Leeds ambassador, I also host campus tours. I take prospective students on a tour of the whole campus and interact with them. I really like my job as it allows me to meet new people and work with a highly diverse team of colleagues. Moreover, this is a nice way of making some money around my academic schedule.

I start winding down most of the academic and part-time job related work by the weekend, so I have time to attend events in the University and around the city of Leeds. On Thursday, I attended a Drag Show, for the first time in my life, which was hosted by the LUU. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and also felt this was a good gesture by the University to honour representation and self-expression. With 300+ societies and clubs, the LUU makes sure that every student finds their interests and becomes part of a community. I also got a chance to attend the Leeds Light Night, a yearly event that brings the best of arts and light projections in the city.  

Apart from Leeds, there is so much to see in Yorkshire area as well. On Saturday, I travelled to the Yorkshire Sculptor Park which is a world famous rural park housing works of famous artists like Henry Moore and Damien Hirst. The fastest way to reach the destination is by a car (30 minutes). But if you are like me and do not drive, then coach and trains are the best option. I would also suggest getting a rail card, as it comes with student discounts and is a good option for frequent travelling. It took me a 10 minute train journey to Wakefield from Leeds train station and then a 30 minute bus ride to reach the park. Overall, I only spent around £10 for my entire journey in the park, including the entry tickets. I ended my weekend on a high note, feeling hopeful for the incoming week and my time in Leeds.

In conclusion, I would like to say that life as a student can be challenging. With so much to do academically and socially, it can be quite a lot to take on. But I believe, if we take some time out to reflect, relax and respond everyday, then it just makes the process smoother. Moreover, the University and Leeds as a city, has so much to offer that one is always spoilt for choices.

I really enjoyed reflecting on my life, everyday, for a week. I hope you enjoy reading it as well and it proves to be helpful to you.