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A Day in the Life of an Energy, Society and Sustainability Student

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By Emma, MSc Energy, Society and Sustainability

It still feels like we just started the new spring term and I’ve just found my routine again. I thought I would share what a typical day looks like for a postgrad student in the School of Geosciences, more specifically for an Energy, Society and Sustainability postgrad. I was trying to think of my routine when I realised that each day is actually so different and they vary over the course of the term. Right now, as we’ve just about reached midterm, I’ve still got a bit more time on my hands to do other things outside the library than I will have towards the end of term.

Pentlands Photo by Emma Persson  

A typical day usually consists of self study or joining study groups, going through readings for class, preparing for upcoming assignments, going for coffee/tea with friends and attending as many events as possible. There’s always something going on in Edinburgh at the weekend. This past month, for example, the Six Nations rugby games were on, which led me and my flatmates to a nearby pub (The Pitt) to watch the England vs Scotland game (this is a great place to go have a drink with friends and watch a game, especially if you want to see a man playing bagpipes on a table before a Scotland game begins!). There are also numerous other things to do such as participating in fundraising events, attending different talks on interesting subjects on campus, or just taking day hikes up Arthur’s Seat or day trips to areas such as the Pentlands. Compared to this time last term, I’m spending more time doing dissertation prep, like narrowing down my topic, going through different readings for inspiration on my topic and making contacts to find the right supervisor for. We’ve also had dissertation workshops, which has been helpful in gaining ideas. 

The Pitt for England vs Scotland Rugby

Bagpipes Photo by Emma Persson

The early part of term involves a lot of planning of this term’s schedule for exams and assignments, as well as prep for classes, so I find it very helpful to make time for walks, exercising with friends (would definitely recommend the classes the university gym offers!) and going for dinners at various diverse restaurants in the city (being vegan is very easy here), and meeting people outside of school. Also, before the load gets too intense, and since we have reading week around the corner marking half term, I have also made time to plan trips with friends in the spring, to places such as Ballater in the highlands, to make sure I see as much as possible of Scotland during my year here. Doing mini-trips around areas in Edinburgh has also been a priority now at the beginning of term when things are a bit calmer.

One of the attractions you’ll se when visiting the highlands! Photo by Emma Persson

I hope that this has given you more of an idea of what it can be like for a Geoscience student during the first half of spring term! Please leave a comment below if you have any questions 🙂 


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