A Day in the Life of Smita

​Here is a little peek of a typical Tuesday in my life as a master’s student at Chalmers!
Sitting by a pond
07:00 am: Starting the day with a good step : I’ll be the first one to admit that I don’t do well with rigid routine that leave little room for spontaneity. Therefore, I like to start my days with a different routine every morning to get the creative brain juices flowing.

A typical Tuesday for me usually consists of a morning walk followed by a picnic breakfast of fresh fruits and greens. I like to sit by a lake or along the river and take a moment to breathe and watch the birds, bees and the busy city life around me. 

This is a strict “me-time” where I love to read, draw or doodle or whatever I have on my mind at that moment.


09:30 am: Preparing for the labs: The next task on my agenda is to briefly go through my lecture notes and gloss over the work that’s been done in the project courses that I am currently taking. Chalmers has a study system of dividing each semester into two study periods where students are expected to have an intense learning experience of two subjects at a time. This is something that works well for me as I can explore the different sub-topics to my hearts’ content, diving deep in the theory while also not being completely overwhelmed with a load of unrelated, new information.

12:00 noon: Commute to the campus and a quick lunch: Since I live at a student housing near the campus Johanneberg,  SGS Olofsjohd, I usually walk to the university around noon. It takes around 15 minutes from my place, and I prefer to listen to a random podcast or blast some music to fill the silence. 

My top picks are random scientific facts about animal or the universe, urban horror legends, and old folklore. These are usually something I can stream on the internet from open resources and are short enough to finish on my walks. An eclectic mix old party songs in any new language is another messily curated list that never fails to pick me up 😉.

I also prefer to have lunch with my classmates at the student union building, or the EDIT building (which houses my department and labs),  depending on the menu of the day, at Chalmers and discuss our expected progress for the upcoming practical sessions. It gives me a moment to catch up with them, ensure everybody is on the same page and share our plans for the day(s) ahead.

working on a lab project
01:15 pm: Laboratory session and group work:  The time after lunch is spent on a grueling group project that we are expected to complete in this study period. Courses at Chalmers often include a lot of group work which goes a long way to integrate international students and offer insights on the different ways of working in Sweden. 

My current project is under the power electronic course where the main objective is to improve the efficiency of a flyback converter. Every group is given an intentionally ‘broken’ circuit board and is then expected to fix it by using all the modifications we have learnt in the lectures. 

It is an engaging and innovative way of teaching us how to practically apply what we already know, while also learning as we go from the different practical scenarios that pop up along the way!

working on the reports, gorup of students with laptops
05:00 pm: Wrap up and fika: My days at Chalmers usually end on a similar note, a brief recap of the work done during the day followed by an evening fika at the student pub in the union building. I hang out with my other friends from different departments for a while, meet few of their friends who often tag along, and discuss anything exciting or random that happened to us during the day over a chocolate pastry! 

Since most of us live in the same student housing, we sometimes make impromptu dinner plans or go out on the exceptionally sunny evenings. As a student hailing from a tropical country, catching the sun is my preferred activity at any point of the day!

watching movies on ipad08:30 pm: Supper and Binge:  Dinner affairs are usually small on weekdays, and I like to have a hearty salad with a side of something sweet. Most of the times I pick something small from the supermarket salad bar, a quick and healthy option on the days when I’m too tired to be bothered about cooking or doing the dishes. 

I tend to eat in my room and watch reruns of classic comedy series; be it friends, the big bang theory or Brooklynn 99.  Animation from disney or studio ghibli are also my go to on a particualrily draining day when I need something calm and beautiful. I also use this time to talk to my friends and family back home and get all my missed mails and new letters in order. It helps me wind down and keep a track of all the new developments.

Further, this is also the time I spend working on reports, drafts and presentations that are coming up in the next few weeks. I prefer to study new topics in an open environment with a bunch of focused people. The quiet nights on the other hand, are reserved for practice and revision sessions of previous topics that I feel the need to catch up on.

group of friends playing in a park10:30 pm: Drawing the curtains: All my days end with a mental health check, where I dump everything on my mind into my trusty ol’ journal. It’s something that I started doing during the pandemic to keep a track of my ever-evolving train of thoughts and basically record whatever I was going through during that period. 

Lastly, since my Wednesdays start super early with 08:00 am lectures, I go through my schedule for the next day and pack some essentials in my book bag. With all that being done, its finally time to call it a day!

Pic of unibuddy Smita

Author:
Smita
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Page manager Published: Mon 13 Jun 2022.