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A week in the life of a chemistry student

studying chemistryDo you know what to expect from university life? From lectures, to clubs and societies and takeaways, one chemistry student describes a typical week.

Charlie is studying a chemistry degree in London.

Monday morning

Lab day! It takes me about 30 minutes to cycle into uni from the house. I share with two other students Jermaine who is studying law and Priya who’s on an engineering course. Our timetables are different so there’s a couple of days like today where we completely miss each other.

Today’s experiment involved using lots of exciting machinery such as infrared and ultraviolet spectrometers.

Monday afternoon


Me and my lab partner, Vanessa finished two experiments. That’s right, two!
We celebrated our achievement with a pizza night back at mine with Ryan and some of the other chemistry students.

Tuesday morning

Back in the lab today but felt quite wrecked. Pizza turned into karaoke at the local pub and I pretty much lost my voice!

Lab was great though. We got to use a high-resolution infrared spectrometer to produce a vibration-rotational spectrum of CO2. The results were amazing and it made me realise just how exciting it can be to work in chemical research.

Tuesday afternoon

Spent the rest of the afternoon playing footie then headed down to a dinner party at Simone’s, one of the girls on the course. She nominated the next dinner to be on me. I would but I don’t think anyone wants three courses of beans on toast!

Wednesday morning

I love Wednesday! After my one hour lecture in the morning, with one of my favourite lecturers, I had a quick snooze and then got some tutorial work done.

Wednesday afternoon


Headed off to the supermarket to pick up bread, eggs, toothpaste that kind of thing. I’ve been quite strict with myself and divided all my money between bills, food, social etc. It seems a pain but no where near as painful as it would be if I overspent and ended up trying to make my last quid last a month!

Thursday morning

I had two tough lectures about carbonyl chemistry today. The reading I did beforehand helped though.

Thursday afternoon

Went to the Chemistry social and then met the up with my mates at the student bar then wet to a club. My mate, Vanessa, is convinced that my dancing was bad and should be banned altogether. It was a good laugh.

Friday morning

Can’t wait for the weekend! I had quite a few lectures today but the highlight of Friday is Chemistry Cluedo. It’s this game our lecturer started where he gives us the results of an experiment and we have to work out what process lead to those results.

Friday afternoon


My team won the chemistry Cluedo! Well, we should have but we missed one of the chemicals involved. Later on I met up with the movie club to watch cult classic 'The Usual Suspects'. A brilliant way to start the weekend!