A week in the life of a Global Health Student | Day 1

I couldn't think of a punchier title.  Sorry guys.

I get quite few DMs and/or emails asking me about career plans, my masters' programme, and what I do when I'm not blogging or testing out lipsticks.  Without a doubt, I've always loved expressing my creativity through fashion, makeup, and health.  Behind the screen, however, I'm an ordinary student, slaying away in procrastination when I should be studying.

Public health is a very niche degree that integrates policy, economics, socio-demography, medicine, and disease.  It involves working on a wide-spread and global scale, rather than one-to-one patient treatment.  You're aiming to improve the health of a population.

During my application process, descriptions of courses and modules on university websites appeared vague and didn't paint an accurate picture of what is taught.  What further influenced my decision to go into Public Health were first-hand experiences and talking to individuals in the field.  As a result, I was inspired to make this five part series walking you through what I learn/do on a daily basis as a Global Health student in hopes to provide inspiration or insight.


7:30am: The beautiful sound of a blaring alarm greets me to a new day.  I wish to be more of a morning person but I most certainly am not.  I toss and turn for a good 20 minutes (whilstscrolling through all my social media platforms) prior to actually pulling myself out of bed. 

8:00am: After brushing my teeth, I sit down on the sofa with a yogurt and granola breakfast and a cup of coffee.  Currently, I'm nose-deep in Michael Marmot's book entitled The Health Gap.  This book is on the compulsory reading list for most Public Health courses as it highlights the issue of unequal distribution of health care in a population.  Regardless of if you're in the healthcare industry or not, I believe this is a book that everyone should read as it relates to everyone on an individual level.

8:30am: I try to leave the house 30 minutes before my first class to ensure I get there on time as we randomly get spot checked for attendance.  If I am 1 minute late, you're usually marked absent for the day.  This plays an important role later on where your degree classification could be influenced by your attendance rate.  On a positive note, I absolutely adore a morning walk in London.  Going on walks has been one of my favourite pass times.  It takes about 10-15 minutes to get to university depending on the route and weather.

9:00am-10:00am: Monday mornings are dedicated to statistic tutorials.  If you wish to go into public health, be prepared for the amount of statistics you will need.  Despite having taken statistics up until AS Level and sparingly during my undergrad, there are still aspects I find confusing.  Thankfully, tutorials are great for discussing homework in small groups.  We will be given sample answers to all of the questions which act as great guidelines for upcoming exams.  Masters' classes tend to be very focused on tutorial and group work rather than rote learning lecture material. This is more fruitful considering it revolves around the application of knowledge and skills built.

10:30am-12:30pm: In my half n hour break I would've poured myself a coffee to sip on during lectures.  For statistics, I need to make sure my brain is extra focused.  Luckily, our slides are posted beforehand so I get a chance to read through them and get a feel for the topic. One of my pro tips was to treat lectures as revision rather than learning new material to improve understanding of specific concepts.  This week's topic was logistic regression.

12:30pm-1:30pm: Lunch time! I prefer to go to the library to catch up on homework, reading, or even my blog.  Most of my course mates head to the common room but it feels stuffy and crowded so the library is my home away from home.

1:30pm-3:30pm:  In this day and age, technology know-how is a must.  For my course, we learn STATA whereas those on the epidemiology stream will learn R.   I am self-teaching R because it would come handy for employment.  Our practicals consists of using datasets provided to us.  The main objective is to correctly use STATA coding language to interpret the dataset's results successfully; applying practical and theoretical knowledge of statistics and statistical software.  This may be slightly trickier than it sounds.  Initially, it requires a lot of trial and error.  Even if you are a novice, you begin to comprehend the inner workings of code after a couple of taught sessions.

3:30-4:30pm: At this point, my course mates and I would've finished the practical part of the session.  The teachers stick around for an extra hour in case we need any more assistance or wish to get a head start on the tutorial homework due in next Monday.  Depending on my plans for the evening, I prefer to get a majority of the work done in the hour before I head home as the knowledge, syntax of code, and theory, are fresh in my head.

5:00pm-6:00pm: Home sweet home! I usually unwind by doing blog work or simply getting lost in the abyss of youtube. I'm not in the mood to do anything productive.  At this point I'll upload my blogpost for Monday if I hadn't done so in the morning.

6:30pm-7:00pm: Dinner time! I like to just watch sitcoms with my mom whilst we enjoy dinner before I start some work for the evening.

7:30pm-9:00pm: Bit late to start work but I am a night person.  With midterms just around the corner, I use this time to write out notes for revision or re-listen to lectures on topics that were difficult.  In addition, I will finish up my statistics homework I began in class if feasible.  I can't stand having things hanging over my head.

9:00pm-10:00pm: I wish I could be one of those girls that lay out their workout clothes in the morning and start the day off with a run and yoga.  I'm totally not.  I wake up in the morning like the grinch until I have my coffee.  Thus, I workout at night.  I will follow my Nike Training App and my own glutes routine I've posted on my blog.

10:00pm-10:30pm:  Night time is my time.  I like to take a nice hot shower using my delicious smelling products.  I use this time to just treat myself for my daily efforts.  I know it's super cheesy but we should always make time to relax and make ourselves feel like a million bucks.

10:30pm-11:30pm: I like to squeeze in another hour of work before I sleep.  A vigorous workout and warm shower helps revitalise my productivity.  This may be working on an assignment, notes, or reading.  At the moment I am concentrating on notes with exam time coming up.

11:30pm-12:00am: I can't resist but read another chapter of The Health Gap or whatever other book I have on the go at the time.  I think its very important that we move away from using our devices before sleeping and recently have been trying to make a habit of reading instead of instagramming.  Don't get me wrong, for sure in between pages I will be double-tapping on my phone or texting.

12:00am: Sweet dreams! Off to sleep to wake up fresh for the next day.

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