A week in the life of a Global Health Student | Day 2

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Welcome to day 2!  Today we are going to be endeavouring the depts of epidemiology.  As you are all aware of when I wakeup and do my daily deeds, I've decided to start this post from 9:30am when classes begin.

9:30am-10:30am: Tutorial!  For the subjects we have an exam in, reading and homework is most prevalent.  The homework is usually data analysis based on a research paper's results and study design.  The groups are about 10-15 in size which enable ease in communication with the tutor and with your peers. At the break, I pour myself a cup of coffee because I can't function without consuming hot drinks.

10:45am-12:00pm: Today we learnt about different confounding and colliding factors that can affect the accuracy of a study.  Basically, if you want to conduct any sort of intervention, study, or experiment, there are a million and one things to consider when trying to explain your results and reduce bias.  I initially believed the Epidemiology module would encompass disease outbreaks and management but I was mistaken.  It had an interesting focus on study designs and calculations which deems very useful and insightful, though sometimes can seem more bland and passive compared to my other modules.  This is something to note if you intend to do a Public Health Masters and go into Epidemiology afterwards.  It will be a difficult transit.

12:00-1:30pm: Best part about Tuesdays? An hour and a half for lunch! I have half n hour to scoff down my mom's cooking before I attend the Student Seminars that I and one other colleague run every Tuesday.  I highly recommend getting involved in student-centric activities such as being a course representative, working on the advisory team, or even in other clubs or activities.  It is a fantastic way to get to know new people outside and within your course.  Having a student role really helped increase my confidence and organisation skills (as corny as it is) and I've formed bonds I didn't think I would initially make.

1:30pm-3:00pm: Last leg of the day!  This topic was building on what we learnt earlier in the morning with more examples and case studies to put everything in perspective.  I love how this course does indeed have an even split between theory and practice.  It is vital to get a grasp of all the concepts whilst also being able to apply your new found knowledge.

3:30pm-5:00pm: I'm home and greeted to a fresh cup of coffee.  Like before, I spend quite some time relaxing before I start work up again.  I utilise these moments to work on my blog, catch up on youtube videos, or read.

5:00pm-6:30pm: As one homework is completed, another one is assigned.  I am now working on the epidemiology homework given for the day as the concepts are fresh in my head.  In addition, I handwrite all my epidemiology notes into one single notebook which takes about 2 hours to complete per lecture.  Before dinner, I prefer to start on writing these out as it is a time consuming process but I thank myself later for sticking to it.

6:30-7:30pm: Dinner is served.  I love to eat with my mom as I've said before with comedy shows running in the background.  It's hard to make time for loved ones I find when you have such a set scheduled life but it's important to learn to adjust and make it work.  We all need to relax and take time out to breathe.  Breaks are extremely critical to enable your brain to consolidate the information you have learnt and rejuvenate.  It further improves your efficiency and productivity when you do allocate time for studying.

7:30pm-9:00pm: Back to work.  By 9pm, my epidemiology notes and homework would be done and dusted.  It takes quite some time but perhaps I will do a detailed blogpost in how I take and make notes in the near future.

9:00-10:00pm: Honesty is the best policy right?  Sitting down for 6+ hours a day causes one to become quite antsy.  Therefore, I like to just listen to music and dance my heart out in front of the mirror.  Dancing has been a hobby of mine since I could walk and I would regret if I ever lost touch in this skill.  It's also fantastic cardio if you don't have any exercise equipment at home or a gym in the vicinity.  I may slip in some minor and quick circuits during my little dancing sessions.  It's proven to be a great way to shed any anxiety and ill-thoughts or feelings for me personally.

10:00-10:30pm:  After all of that, I tend to break a sweat so a shower is in order.

10:30-11:30pm: Come your masters,  it starts to look very coursework heavy.  I have an important Public Health piece due next term but the topics were released back in October to give plenty of time to delve into your chosen interests.  These piece requires an understanding of frameworks in Public Health of a specific country of choice, and innovation in creating a specific intervention to tackle a global problem.  You need to think beyond the research papers as it is more than just a summary of information gathered.  It is a very different way of thinking as my undergraduate degree was focused more on rote-learning in terms of essays and examinations.  One of my big tips here is to remember that, just because it is coursework does not mean it would be easier than an examination.  You need to make sure you plan as much as possible to reach the top band marks.  We are given little guidance unless requested and tutors are not allowed to sit and discuss in immense detail your writing style or idea but rather give a general opinion or overview in their thoughts about your work.  I am not sure if this is the case at other masters' programmes but certainly on mine there is an emphasis on independent working.

11:30-12:00am:  At this point I will be lying in bed just scrolling on my phone until I fall asleep, playing games, or reading a book before I start another beautiful day.  I have the luxury to sleep late on a Tuesday as Wednesday's are either free or cluttered with optional classes that do not begin until 10/10:30am anyways.



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