A day in the life of studying Sociology as a 3rd Year during a Pandemic

by Emma Swindlehurst

Sociology is a subject I have loved studying since I was 17, but never did I ever think it would be something I would be learning about primarily from my bedroom during a pandemic! In normal life, as my course is made up of long lectures and lots of seminars, my day would be spent on campus and in the library. However, as that is not possible at the moment, I thought I would take you through a day in my life studying sociology at home, in Preston.

My day normally begins at 9am, when I get up, eat breakfast, and get dressed, before my first online seminar at 10am. I like to start my day with a big cup of coffee, because there is no doubt that I will be non-stop working until 5pm.

At 10am my seminar starts. On a Monday this seminar is for a Capitalism module, which I find really interesting and always enjoy. The seminar lasts for an hour, and during it we have to split off into small breakout rooms (which I’m sure you’re familiar with). These are probably one of the main things I dislike about online learning, I just find them so awkward, but if friends from your course are in them it is better.

After this seminar I start making a check list of things I need to do for the day. This usually consists of readings for other modules, lectures to watch, and work I need to do for my dissertation (as I’m in 3rd year). Some days I also have meetings with tutors, or for a group project. Something to note about Sociology, is that you will have lots of group projects, which can be good thing and a bad thing. It improves your skills as a team player but also can be quite challenging, as some group members may not contribute enough. However, during this pandemic I have quite enjoyed them, as it is a chance to get to know new people and they are a nice change to the daily routine.

At around half 12, I go and have lunch, which is a nice break away from my laptop. As all learning is online, I am spending much more time looking at a screen. After lunch I take my dog for a walk, before I have a 2-hour workshop from 2-4pm. I always make sure I get some fresh air each day, as it clears my head and improves my concentration, and I need all the concentration I can get, to sit through a workshop for 2 hours!

Workshops usually require high participation, and so you really need to make sure you come prepared to them, having done the readings, as the tutors might pick you to answer a question. I enjoy workshops though, as I feel like you get a lot of information out of them. After concentrating for 2 hours though, my brain normally is pretty frazzled, so from 4-5pm I will work on something easier, or maybe watch a short lecture.

I usually end my working day at 5pm, because after that I get way too tired, and I like to give myself a break in the evening to relax and to recharge for the busy working day tomorrow.

The thing that I have found hard studying during a pandemic, is the lack of human contact and socialising. When attending lectures and workshops on campus, it gives you the chance to talk and catch-up with your friends, whereas working from home can get lonely, as I only get to see my friends through a screen. Nevertheless, it has allowed me to be more productive, so like with anything, it has its positives and its negatives.


Emma is a third year undergraduate at Lancaster University and is studying Sociology.

Lancaster University employs students to create authentic content from a student perspective. All views expressed in this article are those of the students, and do not necessarily reflect the views or position of Lancaster University.

We update our courses regularly and sometimes the course details change - please visit our website for the most up to date information.

Follow Lancaster University on social media