A Day in My Life

Posted by Mengxi Jiang, '20 on February 9, 2019

I am taking three classes this semester and working two part jobs that add up to 20 hours per week in total. It may seem very busy with jobs and school life but it is definitely manageable and I truly enjoy my current schedule. I am going to describe a typical Tuesday which is the busiest day for me of the week to show you a clearer image of what is like to be a graduate student at Penn.

I usually get up around 7:30 AM and get ready to leave my apartment close to 9 AM. I currently live off campus so I commute to school every day and it usually takes about 30 minutes. My first class is from 10 AM to 12 PM and I usually arrive at the classroom 10 to 15 minutes in advance because I like to get settled at my spot and socialize with my friends a little bit before class starts. The class usually goes by pretty fast, even though it lasts two hours, as the professor keeps it very engaging. I usually buy lunch from a food truck around campus because I have a very full day and do not feel like carrying my lunch box with me all day but once in a while I do bring my own lunch. However, no matter what I eat that day, my friends and I always eat at the GSE lounge because it is convenient with two microwaves and a self-serve cafe. My lunch break is about an hour because I work from 1 to 4 PM. I am currently working as a program assistant for the majority of the twenty hours. The main duties of the job include arranging travel plans for guest speakers, making flyers, and more. Since the job is not too intense for me, I decide to work for a couple of hours before my night class which starts at 5 PM. This class runs from 5 to 7 PM and sometimes it can be tough when it is halfway through dinner time, but the instructors are very nice by bringing small snacks for us. I usually go home directly after class unless there are events that I would like to attend. By the time I get home, I will have a quick dinner and relax for a little bit. Depending on the particular day, I usually do some readings before I go to bed for one or two hours. My bedtime is around 12 AM or 12:30 AM the latest because I try to I have at least 7 hours of sleep per night.

 As I mentioned earlier, this is my busiest day so there is not much personal life happening but it does not mean that I do not have a personal life outside of school and work. For example, my Fridays are usually very light and I do not have any classes so I attend many events or hang out with my friends on these days. I think it is very important for each individual to find the balance between school and personal life that works the best for him or her. In conclusion, this is a day in my life.