Its 2016 and my year 10 self is sitting at my desk unsure of many things to do with University… that’s when I came across The Inside Word and I’ve been reading this blog since then!

So here it goes 😊 Welcome! I’m Jasmine, a first year student from Auckland studying Biomedical Science (BSc) here at UoA.

This is me by the way 😊

If you’re in high school and unsure of life in a couple of years like I once was, The Inside Word is here to help you gain some insight into student life! While I haven’t sorted out everything yet (I mean who has?!), I have decided on a few goals I wish to achieve – starting with me studying here at UoA! After everything that was thrown at first years in the first three weeks of University (aka these things called lectures, the idea of student life, and doing a lot more ‘study’) AND given everything that was thrown at New Zealand (aka a pandemic, a lockdown…), my experience of semester 1 has been crazy but enjoyable!

The Biomed course load was pretty hefty in those first few weeks of semester and I was still trying to adjust to the transition from high school to university! At the start of lock down I lost motivation as each day felt exactly the same with ~3x lectures to be watched plus online labs and activities throughout the week. BUT I decided to bend and not break! I had to remember that whilst lock down wasn’t in my control, my study habits were and I had the freedom to tailor my days to my liking in order to make my studies more manageable! Keep scrolling to find out what life was like for a biomed student during these weird times..


Lectures: online and whenever you want!

Yep that’s right… you could watch lectures at your own pace and when it suited you! As you can imagine, this is either a good thing or bad thing depending on how disciplined you are 😄. I would stick to my normal timetable each day so I wouldn’t fall behind and I strategically did the less challenging lectures first and then moved onto the harder ones in the afternoon (just what worked for me). I also set aside some time in my day for fun things like watching netflix, baking, heading out for a walk with my family and of course making some dalgona coffee treats (I have a serious obsession with dalgona coffee… and I usually don’t like coffee!!).

Labs: online or on paper and then uploaded with ~1-2 week time frame

Labs were still super interactive at home! I would break my week up with certain sections of the lab so I wasn’t doing it all at once. For some labs you had to complete an online module which took around 3-4 hours which is very similar to the time you would normally spend in a lab on campus. Sometimes you had to watch a video of the lab experiment or carry out a simple one yourself at home and then send in a picture/scan of your lab assignment… in one lab assignment we made some crystals from panadol tablets!

Getting creative in CHEM110 labs at home!

Tutorials and Group Work: usually an online module or zoom call based on your timetable

I had never heard of zoom before lock down! Now its seem to be part of everyday life! Key skill here is communication, things will flow as long as you’re staying connected with any group work. For POPLHLTH111 we had a project to complete in our tutorial groups and over lock down my group would have weekly messenger calls where we would work on online modules and our project together! My general education paper (which was EDUC 100G) had weekly drop in zoom calls where we could talk to our tutor about our lectures and assignments.

Tests and Exams: online with a 24hr duration

24 HOURS!!! For some this length of time is an advantage, for others it means you second guess your answers (pointing at me here). Now that take home assessments are a real thing, it’s important to set aside 3-4 hours of your day to complete them and make sure you treat it like a real exam (i.e no phone and no notes if its not open book).

Last minute prep and then this happens…RIP course guide 🙁

So that is a look into my life during quarantine! Hopefully you’ve got an insight into what the biomed semester 1 course was like online. Would I do online university again if I had the choice? Probably only the lecture component because I liked being able to pause and take a moment to understand the concepts. I do miss being on campus and meeting new people so I am excited to go back for a ‘normal’ semester! We’re currently on break and head back onto campus at the end of July for Semester 2, so keep your eyes out for more posts! Chuck a comment and I’ll be sure to reply!

Till next time,

Jasmine xx