A day in the life of an Automotive Engineering student

Guest posts

Faculty: Science and Engineering
School: Engineering and the Built Environment
Course:Automotive and Mechanical Engineering
Category: Engineering

11 May 2022

A notebook open to notes and flowcharts with highlighters and pen, a laptop, diary and pencil case

As an Automotive and Mechanical Engineering student, my typical day looks a lot different to many other people's while at university. Despite the fact that a lot of my time is spent in the library, there are also many rewards to being a female in a very male-dominated class.

So, what is a typical day for me?

I still live at home with my parents and my little sister, so breakfast is already made for me by the time I get downstairs (which is around half past 6). My dad makes the best eggs and bacon, and always has a pot of coffee ready for me when I get downstairs. While I’m eating and chatting to everyone in the kitchen, I check my timetable and check what subject folders I need for the day, and if I need to print anything off when I get into class. It’s a Wednesday so I have Design and Manufacturing project for 4 hours this morning.

Now it’s time to actually get ready! I shower, then slip into the outfit that I picked last night (I’m too organized when it comes to clothes and university for that matter) which is just a blue pair of skinny jeans and a bright yellow top to match my car! I check everything is in my bag before I leave.

Pencil case. Check. Notebook. Check. Laptop and charger. Check. The lunch my mum made for me last night. About fifteen cans of Monster. Check.

I chuck on my custom Converse, and I am out of the door, remembering my car keys on the way out (I can’t forget those again!). My house is about a 20-minute drive to the university, so I leave with enough time to see the boys before class (and get a much-needed iced caramel latte from our Student Union Coffee shop - 92).

As a group, we all like to be at university an hour before our class starts just so we have some chill time to discuss anything that we want to before the class, and often do this over breakfast. At the moment we are doing coding for our robots in the design and manufacturing project and are having some issues with the master code so this allows us time to have a look at it all together before we go into class.

After 4 hours with our lecturer looking into the code and making sure we can rectify any issues, we are done for the day. We all like going to the Chinese right outside the university for lunch on a Wednesday (their crispy chili beef is definitely the best) but I’m “on a diet” so I sit and watch as all the boys gorge on rice and noodles and I sit there with my Ryvitas and cream cheese.

As my boyfriend lives on the campus, once all of the boys are done eating, he and I normally head back to his place on a Wednesday and play video games or watch a movie. This gives us some downtime after spending all day writing code and trying to correct our projects. I leave his at around five in the evening and head home to do some more studying.

As I have a materials exam in a couple of weeks’ time, I have to revise for that. I’m one of those girls who makes everything look pretty with fancy pens and highlighters and writing endless notes for the exams so I can revise them.

As I am the course rep, I often get messages and emails from students with concerns, and as we are having issues with our design and manufacturing project, I am commonly bombarded with messages asking for help and support and asking for me to email lecturers about different concerns and issues. All of this I do immediately.

At around 7.30 dad has finished making the dinner, Maldivian Chicken Curry! One of the best foods I have ever tried. It’s so good!!

After dinner, I finally relax. I am obsessed with Pretty Little Liars, so on it goes and my sister and I watch it until we get sleepy, which for me is normally around half nine-ish (I get tired really early). I go and say goodnight to my parents and then head up to bed. I’m at work tomorrow, so I lay out my suit on the sofa in my room with my black heels and then head to sleep finally.


Sophie studies at ARU in Chelmsford. Find out more about Automotive Engineering, and other degree courses, at one of our Open Days.


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