Simran Rakkar

History

Hi, I’m Simran Rakkar (she/her). I’m a first-year History undergraduate at Trinity College, Cambridge. It’s difficult to describe a typical day in my life because uni life is so flexible and is always bringing something new. However, the way in which my course is structured sees me doing one essay per week, meaning there is a regular high and low to the week. It generally gets more intense as I near my deadline but then follows a few evenings off. I’ve outlined a mid-week day here to give the best sense of ‘average’.

Truthfully, I usually begin the day at 10am, getting ready and having breakfast by 11am. There are a variety of study spaces in college, ranging from quiet to social, indoor to outdoor, and private to public. Depending on how I’m feeling, I choose which of these to visit and will begin a reading for my weekly essay. It’s nice to study around friends, with whom I take regular coffee breaks with. At 1pm, I tend to make something to eat in my flat. I continue reading after lunch. I aim to read two to three articles (about 30 pages) per day, making notes and engaging critically with them as I read along. I sometimes have a rowing session in the afternoon. It can be really refreshing to get out on the water and get some exercise in within a low-pressure environment.

At 6:30pm, I eat dinner in hall. The dining hall in Trinity is really pretty and this is a great time to catch up with friends. After finishing off my reading for the day at about 9pm, I hang out with friends for the rest of the evening until about 2am.

As a historian, contact hours are very minimal and I have a lot of flexibility in structuring my day. Though there are stressful times, I think historians at Cambridge enjoy an excellent quality of life.