A day in the life of a music student: COVID-19 edition

Lydia Bruton is in her third year of studying BMus (Hons) Music at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. She describes to us a day in her life as a music student of the Conservatoire during COVID-19 and the changes she has had to make to adapt to this new way of learning and socialising. Lydia shares how she stays physically active and talks about the virtual social activities that have worked for her in maintaining daily communication with her friends and family.

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As a student myself, COVID-19 has brought about an entire lifestyle that is so different from anything I’ve ever experienced! Face-to-face lectures are now in the digital world of Zoom and Microsoft Teams (with an added bonus if someone’s dog barks mid-presentation). What was once meeting up at the local pub with friends is now baking in fancy-dress on a FaceTime call and a whole new world has opened up on how to entertain yourself during these long days at home!

A typical day for me during this period would be waking up around 9:00 am to make myself breakfast, from what was once was a quick cereal bar and coffee before getting to lectures, I now have the time to be more inventive with breakfast ideas…avocados have become my best friend!  

In terms of tasks, I usually get the ‘boring stuff’ out of the way first, such as general flat cleaning and laundry, you never think you’ll get excited for a new fabric conditioner until you’ve left home but believe me you do! I then usually do a home workout as the gyms have been shut. I find that this really helps me feel more energized for the day and forces me to not sit in bed watching my favourite Netflix series!

I then usually have an hour or two of online lectures per day. I find being at home watching lectures has been more of an enjoyable experience than I thought it would be. I can focus better and feel that I am able to absorb more of the information! In the afternoon I make sure that I go for a short walk to get some fresh air, this is great for both the mind and body! It’s also a great time to call a friend or family member to catch up with whilst you’re outside enjoying nature or in my case, Birmingham’s urban landscape. 

I think being a student, whether introverted or extroverted opens up a huge sociable bubble at university and I believe that the saying is true, you do meet friends for life here! I’m always very conscious to make time for my friends, especially during the pandemic! My friends and I found new ways to connect online. We set up a ‘Sunday Funday’ FaceTime session where each week we complete a new activity together, such as baking a cake (although I wouldn’t recommend your cat getting involved, it leads to bowls of icing sugar getting knocked over) or crafty activities!

My usual evening consists of cooking dinner and general relaxing/study time; I’ve found lockdown has made me more creative with cooking ideas as I finally have the time to complete them! I then watch something on TV or catch up with extra work before going to sleep around 11:00 pm.

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