Day in the life (of a nearly graduated) Second-Year Student

By: Sofia Huster, 2nd Year GH Student, CHD

While I can say no two days of the second semester of my 2nd year look entirely the same, I do like to keep some sense of routine! So today, I’m going to walk you all through what a “typical” day looks like in my life! 🙂

8:30am – The day begins!

I am by no means a morning person, although I am not an evening person either. I suppose you could say I am a mid-day person. That being said, I typically wake up between 8:30-9am to start my day. I greet my two lovely cats who bring me lots of joy (pictured below), and still can’t believe I am one day closer to completing my MPH (6 weeks and counting!).

I like to make a to-do list for my day the night before to visualize my schedule for the day and the tasks I want to get done. It provides a little motivation for me to be able to check things off as I go through my day to see all that I accomplish.

I am a Rollins Earn and Learn (REAL) student, a teaching assistant and a graduate research assistant with an external organization. My days are typically a hybrid of work, thesis and classes. As I am in my last semester, I have prioritized work, thesis and job search and am only taking 3 classes. This looks different for all 2nd year students, but is ultimately what I chose as the best path for myself to make some extra money and have greater flexibility in my schedule outside of classes!

This semester I scheduled my classes on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, so my days typically begin with professional work. After I wake up, I review my to-do list, fill out my 5-minute journal (essentially a gratitude and objectives journal for the day that helps me get grounded), make some breakfast (I love chia pudding, oats and breakfast tacos if I have more time), and then get to work! 

9:30am – Time to get to work!

I work remotely in all of my positions, so typically from 9:30-12:30pm I work from home at my dual monitor set-up (I only got a dual monitor recently and it is GREAT!!). In both my REAL position at the CDC in the Division of HIV Prevention, and my graduate research assistantship with the Center for Health Equity in Louisville, KY, I will either work independently on research projects, or have team and project meetings. 

12:30pm – Break and Lunch

I love getting a breath of fresh air and a break from my screen in the middle of the day! Depending on what time I have afternoon meetings or class, I get outside and take a 30min-1hr walk. I live in a house with some roommates close to campus, so sometimes I will walk to Hahn Woods or Lullwater Preserve if I am craving some green space. 

1pm – A Change of Scenery

As much as I love my dual monitor set-up, I also get a little restless and like to get out and about. Depending on the day, I may go work at a coffee shop with some friends (Dancing Goats, Press N Grind and Chattahoochee Coffee Company are some of my favorites), or head to campus for class/socialization. Pretty much any time of day you will find people studying on the various floors of Grace Crum Rollins and Claudia Nance Rollins, or at the tables outside if the weather is nice! Studying in the RSPH courtyard or outside at Kaldi’s Coffee (a ~8 minute walk from Rollins) are some of my favorite ways to spend a nice day on campus. Especially now as Spring arrives!

Dancing Goats Coffee Bars - Home | Facebook
Press & Grind - Atlanta Georgia Restaurant - HappyCow

5pm – Back home/Workout

After a hard day’s work, I head back home to get ready to workout. For me, staying active has really helped create routine and expel any stress or celebrate any accomplishments of the day! I typically attend a strength-based workout or yoga class, depending on how I am feeling.

7pm – Dinner and unwind!

After my workout, I come back home to my cats and my three roommates. My roommates are also students at Emory (MPH and MSN), so we talk about our days, make dinner (for ourselves or together), and hang out. 

9pm – More work?

Depending on the day I may have some final things to wrap up at the end of the day, but I typically try not to work after 7pm. I like to make my to-do list in the evening (to do it all again the next day)! I also keep up with hobbies like knitting, reading and watching TV (although may fall out of these at busier times of the semester). 

My favorite parts of my day are the time I get to spend with my friends and colleagues. There are so many incredible people that I have met through Rollins, and through our conversations I am always learning something new. While there is truly no “typical” day at Rollins, each has brought new lessons and amazing experiences!

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