Ever wonder what life would be like studying Economics at the London School of Economics?
What to expect when you go to university is always a big question. Knowing how the course is structured is one thing but the wider university life as a whole is another.
My name is Presence and I’m currently in my second year studying Economics at the London School of Economics. Before I expose my poor sleep routine and carb-heavy diet, I would like to share my experience of Economics at LSE.
What's studying at LSE like?
My motivation to study Economics came from wanting to understand more about the causes of things such as poverty, and how to use Economic tools to solve them.
I’ll be honest, I loved writing essays during A level, but when I came to LSE, I realised that there are barely any and rather a lot of maths instead. If you love maths then great, if you aren’t as keen then it’s important to be prepared to put the work in.
It’s intense, there is a lot of work, but it’s the challenge that makes the reward ten times better.
To give a few tips to future students it would be: work hard, be good at maths, and work hard. Oh, and don’t be surprised if you end up becoming a caffeine addict. We all have or will be at some point.
Since coming here, I have a lot of social time so don’t forget to remind yourself that it’s okay to have fun and just relax. The pressure to excel academically and in your career is huge, but life is short so make the most of these opportunities now rather than later. You don’t have to skip every party to do well in life.
Hopefully, I haven’t scared you away and you are still reading this, let me share what a typical day looks like for me.
My Daily Routine
Before going into a more specific overview of what a day looks like for me, this is my typical routine:
The Morning: Life As A LSE Economics Student
I always start my day with food. Unlike students who always skip breakfast, I always eat a lot because of the early gym session and commute to campus.
I live in student accommodation and if I could recommend new students where to stay it would be halls. I didn’t stay in student halls last year due to COVID but decided to this year. Being in halls and living away for the first time is so much fun.
You feel more independent and living with similar-aged students is a very interesting experience (especially for me because I have no siblings.) I live on a floor with five second-years and we have a weekly Sunday dinner together in the kitchen.
I cycle to LSE, I have the student discount for the Santander Bike Scheme, and I really recommend it. You get unlimited 30-minute rides, for £68 a year. It usually costs £2 for 30 minutes, so you are getting a real bargain.
I took a free cycle training course from Cycle Confident and was taught one to one by an instructor about how to cycle safely on London roads. If you plan to cycle and haven’t taken any courses, I think taking one would really help increase your confidence.
I haven’t taken the tube since I moved here and love cycling around London. I’ve not only become fitter, but I’ve saved a lot of money, and it’s great fun too.
I pass by Tower Bridge every day and it reminds me to be grateful for what I have. Passing by the bridge and seeing the amazing view of London always gives me the ‘Wow I’m actually studying in London’ feeling.
After arriving at campus, I go to the Centre Building because I think the sofas and views are the best there. Once settled I get down to work.
The Afternoon: Life As a lSE economics student
Good food is what motivates me to work hard during the week, so I like to explore what food is on offer near campus.
LSE is close to China Town and Trafalgar Square which is amazing. My favourite food to get is a poke bowl and ice cream.
I create a monthly budget and because I don’t spend money on activities like cinemas, clubs, or drinks often, I do let myself splurge on food here and there.
After lunch, I go back to my study spot and do more work. I usually have four classes a week (1 to 1.5 hours long) and 10-12 lectures (also 1 to 1.5 hours long), so the workload is intense.
When I look at my to-do list, I often feel overwhelmed. By focusing on one task at a time and going through each of them without thinking about the others, slowly but surely the work gets done.
The Evening: Life As A LSE Economics Student
I leave the library when it gets dark, or the weather is poor. Some students have set times, but I don’t.
Part of being at university is the freedom to decide how you want to work. Some find a strict routine more effective, and others enjoy a more flexible approach. I plan my week on Google calendar but also like to do things based on how I feel.
When I finish I like to spend time with my friends. The other day I visited my friend’s accommodation because I’ve never been there and from what I had heard, the view is breathtaking. It was.
We then went to my accommodation and made frozen pizza as well as watched a movie in the cinema room with some more friends.
They left at around 11:30 pm. I still had some work to finish so I worked until 12:30 am and went to bed at 1 am.
I’ve also joined some societies at LSE, to get the most out of my university experience which has meant I’ve gotten to meet many new people and further broaden my horizons.
FinTech: It aims to spark an interest in the financial technologies industry through a selection of panel discussions, workshops, mentorship programs and much more. I’m hoping to work in this space, and this allows me to meet like-minded people while also learning more about the field.
Entrepreneurship: Start-ups are exciting and there are often great talks from interesting people. The most recent talk I went to was a fireside chat with the founder of Monzo! I even got to chat with him afterwards and gained a lot of insights into entrepreneurship.
Football: I have no clue how to play football, but my goal during university is to try and do new things. Challenge myself outside my comfort zone and make fun memories. I play every Sunday from 4 pm to 6 pm, and it’s been quite fun!
Business and Investing/Consulting: A society that has career-related tips and events, I joined on the off chance there would be something that might prove helpful for future career aspirations.
So, that is a day in my life. I hope I broke the myth that LSE students have no social life. There’s always so much to do in London and being on campus allows you to meet friends and make the most of university life.
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