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6 February 2023

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#HumansofStHughs: Ben Moisan

In the second of a series of features entitled #HumansofStHughs we hear from undergraduate, Ben Moisan who explains his philosophy for applying to Oxford and runs through a typical day for him at St Hugh’s.

Hi! I am Ben, a third-year biochemist at St Hugh’s! I am originally from Southampton, and I am part of St Hugh’s table tennis, stargazing, and biochemistry societies.

When I was applying to Oxford, I wasn’t sure if I would get in but my whole philosophy was ‘if I don’t apply, I won’t get in’. I was fortunate enough to get a place, so I would really recommend to anyone who is unsure whether to apply or not to give it their best shot! At the end of the day if you are unsuccessful, you still have four other possible choices of uni to go to.

Biochemistry is quite a tough course and very dense in terms of contact hours. It is very normal to feel overwhelmed at times especially when just starting at uni but don’t let that faze you too much and try to persevere! It’s OK if you hand in the occasional duff essay! Try not to sacrifice your sleep schedule too much! Despite its challenges I do enjoy reading biochemistry as it is a fascinating degree and studying at Oxford is an amazing opportunity. I am now going to talk you through a typical day in my life as an Oxford biochemist!

7AM – Wake up! This is quite optimistic so some days I don’t wake up until 7:30 or 8AM. I like to get up nice and early to give myself time to eat breakfast and get ready for the day.

9AM – Lectures! Unfortunately, biochem pretty much has a 9AM start every weekday. However, this is quite nice as it helps to get you into a productive working routine. I would recommend going to lectures in person for biochemistry as not only do you get more work done but I often find that the lectures are easier to understand in person than the online recordings. You are going to want to leave college nice and early (around 8:30ish) as it is a bit of a trek to lectures.

11AM – Lectures are over! I make my way back to college and try to do a little bit of work on any assignments I have been set.

1PM – Lunch!

2PM – Working on assignments! Afternoons tend to be more free for me than mornings in terms of contact hours, however, I will still often have the occasional tutorial or practical to go to.

6:30PM – Dinner! During the week I tend to eat my dinner in the dining hall. The meals are heavily subsidised and delicious. It is also a nice time to chat to your friends about your day.

7:00PM – Free time! I try not to do too much work after dinner, however, sometimes this isn’t always possible. In my free time, I like to chill with the homies or head on down to the JCR for a game of pool or smash bros. There is also always something going on outside of college if you fancy going clubbing, attending a concert, or grabbing a drink.

12AM – Sleepy time! Ideally, I would go to bed earlier than this, but I am trying to be truthful with you lot and the Oxford experience isn’t always too glamourous. If you really wanted to go to bed earlier than this you could, I just lack discipline!

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