A Week in the Life of Astha Saxena

‌What is Astha studying?

Astha has just completed her first year of the MEng in Computer Science and Software Engineering.

She has chosen the five year option, which includes a year in industry.

Where is Astha from?

Astha is from Belfast in Northern Ireland. In her first year at York, she lived in Goodricke College.


My week starts off with a practical in digital architecture circuits and systems. I am currently building a logic probe, which is an interesting task and extremely rewarding. 

Later in the morning, I have lectures in programming and computer architectures. Coming from a non-technical background, these lectures are crucial in helping me to learn the fundamentals of computer science. My academic day finishes with a maths practical, where I can practise the principles of discrete mathematics.

Afterwards, I attend a weekly meeting as the volunteering representative for Goodricke College. We are currently involved in planning the Freshers’ Week for next year’s first years.


First thing this morning, I have a practical for the Introduction to Computer Architecture module. Currently, we are learning assembly language programming for the Picoblaze processor.

I then have a three hour gap, which I normally fill with notemaking, programming or homework. In the afternoon, I have three hour-long lectures, and my day finally ends at 5.30pm.

After dinner, I go to my regular salsa dancing class. I get back from dancing at around 8pm, read the notes and lecture slides I have from the day’s lectures, and then I have time to relax.


This is the best weekday for most students, as we have very few lectures. I have an hour long Maths lecture first thing this morning, and then I have the rest of the day off.

I take this opportunity to do household chores, and to complete any assignments. Normally I work till about 6pm.

In the evening, I relax with my friends. As a member of the tennis society, I often go out for the Sports Social Night Out every Wednesday. This is a great opportunity to get together with many students that are involved in the sports societies.


I have a relatively relaxed day, with an algorithms lecture starting at 9.30am.  This module has been excellent in setting a strong base to my understanding of software.

In the afternoon, I attend a talk on employability. As I am on a course with a year in industry, these talks are very useful in helping me to improve my portfolio and increase my chances of gaining a good placement.


In the morning, I work on my open assessment for the Digital Analogue Circuits module. For this, I have to attend a series of lab sessions and complete a lab book. Afterwards, I head back to my flat to make lunch.

In the afternoon, I have a programming practical, where I practise the skills learnt in the programming lectures.  I find these sessions extremely useful as programming is relatively new to me.


I have a keen interest in participating in stage shows, and this has led me to take part in the Fusion dance and modelling show. As this requires a lot of practice, I often have rehearsals at the weekend.  

I also take some time to go to the department's software labs to complete any work for the next week and to catch up on extra reading.


On Sundays, I have more rehearsals for Fusion. After this, I like to relax and perhaps go shopping for weekly food essentials. 

Sometimes, I try to have an early night in order to have a fresh start on Monday but, on other Sundays, I may go out to Revolution Night Club – my favourite night out of the week!


University of York Rowing Team

Cocktail Bar (c)www.visityork.org‌‌‌

Students on bridge at Heslington West