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A Day in the Life of an Inclusion and Special Needs Education Student

Curious about studying Inclusion and Special Needs Education at Queen's? Hear all about a day in the life of a student on the course from our American blogger Allison.

Laptop and tea

9:00- Wake up

When deciding to do grad school full time, I made a promise to myself that I would keep a routine and get up at the same time every day. Although it doesn’t always work, for the most part, I have a slow start to my morning starting around 9:00. I get in a small breakfast and a cup of tea and get ready for the day! During this time, I catch up on my daily journal as well, so I will always be able to look back on my time in Belfast.

Allison's laptop and tea
Time for Tea...and studying

10:00- Out the Door

By 10:00, I am usually out the door to meet some friends for what we call ‘study dates.’ The group chat is always going off about who is where in terms of studying. Some of my favorite morning spots to go are Aleksander’s Bakery, Costa in city center, the café in the Ulster Museum, or (when it is sunny) Botanic Gardens.

My mornings are spent catching up on emails, reading articles for class, or writing a paragraph or two for my papers. This is the time that I know I am most productive, so I try to get as much work done as possible. Sometimes, I stray from the school work and use this time to apply for jobs for next year or write these blogs!

13:00- Lunch Time

My lunch break usually consists of one of three things.

  • Running home when I look down at the clock to grab a quick bite (usually leftovers from dinner)
  • My friends convincing me to go with them to one of our favorite lunch spots (Tribal Burger, Boojum, or a Tesco Meal Deal are some of our favorites)
  • Finding a warm spot to sit for a quick break (on the off chance that I actually packed a lunch)

Botanic Gardens in the sun
Sunshine in Botanic Gardens

14:00- Back to Studying 

By the afternoon, I find myself another spot to get some work done, depending on how my mornings went. Oftentimes, I will find myself in the Graduate School building if it is raining, or back out to Botanic on the warm days.

As soon as it hits about 12º (53º for my fellow Americans), Botanic is packed with picnic blankets and a mix of people doing work and hanging out with friends. My afternoons are typically less productive than my mornings, but I try to get at least some work done before giving in to the distractions around me.

My friends and I will sometimes bring cards or a game to relieve us when we need a break. Bananagrams is a fan favorite in my friend group, even if we fight over the proper spelling of the word colo[u]r.

17:00- The Shop

By about 5:00, I start thinking about what my moves are for dinner and head to Tesco or Spar for a few items. I head back to my house to cook. Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies, so I try to switch up my meals each week. I use this time to de-stress from the day and focus my energy on something other than studying.

I recently started using a meal prep service to get even more ideas for recipes! I try to make enough of one meal for the next day’s lunch as well. That way, I can start my day off with something already prepped and ready to go!

Pint of Hop House 13
Time to relax with a wee pint

19:00- Social Time

Depending on the day, I may have a club meeting to go to around 7:00pm. On my off days, I will either grab a pint with some friends or pick a movie to watch with my housemate. With the time difference, this is also good time to chat with some of my friends and family back in Chicago.

Some of my favorite spots for pints are Town Square, The Points, or the Parlour Bar which are all within walking distance from my house. If I decided to go the movie route, my housemate and I will typically pick out something together. Luckily we have the same taste in 2000’s rom-coms and terrible comedies.

Sunset in Belfast
Evening light in Belfast

22:00- Me Time

This is my wind-down time, which I look forward to every day. Depending on the day, I use this time before bed to read a book (that isn’t school based), paint my nails, scroll through Tik Tok (my guilty pleasure), or turn in early. No matter what, I make sure my hot water bottle is filled before I decide to sleep.

Find out more

MEd Inclusion and Special Education Needs

Life in Belfast

Living in Northern Ireland

Why postgraduate study at Queen's? 

Allison Linzing

Inclusion and Special Needs | Master's Student | Chicago, USA

I am a 25-year-old from Chicago, Illinois in the US. I have a passion for education and travel and decided to combine the two over the past few years. After teaching English for a year in Spain, I made the move to Belfast to pursue my Master's in Inclusion and Special Needs Education at Queen's. Along with my studies, I am involved in the Belfast Rotaract Club and spend my free time traveling to as many countries as I can.