At university, I can enjoy a flexible daily life, a productive environment, modern technologies with a sense of modernism and future development.
I will share my university daily campus life, routine and workload📚 as well as the environment at HKUST.
By the way, you can enjoy our campus environment📸 during my day journey.
My Daily Schedule
Unlike high school, universities have no administrative classes and fixed daily schedules🗓️.
So, we can freely/flexibly✅ arrange our schedule as long as we take the enrolled lessons.
We can even go outside🧭 the campus (like opening a bank account💳 or for a SIM card) outside lesson times.
- 07:00 Get up
- 07:30-07:45 Breakfast 🍲
- 22:00 Go Back to Hall 🏢
- 23:00 Sleep (may be earlier)
The lesson times vary among students based on the courses enrolled in.
The following are my lesson times which may only be valid for this term (for reference only).
- Monday: 11:30 to 14:50
- Tuesday and Thursday: 10:30 to 14:50
- Friday (most lessons): 09:00 to 16:20
- Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday: Day Off (no lessons)
Some university students developed an app📱 called USThing with a TimeMatch feature that finds common free times⏳ among friends.
My Typical Weekday Life (Friday)
This is just an example. Friday is my day with most lessons📚.
My schedule🗓️ can be adjusted based on my tasks and workload📚. This means my life every day/week may be slightly different.
07:00 Get up
Based on my schedule, I get up and prepare for the day at 07:00.
In some Halls (dormitories), there is a top entrance/exit🚪 directly connected to a bridge🌉 to the academic building, called: Bridge Link.
This top gate of our Hall opens between 07:35 and 22:30, while the G/F (main) gate opens 24 hours⏳.
The bridge link, immediately after exiting the top gate, is the LG7 floor of the Academic Building.
We can choose any restaurants🍽️ we want at different floors (e.g. LG1), including those I use mostly:
- LG1 (HKUST Can.teen II)
- LG5 (McDonald's)
- LG7 (Asia Pacific Catering, etc.)
There are some Self-ordering Kiosks to order foods, where we can use WeChat Pay, Alipay📲, Octopus💳, and so on.
09:00 Physics Lecture
The first lesson usually starts at or after 09:00🕘.
My Friday's first lesson is Physics⚛️ (PHYS) lecture for 80 minutes (09:00 to 10:20).
Lecture🧑🏫 is one of the university lesson types usually held in large Lecture Theatres (LT) and without attendance records✅.
Focusing on Science and Technology, our university has a (self-developed) Path Advisor🧭 (web version and app) helping students to easily find places🔍 (e.g. classrooms).
I started taking notes directly on Lecture Notes📝, which is released several days before the lecture, since university instead of blank notebooks📖.
Some topics are marked as "self-study"📝 which does not teach in lectures.
Download📥 the lecture notes, read it📖 in advance and load it on iPad📱 before the lecture.
10:30 Self-study & Lunch
Since my next lesson will begin at 12:00, we can self-study📝 during the large time intervals.
Like choosing restaurants, we also can choose a self-study place including:
- Learning Commons (Floor LG1 (-1F) of Library; mostly used; may open 24 hours);
- School Café (e.g. Starbucks);
- Hall (dormitory),
There are some seats🪑 with the seaside🌊 scenery (close to the windows) in the Library and Learning Commons where I can study📝 and take a rest without leaving the seats.
The cut-off time🍫 between breakfast and lunch at our restaurants is 11:00, after which lunch will be available.
This means I must self-study for at least 30 minutes⏳ before having lunch🥙.
The cut-off time between breakfast🍳 and lunch🥙 at the Mainland McDonald's is 10:30, but is slightly different here (11:00).
Unlike high school with specific☑️ breakfast, lunch and dinner times, university restaurants open continuously⏳.
For example, students can have lunch at 15:00 and dinner at 20:00.
12:00 Physics Tutorial
My second Friday lesson is a 50-minute Physics⚛️ tutorial with attendance records📝.
We are given some problem sheets📑. The teaching assistant (TA) explains🧑🏫 each task and we write our information (name and student ID; used for attendance records) before we start practising.
The correctness of the answers typically does not affect the score and grades.
13:30 Engineering Laboratory
My Friday's last lesson is Engineering (ENGG) laboratory🧪 (interesting) with the longest time duration⏳.
It has attendance records📝 and we were split🔀 into different project groups (for the entire term/semester).
The interval between my last lesson and this lesson is about 40 minutes⌛️, so I directly head to the Engineering classroom at 13:00 and wait.
Some classrooms open🔓 10 minutes before a lesson as it's occupied by previous lessons.
16:30 Self-study, Take Exercise & Dinner
Some assignments and tasks📝 are released on the course management system after lessons.
Unlike high school, university assignments usually last for a long time⏳ (typically 3 days to 2 weeks).
I use my self-invented🌟 and programmed⌨️ Ken's Study Planner🗓️ online tool to manage all assignments, exams and events in one place.
I usually say: "Every time I remove a red bar (from my Planner), I will have a sense of achievement."
Once an assignment/task is released, immediately record/note✍️ it and its deadline (if any) on your planning app(s)📆.
As well as self-study, we can also take exercise🏋️ at the seafront area🌊 of our campus.
Some facilities need booking🗓️ to use, while some facilities can be used without booking (i.e. walk-in) during open hours.
I usually use these sport facilities:
- Playground🏃 (beside Sports Centre building);
- Indoor bicycles🚴, running machines and strengthening equipment🏋️ (2F at Sports Centre).
Completely Self-study Courses
At university, there are some completely self-study courses🎓 without live lessons, such as HMAW, LEGL and GenAI.
Please note that these courses also have assignments and tasks📝 with (stipulated) deadlines📆.
21:00-22:30 Go Back to Hall
I go back to Hall between 21:00 and 22:30 and then sleep at around 23:00, depending on my tasks📚 and activities.
For example, if I stick to an assignment item📝 (e.g. to finish the last few questions) or chat with my friends, I may go back to Hall later.
However, if I feel tired😴, I may go back and sleep earlier.
My Typical Weekend Life
This is my typical weekday life, but what about my typical weekend life?
Like weekdays, there is no fixed schedule (and no lessons) for weekends.
At weekends, I may:
- Leave Campus for travelling, relaxing and hanging out with friends;
- Stay on Campus for personal tasks (e.g. articles, programming for personal projects🗞️ like Ken's Study Planner).
Make-up lessons🧑🏫 (if any) after cancellations (e.g. due to inclement weather) are usually held on weekday evenings🌙, which typically do not affect weekend times.
However, mid-term exams✍️ and assignment due dates may be on weekends.
Separative Study System
Using my Separative Study System, I generally do academic work📝 (including clubs, campus events, etc.) on weekdays while I do other tasks, like travelling🚇 outside and personal tasks, at weekends and holidays.
Or simply speaking:
- Weekdays: Academic Tasks (including clubs, campus events, etc.)
- Weekend/Holidays: Travelling and Personal Tasks
However, weekend/holiday times may be taken over by academic tasks close to deadlines⌛️.
The weekend time takeover (some or all) may imply I didn't manage my time properly⚠️ this week.
There are many choices of transportation🛣️ if I decide to leave campus.
Unfortunately, since the university is not near an MTR🚇 station, I need to take a bus🚌 first.
There are two, HKUST North and South, bus stations🚏 with different directions.
I typically choose the North⬆️ one near the Academic Building🏢, Library and Halls and head to Hang Hau (Tseung Kwan O Line) station.
The buses contain:
- Green 19-seat mini-buses: about every 5 to 10 minutes;
- Double-deck Buses: about every 20 to 30 minutes.
Note that passengers carrying large luggage🧳 (like going back to my Guangzhou home🏡) cannot take the mini-buses (and should choose double-desk buses, taxi, etc.).
Alternatively, I can take a taxi🚖 right at the North gate (opposite the North Bus Station).
I go to various places each weekend. For example:
- Tsim Sha Tsui (Tsuen Wan Line and Tuen Ma Line)
- Mong Kok (Tsuen Wan Line and Kwun Tong Line)
- Ngong Ping 360 (Tung Chung Line)
- Tai Koo (hanging out with friends for meals) (Island Line)
- Wetland Park (Light Rail via Tuen Ma Line)
- The University of Hong Kong (HKU) (Island Line)
While travelling on the Ngong Ping 360 cable car🚠, I discovered some wheels⚙️ are rolling without slipping (university physics knowledge I have just learned).
Going Back to Campus
I typically start the return journey to campus before 21:00🕘 and head to these stations🚇 for buses back to HKUST campus:
- Choi Hung (Kwun Tong Line)
- Hang Hau (Tseung Kwan O Line)
Be careful of the directions (shown on the platform screens) when taking Tseung Kwan O Line, whether is Po Lam or LOHAS Park.
Similarly, in Guangzhou Metro Line 3, the trains to Tianhe Coach Terminal and Airport North may stop on the same platform.
The bus services have a user-friendly design, displaying "via HKUST" at both stations and the Destination Panel of cars.
The MTR train services typically end between 00:00 and 01:00 midnight🌙 with overnight green mini-buses (longer intervals) at Choi Hung station.
This means there is typically no transportation issue✅ if I accidentally stay out late (e.g. hanging out with friends).
Based on the bus routes🗺️, the buses may stop at HKUST North or South station.
I can simply walk through the Academic Concourse (Academic Building) to head to Hall from the South⬇️ bus station.
Thanks for Reading!
These are my sharings for my university typical day and weekend life. Hope you enjoy your high school or university study journey🚄.
More university-related articles (e.g. my Time-management Tips) may be released later📤. You can subscribe to my Email Newsletter📩 and stay tuned.
More useful study techniques🛠️ and habits📝 are available on my website. You can explore them if you want.