Carrie Collins
Me at Fairgrounds Cafe in Hyde Park

Carrie Collins, MPP Class of 2024, wrote about what a typical Tuesday looked like for her during spring quarter after completing the Core.

7 a.m. – Wake up, caffeinate, and take my dog Blueberry for a walk around my neighborhood. I’m in Hyde Park right by East 53rd, which is the main drag of Hyde Park and where some of the best restaurants are

A cute fluffy dog
My dog, Blueberry

8 a.m. – Play with Blueberry and have a morning meeting with my partner to talk through everything we both have to do today. My partner has a full-time job, and I typically spend a lot of my Tuesday on campus, so we check in over breakfast and talk through our schedules!

8:45 a.m. – Head to the Keller Center for my job as a Graduate Assistant at the Student Recruitment and Global Outreach Office. I make sure I have enough time to grab some more caffeine and say hi to my friends at Keller. 

9 a.m. – Clock in and get to work on my GA job! Most days involve a mixture of calling prospective and admitted students, answering questions in the admissions inbox, or visiting with prospective students on campus or via Zoom to talk about life as a current student. Talking to prospective students is my favorite part of this job—I remember how many questions I had when I was going through the admissions process, and I love helping students who are in that same position any way I can. 

noon – Grab a quick lunch at Fairgrounds Cafe with some friends and review my notes ahead of my afternoon class. I like that it’s a fifteen minute walk from Keller because I can get some steps in without being far away! Some days I’ll get a salad, but other days I just go in on the funnel cake fries. Either way, the food is always delicious!

Friends sitting at a table at fairgrounds cafe
Me and my friends sitting at a table at Fairgrounds

2 p.m. – Head back to campus and catch up with friends in the Forum. We chat about the Python lecture we have next, our plans for the weekend, and events happening on campus (there’s always a good event going on—especially at the Institute of Politics and International House). By spring quarter, the weather warms up, so we talk about having a picnic at Promontory Point.

3:30 p.m. – Head to my Python Programming class. I’m enrolled in the Data Analytics certificate, and this Python class is one of the prerequisites. I take Professor Levy’s class, which is a flipped classroom model—we watch a 30 minute video lecture ahead of class, and then use class as a lab to ask questions and work on problem sets. I love it because it gives me more time to experiment and play with the code, which is a better fit for my learning style. 

5 p.m. – Head home for a quick dinner and a walk with Blueberry. My partner and I take her for a longer walk at night to make sure she’s plenty exhausted by bedtime. 

7 p.m. – Pop back out for a quick workout at Ratner Athletics Center. I’m a competitive powerlifter, so I try to train at least three times a week. I like going at night because it’s less crowded and I can really enjoy music and get in a good workout.   

laptop with coding screen open
Getting some homework done

9 p.m. – Settle at my desk and work on my readings, discussion posts, and problem sets for the day. Anything I can do to get myself started helps me feel ready for the next day! My classes on Technology Policy and Hydropolitics have a lot of reading, but both are incredibly interesting. I download the Python problem set for the week as my last task of the night.

10:30 p.m. – Catch up with my partner about our days and head to bed. I love going to bed a little bit early when possible, especially when I don’t have class the next day and can sleep in. Though there are always late nights in grad school, I love taking advantage of the quieter evenings!