Hi! I’m Brigid, and I’m currently majoring in Music Technology with minors in Theatre and Communication here at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Between these three areas of study, a job, and internships/RSOs, my days are definitely interesting. Today I’m going to take you through a typical Thursday in my life as a junior taking 17 credit hours.
My day begins at 5 A.M.
Yes, you read that right. I wake up at 5 in the morning on Thursdays to head to a shift: I am a part-time personal care assistant for a friend on campus who is wheelchair-bound. I’m not a morning person by any means, but I love my job, so it’s worth it to be up before the sun. My shifts are usually only an hour-long, so I get home around 6:30 A.M. My first class on Thursdays isn’t until 11:00, so sometimes I’ll catch up on sleep for a few hours. Today I’m feeling pretty awake, though, so I’m going to get ready for the day.
After showering and doing my morning routine, I’ll usually work at my desk until my first class. Most of my classes are project-based, so throughout the week, I’m usually working on 2-3 projects at a time. This week I’m working on a song for Introduction to Popular Music Songwriting, as well as a sound mass composition for Electroacoustic Techniques. I have two 2 ½ hour-long studio time sessions each week (in Studio B, which is in the Music Building), one of which is Wednesday nights, so I’m spending this Thursday morning editing and reviewing what I recorded last night.
Introduction to Popular Music Songwriting is from 11:00-12:20 on Thursdays, and today we had a guest lecturer, Pat Gibson, teach us about his songwriting techniques. Songwriting is definitely one of my favorite classes, and I feel like I learn so much. I usually produce songs rather than write them, so it’s cool to be able to think about music in a different way. After class, at about 12:30, I head downstairs to the dining room (of my sorority house) to grab lunch to go, and then work more on my projects.
It’s about 2:00 now, and I’m taking a break from coursework to do some other tasks. I’m currently working with Bad Owl Records as their radio intern, so today I’m sending out some emails to college radio stations to promote our artists. I’m also the Music Director at Pizza FM, which is UIUC’s student-run radio station, and I’m working on going through the station email and adding some new tunes to the station’s Box folder so that DJs can play them on their shows.
At 4:00, I walk over to my only in-person class: Women’s Glee Club. Ensembles aren’t required for Music Technology majors, but I usually like to participate in at least one each semester. I’ve been in Women’s Glee since my first semester of college, and I usually play bass clarinet in University Band (when there isn’t a pandemic). I’m grateful that we’re able to rehearse safely in person, and going to Glee is always a nice break in my day.
After Glee, I get back to my house and eat dinner in the dining room with my friends. Today has been a super long day, so a few friends and I decide to go on a night drive to listen to some music and just chill. In a pandemic, you really learn to appreciate small moments like that. It’s always good to take a break from the cycle of a school day to spend time with people you love.
It’s about 11 P.M. when I get home, and I decide to do some essay preparation for two essays I have due this weekend (one for Visual Politics, one for Theatre Practicum I). I’m trying to get ahead on work so I can spend this weekend with my friends, but it’s not uncommon for me to get home on a Friday or Saturday night and immediately sit down to work on something. Sometimes the best ideas come late at night!
Before I end my day, I spend a little time playing guitar. Every day I try to do something music-related that isn’t for school, just to keep myself from getting burnt out. Tomorrow I don’t have to wake up at 5 A.M., so I’m not too worried about going to sleep after midnight. I hope you enjoyed reading about my Thursday! I swear every weekday is not nearly this busy, but my classes & other activities always make each day feel productive, which I’m especially grateful for during a pandemic.