Oberlin Blogs

A Week in the Life: Last First Week of College Edition (Part II)

February 22, 2024

Yuhki Ueda ’24

This is part two of my Week in the Life that I posted last week! Part one can be found here


9:15 am: prepare breakfast and lunch to go

10:15 am: have breakfast and pack my bag for class

11 am: Piano Pedagogy

  • I’m learning a lot of interesting things in this class! I’m looking forward to working with a secondary student and teaching lessons. I think it’ll be a good learning experience for me and, hopefully, I will be able to provide a good learning experience for them as well. 
  • This class makes me reflect on my own experiences studying music with my past and present teachers, and makes me wonder about their experiences teaching. I also wonder what kind of a teacher I will be, and how I will navigate the challenges and joys of teaching. 

12 pm: chip away at my rapidly growing to-do list at the Conservatory Library

  • Tasks and responsibilities pile up so quickly right from the start of the semester, so it’s very important to stay on top of everything. There are just too many things to keep track of mentally, so I use different tools to help me (e.g., simply writing things down on a Post-it note or on my iPad, or using my trusty Google Calendar app to organize my day and set reminders for myself). 
  • At the beginning of each semester, I also compile a sort of one-stop-shop assignment tracker using Google Sheets. I look through my class syllabi and input all of my assignments for the semester, their deadlines, and other relevant info, into a big spreadsheet. 

2:45 pm: grab a super late lunch from Thi Ni Thai and head back to my apartment

  • After my work session at the Con Library, I order takeout from Thi Ni Thai, the Thai restaurant in downtown Oberlin, and head home so I can rest for a while. My brain is so tired! 

7:30 pm: dinner

9:40 pm: head back to the Con to do some late-night practicing

11:40 pm: return home and get ready for bed, unwind

1:30 am: finally time to sleep!

  • My bedtime is getting increasingly late… I need to try to get more sleep tomorrow. 



11 am: visit Pottery Co-op to work on my piece

  • Today, I am working on trimming a bowl I threw a little while ago. Since it’s my first time trimming, my friend gave me a little lesson on how to do it. 
  • The few times I’ve visited the Co-op, it has been a very meditative and relaxing process for me. It’s really nice to be able to tune out the rest of the world for an hour or two, get into a state of flow, and just focus on the clay in my hands. 

1 pm: Intro to African American Music II

2:20 pm: head home for a quick bite

3 pm: return to the Con to squeeze in a quick practice session

3:30 pm: I join my housemate for a Decafe* and Azzie’s** run to get some snacks and drinks, then I head to Brown Bag Co-op (the dining co-op I am in this semester) to stock up on some pasta. 

  • *Decafe is Oberlin’s on-campus grab-and-go cafe
  • **Azzie’s is Oberlin’s on-campus coffee shop located in Mudd Library

4:15 pm: eat lunch pt. 2 (or is it a super early dinner?) while starting a new TV show

6 pm: shower

  • The weather today was quite warm so the shower feels especially refreshing

7 pm: make food

  • I’m not hungry yet but I probably will be later…

8 pm: head back to the Con for Studio Class 

  • Our weekly Piano Studio Class was rescheduled to tonight, although we typically meet on Wednesdays. 
  • The walk over to the Con is nice because the weather has cooled down a bit. But now I’m starting to feel hungry…!

9 pm: head back to my apartment 

  • I’m super hungry by the time Studio is over, so I eat the food I made earlier. I'm glad I planned ahead! 

9:30 pm: laundry time, call friend

  • I start a load of laundry and call my friend who goes to a different college. Even though we don’t go to the same college, we talk most days, either through text or video calls! After a long day, it’s nice to chat and catch up with her about our respective days. 

10:45 pm: wind down, get ready for bed

  • I was determined to go to bed earlier tonight, and it looks like I will be doing exactly that. :)



11 am: attend weekly research lab meeting

  • I am taking Supervised Research for credit again this semester. I am in one of the research labs in the Psychology department, and our lab studies Asian American psychology with a focus on mental health, experiences with racial discrimination and racial/ethnic identity, and critical racial consciousness. 

1:30 pm: head to Con to warm up for rehearsal

  • I also scarf down the lunch I packed this morning. I think I’m getting a little more used to meal prepping and am getting a better sense of how to incorporate it into my routine. I still have a lot to work on, but this is a good start. 

1:45 pm: rehearse with trio

  • Throughout the week, we have been preparing to perform at part one of the Danenberg Honors Recital, which is tonight. The Danenberg Honors Recitals feature Conservatory and Double-Degree student musicians and take place during a couple of weekends early in the spring semester when prospective students are visiting Oberlin for their Conservatory auditions. 

2:30 pm: (solo) practice session

3:30 pm: work on Piano Pedagogy homework

  • I head back to the Con Library to finish up and submit my homework. I realize I will be visiting this library a lot this semester because most of my classes are in the Conservatory! 

4:15 pm: brief audition for Accompanying

  • Classical Piano majors are required to take several semesters of Accompanying, collaborating with student instrumentalists and vocalists. This semester, I am signed up for Instrumental Accompanying. To get a better sense of my playing, sight-reading ability, etc. I have to do a brief audition for the professor before they can assign me to an instrumentalist to work with. 

4:30 pm: head back to apartment to shower, have dinner

6:30 pm: time for a power nap!

7 pm: get ready for the Danenberg Recital

7:45 pm: meet up with trio

  • We warm up and run through some excerpts of our piece before the performance. 

8 pm: Danenberg Honors Recital

  • When I auditioned at Oberlin back in 2019, I remember watching a recital where Oberlin students performed in the same hall (also for auditionees and prospective students), so performing in this recital tonight feels like a full-circle moment! 

9 pm: return home

  • I chat with my dad on the phone, talking to him about how it’s scary not knowing where I will end up after college (especially now that I know I am not going to graduate school this year). The senior scaries are really getting to me tonight.
  • In an attempt to quell my worries, I do a bit of job searching. I find that this doesn’t exactly quell my worries — I feel even more overwhelmed seeing how many different options and postings I have to sift through to find opportunities that are a good fit for me. I remind myself that I don’t need to figure everything out overnight. 

12 am: off to sleep

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