As soon as I found out that I’d be studying here, I was immediately filled with petty worries.
Let’s face it: living in London is expensive. It might sound scary, especially that for some of you the first year of the university will be also the first year when you have to be fully responsible for your finances.
Just a few thoughts as I close the lid on two momentous terms at Imperial.
1. You don’t know what you can achieve until you try
I took a big risk doing this course considering the huge cost and my non-science background. Plus it’s been almost a decade since my undergrad days. Yet somehow I have thrived. Amid the flood of new concepts, information and working styles, I find myself with a fighting chance of a distinction (although maybe I’ve just jinxed it). Of course, I still have the massive challenge of my dissertation but this is already beyond what I imagined this time last year.
If you’re thinking of going to Amsterdam, go to Haarlem instead. No, seriously.
Haarlem is a smaller city just 15 minutes away from Amsterdam by train. It’s got far fewer tourists, cheaper and nicer accommodation, and way better food. PLUS, it’s a mere 20 minute bus ride to the beach!Haarlem’s main square. Photo: iamsterdam.com
With the final assignment of term 2 done and dusted, we decided to take advantage of Eurostar’s new direct train from London to Amsterdam (£35 one way). Well, almost direct. It does do a short stop in Brussels and the total journey is about 3.5 hours.
Data Spark is a student placement scheme at Imperial designed to uncover insights and solve real-world business problems. It lasts around 6 weeks and you’re able to work with students from different study programs. Throughout this journey, you get great advice from academic and industry mentors.
Having finalised the program last week, I wanted to share what I enjoyed the most:
Applying new skills
One of my favourite parts of this program was that I was able to apply several skills learned during my current study program (MSc Business Analytics). I was able to run different models, work on network analysis and and apply several visualisation techniques.
This week I celebrated my 25th birthday, which put me in a slightly reflective mood. Here are 25 things I learned in 25 years. Cliché warning!
- Failing doesn’t make me a failure. The only way to avoid failing is to stop trying, and this won’t get me anywhere.
- I fight for my friendships, but accept it when they die out. Throughout my life I’ll be able to keep only a few good friends, most of them will disappear at some point. I let them go and make the room in my life for new amazing people waiting for me out there.
…are paved with gold? Is that what Dick Whittington heard when he started his journey to London all those years ago? Well maybe there’s no gold paving, but there’s more to being in London than following the highways of learning and earning, and so there is surely plenty of opportunity for detours along the byways of cultural advancement as well. The legendary Whittington rose from a pauper boy to Mayor of London, via cats, rats and wealth, undoubtedly acquiring cultural improvement in the process. And now? What is there for a poor mature student to do in London when not under the academic cosh at Imperial?
This is the one where I open up.
“Imposter syndrome is a recognised phenomenon, first identified by psychologists in 1978, and describes a feeling that your achievements are undeserved and the fear of being exposed as a fraud. Those with imposter syndrome tend to feel that luck rather than ability lies behind their successes.” (1)
Getting into Imperial was a massive deal for me. I had not planned to apply at all- but I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life looking back with what ifs. I didn’t think I was smart enough. I’ve always had a fluctuating impression of myself; ranging from borderline conceited to possessing a pretty low self esteem.
It really is that time of year again…the stress levels are rising and 5th year exams are approaching. We have about 6 weeks left until our first exam and although that sounds a while away still, there is a lot to cover. On top of this, we are still attending our hospital attachments daily.
I wanted to share with you a few resources that I am using to help me through this revision period this year, hopefully it can help anyone else revising for clinical exams and not sure where to start!
- Brainscape: Imperial Medicine students past and present have made flashcards on this amazing app that is a great revision tool.
The Easter holidays have been and gone, punctuated by too much chocolate, lie-ins and the guilt of not working. All of this however, gave me a chance to sit and enjoy some quality movies. One evening, as I settled down to choose a film (it always takes me far too long) with my last remaining Easter egg, I stumbled across a good-old Will Smith movie. Now, you wouldn’t be mistaken for wondering where I’m going with this story, but bear with me…
Seven pounds is a 2008 Drama/Romance film featuring Will Smith, Rosario Dawson and Woody Harrelson among others. Without completely ruining the plot, the movie starts with the main character, Ben Thomas (Will Smith) phoning 911 to report his own suicide.
I visited Amsterdam this easter, during the week where it was an intense 29 degrees pretty much everywhere in Europe. Though the iconic city is mostly known for its liberal drug use and prostitutes there is much to do even if you are not there for its special activities. For students in the European Union, it’s pretty much a free pass to travel during holidays. Be sure to check if your passport is valid for the country, or if you need to get a visa.
Amsterdam is full of small islands, connecting each one through multiple bridges. This makes for some incredibly stunning views, just simply walk anywhere with the iconic houses on either side.
A good, moist steak is one of the purest pleasures in my lifes. Today I will be advising you based on my years of experiementation, in my preferred methods of Steak preparation, so that you can also participate in this pleasure.
Of course, the first thing you have to do is arrange for a piece of meat. Here you can find various cuts from different supermarkets in all price ranges. But there is also something for small budgets. Tesco has excellent test objects for 3.24, not too thin, not too expensive. When buying meat, however, be sure to pay attention to the grain: the finer the small fatty veins are that run through the meat, the better!