A Week in the Life

A couple of the other student bloggers have recently written really insightful ‘Week in the Life’ posts which are quite fun to read so I thought I’d have a go too. We’re now in the home straights of an incredibly busy last fortnight of term and I can’t wait for next Saturday when I’m heading off to North Wales for a week with some church buddies for a Christian Easter holiday conference. There’ll be hundreds of people there and lots of great seminars to go to and beautiful sunsets to see I’m sure!

The amazing beach at Prestatyn Sands, just two minutes away from where we'll be staying for the conference!
The amazing beach at Prestatyn Sands, just two minutes away from where we’ll be staying for the conference!

So what’s been going on this week.


The second year biologists get lots of afternoon lectures this year meaning no 9am starts! (I’d feel bad for writing this but we started at 9am every single day in first year so I feel that our time for late starts has arrived). I slept in on Monday morning following an extremely fun but very tiring weekend away with my Church and then did some groceries, had lunch and headed out to my afternoon lectures at about 1.30pm. This week I was finishing up my Virology course (which is a BRILLIANT course for any biologists who are already thinking ahead to second year options) which is kind of scary because it means exams are getting closer. After lectures I had my last French class before my Horizons exam on Monday which was a bit sad because I love my French class and my teacher!


I spent Tuesday morning putting the finishing touches to my poster which featured in a mock conference on Thursday. The conference was about Emerging Viral Disease and everyone in my class researched a virus, gave it a threat level from 1 (not a significant threat) to 5 (ebola), and then produced a poster about it. I had lectures in the afternoon and then studied for a bit after lectures before heading home and going to my Church small group that evening.


Wednesday morning was a tutorial to get some guidance on a fairly tricky lab report that we’re giving in next week. It involves going through electrophoretic gels produced from cheek swaps primed for retroviruses, interpreting the gels (one gel from each lab pair, so that’s a lot of gels!) and figuring out if the presence or absense of the viruses in the DNA is skewed for certain ethnic groups. It’s like we’re real life scientists and it’s kind of scary but in a cool way! I went for a swim after the tutorial and managed four more lengths than I did last time I went which is a big achievement for me because I am not a good swimmer at all. Also the pool at Ethos is free for students so make good use of that while you’re here! I went to work on my lab report after that and then went home.


Me and the poster. (I’m not the only one who took a photo with their poster just so you know…)

Thursday was the day of the Emerging Viral Diseases conference so I set out in plenty of time for a 10am start… only to discover when I arrived at College that the posters hadn’t been printed in time and the conference had been moved to 3.30pm. Our lecturer bought everyone coffees in SAF caf to apologise (what a legend) and then I settled in to work on my lab report until it was time to go and see the posters. It was fun to see everyone’s posters but we weren’t being marked for the actual presentation, just for the content, so after my lecturer had asked me a couple of questions about my virus, I left to go over to church. My church is about five minutes away from campus and has recently undergone lots of building work to make it a more versatile space to be used by the community. Thursday night was the grand opening so the students all mucked in to help set up beforehand and clear up afterwards. It looks beautiful and I’m glad I got a sneak peek! I then went back to campus before CU and headed home after that. Thursdays are always long days…


This was the worst day of the week considering how much I work I need to do at the moment! I woke up at 7.30am with both an eye infection and a fever (oh joy), and spent an hour and a half huddled in bed with a hot water bottle until the nearest walk in centre opened at 9am. Luckily they were able to see me straight away and I was back at home with antibiotics in hand within 40 minutes. Unfortunately I didn’t really get to see the solar eclipse. I then spent the whole day (literally the whole day) in bed marathoning Grey’s Anatomy (one of my favourite things to do is to tell my med student friends about improbable medical emergenices that happen on Grey’s Anatomy and then they tell me if that could ever happen in real life) and drinking tea and doing no work. My two geologist housemates are away on their mapping project until the end of the month and my other housemate was out at uni so it was a lonely day for poor little me!

As you can tell, there’s an incredible amount of work to do in the last fortnight and it’s not like there will be any respite over Easter… as much as I am excited about going to Wales I still need to write a mini-dissertation and study for my summer exams. There is no rest for the Imperial student, but the summer is long and I am looking forward to that immensely 🙂

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