So much for blogging a bit over the past couple of weeks to keep me sane. Life has consisted of revise, eat, sleep, repeat for the past couple of weeks, and I think I may have gone (more) crazy. I’m still slightly in shock, both that exams are over and I can stop revising, and that I’ve finished my first year. Things are starting to wind down now – most subjects have finished exams, and although some still have projects to finish, everyone’s taking time to relax a bit. Just went down to the kitchen to get some lunch, and currently it’s pancakes and loud music. Yesterday after our last exam my best friends and I went over to a Cat Café for lunch to celebrate having finished, headed over to Old Spitalfields Market for a wander round, and then went back to Chandan’s to watch a film. A lot of people went out, either to Saucy or the bop at the Reynolds, but we all decided not to and prioritised sleep 🙂
Today’s been a bit strange, having absolutely nothing I need to do. I tidied my room this morning (arguably that was something that I needed to do – my mum would have definitely thought so); it somehow and through no fault of my own became extremely messy over the exam period. Not too sure what I’ll do for the rest of the day, thinking of wandering over to Oxford Street through Hyde Park. It will be nice to just go for a walk for the sake of it – I’ve not walked anywhere except campus for the last few weeks. Everywhere else I’ve gone by tube because it’s quickest – got to prioritise revision time…
I fully intend to enjoy these next couple of weeks. Exams were hard – I think I did okay in two of them (plus the one at the beginning of this term) but the one on Wednesday was horrific. The only consolation is that everyone agreed so hopefully the pass mark will be quite low. Results come out in about a month, and then a month later are resits for any we fail. Wednesday’s exam (Life Support Systems 2) is combined with Monday’s (LSS1) to give an overall mark, so I’m hoping that LSS1 will pull up 2 over the pass mark; if not I’ll have to retake both papers in August.
I’ve been making plans for the summer, which goes on until the beginning of October. Mainly I’m compiling a reading list – it’s been ages since I read for pleasure. If anyone has any recommendations, please comment below!! I’ve also got a couple of holidays booked which I’m really excited for – Budapest for a week with Light Opera society, and a week in France with my family.
My friends and I have quite a bit planned in the next couple of weeks (including house hunting!); over the rest of the summer we probably won’t be able to see each other much. Chandan and I live fairly close – Milton Keynes and near Oxford respectively – Katherine’s in Cambridge and Beth’s from somewhere in Lincolnshire (I can never remember where…) so the pressure’s on to find a place to live next year within the next couple of weeks before we’re spread all round the country.
About a week back we received an email with information about moving out of halls, and next weekend we have our Holbein Willis Jackson end of year party (did someone say bouncy castle…?!) I’ll really miss HWJ, it’s become home over the past year and we have a lovely group of people on our floor.
All in all it’s been an amazing year – I’ve made some wonderful friends, learnt some pretty interesting stuff and lived in one of the most amazing cities in the world. I can’t wait for second year – although apparently the workload gets quite a bit heavier, it sounds really interesting. I’ve been planning how I’m going to read over the lecture notes in the course guide before the lecture, and go back over it soon after, I doubt it will happen when push comes to shove – there’s too much fun stuff going on!
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So there’s something I’ve been meaning to blog about for ages but never quite got round to, so I’m going to now. At the end of last term a small group of us put on a Mental Health Awareness Week, led by ICSMSU’s Student Welfare officer. This is only the second year it’s happened, but hopefully it will continue over the coming years.
On the Monday evening there was an Introduction to Mindfulness session – for those who don’t know, Mindfulness is “the intentional, accepting and non-judgemental focus of one’s attention on the emotions, thoughts and sensations occurring in the present moment” (according to Wikipedia). It’s a useful technique to have in a busy, stressful environment, and I’ve started trying to practise it from time to time. Empower (the name’s fairly self-explanatory; anyone coming to Imperial next year should definitely check it out at Freshers’ Fair) put on a similar session earlier this year – I went to both and found them really interesting, enjoyable and relaxing.
On the Tuesday there was a ‘Mind Matters’ session focusing on mental illness and the GMC – it looked at fact and fiction about fitness to practice for those with a mental health condition. Mind Matters meetings, organised by PsychSoc, have happened throughout the year, each focusing on a different aspect of mental illness and giving those who have a mental health condition, support a friend who does, or are just interested a chance to come and chat in a safe, friendly, non-judgemental environment.
The main event was on the Thursday – a speech by Ahmed Hankir ‘The Wounded Healer’. He is a psychiatrist who himself suffers from a mental health condition. Any explanation I could give would not be able to sum up his talk – suffice to say I was inspired to the point that I was almost in tears and completely in awe by the time he’d finished. Some medical schools have his lecture on their syllabus – hopefully soon ICSM will too, it is something that I think every medical student should hear. I feel so privileged that I had the chance to listen to him speak, and to meet him afterwards. If anyone is interested, you can hear his talk on YouTube.
So, I’m off to enjoy my freedom now 🙂
Blog again soon,