Going through my sent box today I came across the piece I submitted to the student blogger search back in October 2013, when I had been in London for about a week and was still bright-eyed and excited about arriving in the Greatest City Of All Time. I still love London because why wouldn’t you, but life is very busy at the moment and I’m feeling so tired and worn out by work and revision! It was fun to relive my freshers week through reading this old post, which I don’t think made it on to this blog originally, and I thought I’d share it with you today. Join me as I arrive at Fisher Hall for the first time (how sad is it that by the time this year’s intake of applicants arrive at Imperial in October, it’s unlikely that my old halls will be taking freshers anymore!) and sign up to way too many societies during Freshers Fair. I love being reminded of how much I do actually love both London and my degree at a time where everything is quite tough!
How do you even begin to describe moving to London for the first time? Driving around South Kensington trying to find my new halls of residence was stressful enough, (Mum: Should I pull out? SHOULD I PULL OUT?! Dad: BE MORE AGRESSIVE) but let me tell you, being a pedestrian in London is particularly terrifying for someone who has never experienced the Big City this intimately before. Just walking to campus on the first day I was nearly run over at least four times. Since then I have learnt to be a more assertive pedestrian but I still frequently find myself stranded by the crossing as my friends laugh at me from the other side of the road.
Aggressive road users aside, I’m absolutely loving South Kensington life. I’m lucky enough to live in Evelyn Gardens (yes, I live in Fisher, no, it’s not as bad as everyone makes it out to be) and every time I step out of the front door I can’t believe that I’m living in such a ridiculously swanky area for a ridiculously cheap weekly price! Settling in to hall life has been a lot easier than expected, helped no doubt by our lovely hall seniors who have been amazing at shepherding most of the hall around on the tube to various Freshers events and throwing down some serious dance moves with us at the Mingle. One thing I love about my hall is how sociable everyone is. I may not be able to remember everyone’s names yet (it’s a work in progress ok?!) but it’s always lovely to go down to the common room and find someone to have a chat or play a game or two (or five) of table football with.
Midway through our Freshers week came the Freshers Fair! It was every bit as crazy as people had told me it would be, with spokespeople and flyers coming at me from every direction. Imperial don’t lie when they say there is a society for everyone (although I’m not sure that synchronised swimming is my thing despite accepting a leaflet!) and I signed up to around six different groups. Kind of regretting that now that my inbox is flooded almost daily with reminders and updates from various societies that I’ll probably not be able to keep up with. That aside, I’ve been along to a few Christian Union events already and I can’t wait to get involved with the French society and Women in SET. Social-wise, it’s shaping up to be an amazing year!
Of course, the social fun of Freshers Week can’t last forever. Saturday was my last night out, as Freshers Week culminated in the Freshers Ball. It was great to get dressed up and hang out with all the people I’d met during the week, though I’m feeling all those late nights now… the dreaded ‘Freshers Flu’ has definitely caught up with me! Monday saw my first day of biology lectures and getting used to the lecture style of learning is definitely going to take some time. We were eased in (haha) with two lectures on phylogenetics (evolutionary trees and ancestral relationships between organisms) and then two lectures on primates on Tuesday. I also got to pick up my lab coat on Tuesday which I’ve been looking forward to all week! I feel like a proper scientist now, although the lab coat buttons to the side rather than straight down the front so I think it makes me look like a chef. With safety glasses.
Freshers at Imperial has been amazing, everything I hoped for and more, and although the academic side is definitely challenging (I genuinely have a lecture on ‘The Proliferation of Fish’ next week), I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year has in store – both for biology and for everything else that London has to offer.