## Just an average week in Imperial…

Since my fellow blogger colleagues started to write about their average weeks, I thought I might try something similar… The only problem was that I always forgot to start it in the past couple of Mondays ๐ But this time I didn’t, so here is

my average week as a ChemEng student and Woodward resident.

Monday

05:45 Time to wake up! I like to wake up early because the tube is horrible after 8, so I try to avoid that period. Hence I get up when an average Computing student goes to bed…

07:00 The weather is cold but the sun is shining, the tube is half empty, the birds are chirping. Sounds like a good start!

07:30 Whenever the weather is nice (i.e. not raining) I choose walking through Kensington Park instead of the Circle line. It’s wonderful in the morning, the grass, the pond, the swans, everything. I love it!

08:00 Sitting in the lecture theatre alone, my favourite! ๐ I had to watch some video recordings before the lectures (because the Separation Processes lecturer sends us the theoretical part in pre-recorded videos and then on the lectures we solve problems).

08:50 My classmates start to arrive…

09:00 Maths lecture! To be honest, that one coffee in the morning probably wasn’t enough, because I almost fall asleep… This is something which I didn’t believe before uni, but I totally understand now: from October till June you are constantly tired. Constantly. There is no such thing as enough sleep. And you are especially close to falling asleep when the lecturer talks about undamped driven oscillators as non-homogeneous second-order linear ordinary differential equations…

10:00 One of my favourites, Separation Processes ๐ Today we talked about interfacial mass transfer in packed columns… Sounds fun, right? We discussed a couple of problems and calculated a couple of numbers. Easy ๐

11:00 Thermodynamics, the “bugbear”. I don’t dislike Thermo, I am just not quite good at it… Today was about the connection and physical relevance of Gibbs energy and availability. Full of equations, full of new material, and I already see myself failing the June exam…

12:00 Finished for today! Before I came home, I visited the new Transport for London shop at the South Kensington tube station. Not to buy something, but just to look around, check the latest items… Have I mentioned that I am totally in love with the London Tube? I just love everything, the design, the map, the infinite amount of “stuff” related to the tube you can buy. My favourite of today was the moquette cushion with the classic Central line design. And I almost bought the colouring pencil set which features all the colours of the lines. Top item on my Christmas wish list!

12:30 I got home and ate some weekend leftover for lunch. The good thing about weekends is that I go home and my mum cooks amazing food. The good thing about Mondays is that I always have some leftover from Sunday and I can still eat my mum’s amazing food ๐

13:00 Time to do the lab report! We have to submit the conclusion and the evaluation for the latest experiments (Conduction&Diffusion and Flow lines). It sounds easy, but the data is quite confusing, the equations are strange, and I have absolutely no idea what the conclusion should include… But at least my desk looks cool ๐

16:00 Well, I got stuck with the labbook, so I started to discuss a coding problem with my sister. Not so helpful for my lab report, but definitely more fun!

18:00 Dinner time ๐ I accidentally ate a whole pack of oreo cookies…

19:00 It’s so easy toย procrastinate when you are the editor of the Woodward newsletter, the admin of the Humans of Woodward Hall facebook page, and a student blogger. I feel like the universe doesn’t want me to finish my lab report…

20:00 University Challenge!!! When you are an Imperial student and the Imperial team is in the University Challenge, you just watch it. No matter how much coursework you have. You just watch it.

20:30 We lost it ๐ But I unintentionally stayed in the kitchen, talking with my flatmates…

21:00 I should really go to my room and study…

21:30 Seriously, watching Big Bang Theory in the kitchen won’t give me a good lab grade…

22:00 Really… I should go to bed now…

22:30 I really shouldn’t start another movie…

23:00 I have 5 deadlines in the next 2 weeks, there is no time to sit in the kitchen…

23:30 So I went to bed at half past eleven. Again. Damn.

Tuesday

06:30 Good morning! To be honest, it took me 30 mins to get up. Maybe I shouldn’t have talked with my flatmates till almost midnight yesterday, I guess… But when you’re at uni, these things just sort of happen, and then you terribly regret it next morning. And you need an incredible amount of coffee even to be able to get dressed.

07:40 I was so tired that I didn’t realise my Travelcard has expired and I used my pay-as-you-go credit. I hate this day!

08:00 At least the Kensington Park is beautiful as always. Swans! ๐

08:20 Time to do nothing for another half an hour… I usually read news and facebook, and stuff like that, but this morning I was just sitting there and listening to some music…

09:00 Maths lecture! We learnt about the general non-constant-coefficient linear second order ordinary differential equations this time, and let’s just say I kind of had a clue what was going on, but I’m not entirely sure about this…

10:00 Heat & Mass lecture, with heat exchangers, proving that it doesn’t matter if you have co-current or counter-current or any other type of heat exchanger, the governing equation is always the same. I.e. no need to memorise more than one, phew!

11:00 Properties of Matter!!! Yayy! Our PoM lecturer is such an amazing teacher, he talked about the conduction in crystals and he asked 5 people to come and “dance” the whole thing with him! ๐

12:00 Nothing better than 2 sandwiches as lunch… Just joking…

13:00 Chemistry tutorial ๐ Our tutor ย is amazing, but kinetics is just… Kinetics. Rate law, reaction orders, differential method. Most of the time, I was just guessing the answers.

14:00 After a large latte and a well-deserved chocolate muffin, I sat down in the library cafe and started to work on the lab report. Choosing the best 24 pictures out of 200 is not so easy, and then writing footnote and everything, laborious. But after all, we have the chance to do this cool stuff, so I’m not really complaining ๐

16:00 My last Horizons session this year… We did an amazing summary of what we’d done in the past 8 weeks and we got little awards for our achievements (I got a joint “Most active member” award!!!! I am sooo happy ๐ )

18:00 I’m finally heading back to Woodward… The tube is full as usual, but that’s just how it is in London. You can get used to it after a while. I usually watch others and try to guess what they work and where they are from…

19:00 Have I mentioned that they started to sell Uncle Ben’s Sweet & Sour sauce in Tesco? I’d consider this as the greatest news of the month! I love sweet & sour. <3

20:00 I just started to work on the Woodward Newsletter, when I got a message from Andreea (the designer) to come over and interview some guys from her floor for the Humans of Woodward Hall project. One thing led to another and I ended up…

23:50 Going to bed at almost midnight. Again… ๐

Wednesday

07:00 We didn’t have a 9am today (rare exception), so I could sleep a healthy 7 hours. Makes such a difference!

08:15 Travelling in peak-time in the morning… Avoid it if you can, it’s terrible.

09:10 After a nice morning walk in Kensington Park, I tried to work on my lab report before our first tutorial. Why is it so difficult?

10:00 Maths tutorial. It might help to look at the problem sheet before the tutorial, but Maths is not too difficult, so at least I understood what was going on (as opposed to Chemistry…)

11:00 On our calendar it said: “Rig Building Briefing”. I had a vague idea that we’d need to build a rig as our last Lab project this year, but I had no idea about the when/where/what and how. (And I had to google what a “rig” is…) Well, we had a briefing, where they said:

“Construction of a closed system rig to independently control level and flow rate of water between two tanks.ย Water must be delivered from one tank to the other tank while maintaining levels.ย No by pass or recirculation in only one tank will be allowed.”

We have 8 days to come up with a complete design, and after that we’ll have 9 hours to build it. And it has to work. Properly, and without leaking. I had only one question: HOW ON EARTH WILL WE DO IT???

12:00 In the lunchtime I tried to look into the recommended textbook for the rig building,ย and I got more and more distressed. Like seriously, a rig?! HOW???!!!

13:00 My lab group agreed to meet and discuss the calculations, so we headed to the study rooms (challenge: find 3 empty seats in the study room in the Spring term). I don’t usually go to the study rooms because I prefer to study at Woodward at my desk where I have all my nice and colourful post-its but this time I spent a couple of hours there and realised a few things which I hadn’t seen before. Firstly, that the chairs are super-comfortable. And secondly, that it’s an amazing place. It’s designated to ChemEng students, so it’s very homely. And undergrad students from all years do their projects there, so for example there was a team on the opposite side of the table who did their third year Absorption column design, and it was just so… Cool! That’s why I love Imperial so much: I feel home here. And the ChemEng department is like a huge family. My huge family! <3

18:15 You know you have to stop when you close your eyes and the only thing you can see is Fick’s first law for diffusion… And when you open your eyes, there is this graph and you can’t decide any more if it’s generally this zigzag-shaped or just you are too tired to see straight…

19:00 I was waiting for this moment the whole day: eating the leftover sweet & sour chicken from yesterday!

20:00 I should really finish the Woodward Newsletter now. But just when I started, I got a message from Andreea to head down to the common room and interview some more people. Cool!

21:00 Have I mentioned that we have this new facebook page for our project? It’s getting extremely popular now! I love it!ย https://www.facebook.com/humansofwoodwardhall/

21:30 Time to finally finish up this Newsletter. Woodward needs some news!

00:30 DONE! I’m not as satisfied with this one as with the previous ones, but after all, I did it half-sleeping… ๐ My favourite part is the intro:

“Dear Woodward Citizens!ย In the midst of endless coursework and uncountable deadlines, the much awaited Woodward Newsletter is finally here! (No more pink in the lifts…) This week, it’s all about pictures: the Humans of Woodward Hall gets bigger and better, the Woodward Hoodie competition is coming to an end… And can you match the subwardens with their childhood photos? Read the newsletter and like, share, comment, vote, answer, but most importantly: enjoy!”

Thursday

06:20 It took me 20 minutes just to get to the out of my bed. Seems like another good day…

07:30 I love how there is always a “quote of the day” at the North Acton station. It’s usually about motivation and success, and it’s exactly what I need in the morning. JustLondonthings… <3

07:50 I just realised I haven’t yet mentioned the most important thing about Kensington park: the symmetric arrangement of the trees! I really like symmetry and perfect geometry, so looking around and seeing 10-15 trees perfectly aligned in a straight line is like getting a Christmas present… Infinite happiness!

08:15 Alone in ACEX250 lecture theatre, so usual, so good… That’s when I catch up with the news, write my blog, read my emails. People don’t understand how can I get up so early. And I don’t understand people who don’t understand it… ๐

09:00 We were supposed to have a Separation Mastery seminar, but the lecturer didn’t show up. Why I feel there is a problem with the mastery calendar again? It happened last week as well…

10:00 We were supposed to have a Mastery feedback session, but… Yeah, so we had 2 free hours. Perfect for finishing the conclusion of the conduction experiment…

11:00 Business Ethics. That is the strange subject which is taught by “outsiders”, lecturers from the Horizons program. We did case studies and talked about whether a business is a morally neutral activity (not really). Ohh, and by the way, the Separations lecturer came in at 11:00 to give the mastery seminar. We told him it was 2 hours ago… ๐

13:00 I’m getting better and better in eating my lunch and writing my lab report at the same time… Almost finished!

15:00 Separations tutorial. We discussed the liquid-liquid extraction, but everyone was terribly tired and disoriented so it was quite hopeless…

16:00 We came together with the rig building team to discuss the first steps in our rig building project. Well, first of all we tried to understand the handout and our tasks. Not so easy… But we have a clearer view now, and we’ve set up a vague idea about our rig. Hopefully it will work!

17:30 Ok, no more excuses. Let’s finish this conclusion thing!

18:15 Finished, printed, done! I could finally go home and eat something…

19:00 … Except that I didn’t have anything to eat… I made a quick cream of wheat, and regretted it immediately, because I realised today is our virtue area event…

20:00 … the Ice-cream party. So my calorie intake today was a smaller country’s yearly consumption, not so good. But the ice-cream was so good (and free!)

21:30 I was chatting with my flatmates because I was so tired (despite the two coffee I had) that I wasn’t able to start the next lab report.

23:30 After completing the risk assessment for the Friday’s lab session, I went to bed early. I mean earlier than in the previous days…

Friday

07:20 We didn’t have a 9am again (I don’t know what’s happened with the timetable, it’s quite unusual not to have a 9am), so I could sleep a bit longer.

08:30 There are these rare tubes which depart from the North Acton station therefore half empty even in peak-time. I managed to catch one of these, cool!

08:50 Kensington Park, classic foggy English weather, sunshine, chill temperature. The best way to start a Friday!

09:15 Let’s write my blog ๐

10:00 Maths lecture, the usual first. It was about coupled linear systems and how to solve them using the eigenvalues and eigenvectors of a matrix. I like matrices and for a change I wasn’t that tired, so it was quite a fun lecture.

11:00 Heat & Mass. Ohh god, these questions when there is a zero divided by zero in the log-mean temperature and the lecturer asks “who knows why is that and how to solve it?” and everyone starts to look at the previous notes and everyone wants to be the first to answer, and this excitement/nervousness/terrified feeling that you are sitting in the middle of the second row and the lecturer looks at you expectantly and you have absolutely no idea about the answer… Why am I sitting in the middle of the second row? I am so stupid ๐

12:00 Two hour lunchtime… There is definitely something wrong with our timetable ๐ Anyway, I worked on the lab report and started the PoM project (with the easiest bit: drawing the molecules).

14:00 The last lab session this year! I will miss it a bit, I got used to doing these experiments in my fancy Imperial lab coat ๐ This time we did the Bernoulli experiment, with a Venturi tube and 12 capillaries and hundreds of bubbles and fluctuating flow level and 120 different data points, and… Ahh, this picture says it all:

17:00 Time to go home… There are these moments in life when you are too tired to think and you just do things by routine, well, this Friday was exactly like that. Getting up, going in, having lectures, eating sandwich, doing labs, coming home… If anything would have changed (like a delay on the tube or a forgotten lab book), I just couldn’t deal with it, because I was too tired… But fortunately, it was all good and usual ๐

18:00 My new Friday obsession: Subway sandwich! A good honey oat bread with tuna and 4 different salads, nothing beats it!

19:00 Ohmm, I just watched the latest episode of The Big Bang Theory. I deserved it…

19:30 Another Friday thing: the point when you can no longer function. When you are just sitting at your desk, staring at your notes, but you can no longer see the words just black points vibrating, and you look at your lab report and it makes no sense at all, just random graphs and numbers… So at this point, you just have to stand up from your chair, turn around and collapse into your bed. Because your bed needs you. Period.

Saturday

07:30 I love waking up without an alarm. And then just lying on my bed and reading the news…

08:00 … and then getting up and getting ready for a productive day!

09:00 I have never been to the Woodward study rooms to actually study. I’ve been there for the Committee meetings a couple of times, but as my desk is full of distractions, I decided to go down and try this study room thing. I have to admit, they are amazing! Huge windows facing the cemetery and the barbecue garden, white desks/walls/chairs, zero distraction, quiet buzzing of the water pipes in the walls. The only disadvantage is the temperature: it is like ACEX250, terribly cold. I don’t know what’s this with Imperial and the temperature…

11:30 Wow, I’m done with the conclusion of the flow line experiment and it wasn’t even that bad! This study room definitely has a good impact on me… ๐

12:00 My father took me home for lunch. Ohh I was sooo hungry! My mother made fruit soup and rice with two different steaks. Just because I was “visiting” and I am the “uni student who doesn’t eat anything all week”. Which is not true but who cares when you have proper food in front of you ๐

13:00 The good thing about going home is that you open the fridge and it’s full. Then you open the cupboard and it’s also full. And it looks like there is infinite amount of food there, so you just start eating… And eating… And eating… And then you start packing food to take with you… Last time I took an entire box of chocolate powder, a jar of Nutella and 4 cartons of orange juice, just because why not… My home is basically like a free Tesco ๐

14:00 Classic Saturday afternoon: I accidentally mentioned the rig building project to my father who immediately had a design idea in mind and we spend the next 1.5 hrs making it better and better…

16:00 My mother recently signed up for Netflix and since that we usually watch Once Upon a Time every time I go home. The problem is, we can’t stop. So we ended up watching one…

17:00 … two…

18:00 … three episodes straight. Here goes my productive day…

19:00 Well, as I was already there, I stayed home for dinner. You just cannot say no when your mother offers free food…

20:00 I guess I should go back to Woodward now… Well, after eating another 2 croissants. And a sandwich. ๐

21:00 After packing my bag full of food and taking another 4 cartons of orange juice (yes, I consume an extensive amount of orange juice…), my father took me back to Woodward.

21:30 There’s still time to save the day and be productive. I went down to the study rooms again to do some work…

23:30 … until two classmates from ChemEng came in to do some group work and the silence was gone. (Note that only ChemEng students are so crazy to be in the study rooms at 23:30 on a S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y.)

00:00 I guess I should go to bed now, right?

Sunday

07:30 I had an alarm for 09:00 to wake up in time for the Free Breakfast, but I just woke up at 07:30. Interesting…

09:00 The problem with the Free Breakfast is that it’s not enough. So even though it starts at 10:00 I usually go down 15 minutes earlier to be there when the pain au chocolates arrive. But today I took my laptop and did the lab report while waiting for the food, and I felt soooo productive ๐

10:00 Pain au chocolate! Yayyy! I lost count after 6, so I don’t know how much I ate…

10:15 And it’s gone. That was quick… I took a blanket from my room to balance out the temperature in the study rooms, and spent 2 hrs to finish the evaluation for my lab report.

12:00 Lunch: leftover from yesterday. Lovely!

13:00 After finishing the lab report, the next on my to-do-list is Mastery.ย It starts with this:

“Zerg is a planet with a gravitational acceleration of 1 m/s2…”

Ohh god, the terrible Mastery jokes…

15:00 This is worse than I thought. I need a break. Blogging time ๐

16:00 I decided to go down to the study room and just finish this Mastery. It can’t be that difficult!!

18:30 After 2.5 hrs of pointless algebra and negative temperature values, I had to ask for some help. Fortunately, I live in Woodward, and the good thing about Woodward is that there is always at least one course mate around and available. Seriously, it is statistically provable…

21:00 Well, it makes a lot more sense now… One of my classmates explained the whole thing to me, and without laughing at meย when I asked a couple of terribly stupid questions, and then a couple even more stupid ones… (Thanks again!!!)ย And I realised Thermo is really not my thing ๐

21:30 When you want to have a decent sandwich for dinner and you realise you ran out of bread. Arghhhh…

22:00 I set my alarm for 5:30 tomorrow, because I need to watch the Separations videos in the morning, so I should really go to sleep now, but I also want to finish and submit the Mastery sheet. I only need to type up the last 2 questions, can’t be that long, right?

23:30 … Submitted. Obviously, it IS long if you spend 30 minutes calculating a log-mean temperature again and again, because it becomes negative, and then you realise you were subtracting kelvin from celsius all along… I think it’s really time to sleep now.

That was a “short” summary of an average week as a ChemEng student. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did ๐

## One comment for “Just an average week in Imperial…”

1. […] year, my average week looked something like this. This year has been *quite* different… So here is my average Spring Holiday, #revision, […]

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