As final year undergraduate, I’m marathoning towards the end of my life at Imperial as I shall depart for a different university for my postgraduate studies, scribbling away on neurotransmission in the nervous system and hoping my insights would somehow come to light by an aspiring researcher, and musing on my time here in between breaks…
What I’ve achieved The ability to exercise academic freedom and encouraged to be critical. Being critical towards science advances it and we should always question knowledge on how understanding can be improved or different ways of looking at a problem.
What I enjoyed I used to swim competitively at school, so even though I’m not good enough to try out for the College swim team I enjoyed a casual swim during first and second years. The public and fellow students using the Ethos pool have a good sense of what constitutes as fast, middle and slow lanes so luckily not a lot of body-over-body and getting- kicked-in-the-face drama. It’s quite impressive that often the fast lane has swimmers with national times if you’re up for a challenge.
This links back to what I’ve achieved but people at College, both staff and students, are not afraid to speak out about their believes and ideas in a respectful and justifiable manner. Whether it be Divest Imperial, Climate Change, Brexit, March for Science, Women’s March, Black History/LGBTQI+ Month, the diversity of our community means there’s also more celebration for our differences yet collective interest in science. There is somewhere to belong for everyone in cultural, political and charitable societies.
What I’ve learnt There is a time to work hard and there is a time to play hard. There will be days when all-nighters are necessary, but you can balance it out by talking to friends and not being afraid to speak out about my problems. The majority of people you end up being friends with will not judge you, genuineness is always appreciated.
In hindsight, my time at Imperial wasn’t all rainbows and smiles but COVID and how prepared the College has been for online learning has shown me that we really are surrounded by knowledgeable professors. The right university should challenge you and not be too easy nor difficult, which Imperial has succeeded in delivering.
Professors are happy to answer questions to see that there are students that listen to their lectures and even happier to talk about their research, which is a great opportunity to network. It still amuses me to this day calling them at first name basis at Imperial compared to school that makes them seem a lot more approachable.
What I wish I explored more of
Blyth Gallery. During my photoshoot of the cheery eye-catching display of self you can see in the circular icon, I was told to meet at the Blyth Gallery. Now I was not expecting nor had any knowledge of a gallery existing within Imperial, given that it is a STEM university. I was surprised to find that not only are there quirky displays of modern art by individuals within and outside the Imperial College community but also music and art practice rooms in addition to those in the Union Building rented out to clubs and societies.
Centre of Academic English. Perhaps should’ve brushed up more of my English during my time here… The style of writing English to a publishable standard is vastly different from the skills needed in descriptive creative writing back in school. This is particularly important in 2nd year onwards when you start to develop lab writeups with a more science-journal-like style. In exams, it is good practice to draft, structure your essay and link paragraphs together. Examiners love subheadings (and labelled diagrams). However, the classic PEE(L) structure is still helpful!
Charing Cross Campus Reynolds Building. You always hear about the Reynolds Bar from medics and how their campus (justifiably so?) is better than the main campus. Tightly knit and close to Hammersmith, it doesn’t pale in comparison to the White City nor South Ken campus.