I have absolutely loved this year so far. I have been doing a BSc in Global Health here at Imperial- so essentially taking a compulsory “year out” of medicine to learn in depth about a topic that interests you. My module 1 focused on Global Infectious Diseases, Module 2 focused on Global Non- infectious diseases and now I am doing Module 3 which is essentially everything else (health systems, technology..)! The whole degree is very student led, with a lot of our teaching time being interactive. We have debates on global mental health issues, have discussions about the history of sex workers and their health, and then we also learn how to critically appraise and analyse the global health learnings and research.
Wahoo I am halfway through medical school, officially! We had our ICSM Class of 2019 Halfway Dinner on my birthday (15th October if you need to put in diary for next year).
It was such a lovely evening, we had the whole year group come down to a hotel in London. Everyone looked so good in black tie, and the venue was so well decorated! It was all organised by a committee of people in our year group, and I can’t believe what they managed to pull off.
Evening started off with a drinks reception. It was so bizarre seeing the whole year together in black tie… like a REALLY formal lecture.
Earlier this year Imperial got thinking about how they could celebrate some of our alumni’s notable achievements. We honestly have some amazing alumni! Dennis Gabor, who worked at Imperial, actually invented holography and won the Nobel Prize for Physics for it in 1971. His work formed the basis of the holograms that are in use today.
The student recruitment and outreach team contacted me to let me know that they were purchasing a Musion EyeSay hologram to temporarily be placed in the Main Imperial College Entrance. They asked me if I would like to be the face and voice of the hologram…of course I said yes that is so ridiculous.
So there is a brand new cohort of thousands of students starting at Imperial. Imperial has buildings all over London (Halls, hospitals, research labs…!) and so it can get a bit daunting to have to leave the luxury of your mum and dads car to now travelling by yourself through London.
So I have come up with some top tips for students travelling around London!
Number 1: Make sure you download CityMapper! It honestly will save your life when you are lost on the “blue line” and 30 minutes late for something. It will get your location and let you know how/how long it will take you to get to your destination.
Warning: This is what I have gathered from this all. I could have bits and bobs completely wrong here, so please do correct me.
So today I was on student finance England, trying to work out how much debt I was in. Luckily for me, if you log into www.studentloanrepayment.co.uk you can check it out.
The below is a very honest account of my debt, hopefully will be able to lay it out honestly for prospective students about what they are facing.
So, I have a grand total of: £45,274.67 debt after just 3 years of studying, and 3.9 interest rate.
I am halfway through this 6 year degree- woah. And I am having a bit uncertainty as to where to go from here, especially as pretty much all my school friends are graduating now and starting real life. Questions have popped up like what do I want to do for a BSc project, what shall I do for money in 5th and 6th year, what speciality am I thinking that I eventually want to train in and ultimately…is medicine for me still?
People have doubts in life, and it really is not uncommon to have doubts about whether medicine is the right career path for you (especially when you are racking up a huge debt for it).
The people you meet in 3rd year on the wards of hospitals are weird and wonderful. Every student is so different and approaches the clinical year in a really unique way. However, there are quite a few people we all tend to see wondering about on the wards, and here they are:
The common room greeter
This guy/girl is always in the student common room. They always seem to have their teaching cancelled, moved or “cut short”. Their consultants normally don’t really turn up and so they are left with a heavy heart and a coffee sitting in the common room waiting for a potential teaching opportunity.
So ironic. I honestly cannot believe the amount of times I have come down with something this year as a clinical student. Maybe it is to do with picking stuff up at hospitals, or perhaps it is due to my increase in trips to the dodgy takeaway places this year. Either way, I am not doing too well at the moment and it is SOOOOO FRUSTRATING.
I have had this minor cough for a few weeks, then on Monday morning I woke up ready for uni but I couldn’t speak. My throat was so swollen ( I actually cried because I couldn’t talk…that’s bad.).
At Imperial we are really lucky that everyone gets a guaranteed place on an intercalated BSc course, hence why we are here for a hefty 6 years.
During an intercalated BSc all medical students take a step away from the normal day-to-day life of a medical student and enter the realm of essays and deadlines for a year in 4th year. At the end of year 4 we all gain a BSc in the course of our choice. Pretty cool. We spend September-Feb in lectures and then have our exams, and then we get to complete a research project (or a short course) for a few months.
Living in London is amazing. There are so many opportunities and such an incredible atmosphere, however it is a massive burden of cost. Having been at uni for 3 years now (still 3 more to go…) I have a 3 TOP TIPS on how to save money living as a student in London (especially in South Kensington…so expensive)
1-Travel: Make sure you have signed up for your student oyster and linked it with your railcard to save 1/3 on travel! https://tfl.gov.uk/fares-and-payments/adult-discounts-and-concessions/railcards
2- Social: Make sure you sign up to the Times Student. It has saved so many of here at Imperial. You can sign up to the Times Student Scheme for £20 for the year.