From an Imperial Survivor, I mean Graduate!
It’s crazy to think that its already been 3 years since I was moving into halls to begin my Mathematics degree at Imperial. Carting box after box into my new room at Beit hall, to say I was nervous would have been an understatement. Coming from a small all girls school I didn’t know what to expect and I didn’t even know if I remembered how to make friends… but not for long. Life at Imperial was so busy, from a challenging academic course to tons of clubs and societies there was hardly any time for me to even spend worrying!
As the summer term draws to an end, it’s a good idea to summarise what it was like for me. This time was exceptional since it was my first encounter with full remote studying (apart from pre-pandemic self-learning episodes with text tutorials and YouTube educational videos).
Compared to autumn and spring terms, the number of modules for second year computing students was much smaller. We only had to work on a group project and the introduction to law module.
The project was called “Designing for Real People” (DRP). In groups of 4, we had to create a web or mobile application that solved a real-world problem.
Before I formally retire from this role since I’ll be graduating (yay!), I wanted to comment on work experience and the project viva, which is the presentation and discussion that takes place after you submit your final year project/dissertation…
I couldn’t get any internships, I’m screwed!
You’re really not. There are lots of activities you can do that can enhance your CV whilst at uni or during term breaks. For uni, there are part-time positions you can sign up for like student bloggers (me!), the President Ambassador’s scheme, and student caller campaigns. You can check out fellow student blogger Kinan’s experience with those schemes by clicking the hyperlinks.
My Final Year Teaching Module
One of the absolute highlights of my time at Imperial has been taking part in M3T, a module offered in the Mathematics department that is titled “Communicating Mathematics”. This project module basically involves spending 1 day a week in a secondary school during term 2 of your final year. Since the secondary school I attended is very nearby to Imperial, I was lucky to do this project there.
During my first 2 or 3 visits I spent most of my time just observing lessons. During the term I would be focusing on 3 groups of students, Yr9 middle set, bottom set Yr11 preparing for GCSEs and a Yr12 Further Maths class.
# From a current EU student to prospective EU students
If you’re reading this blog, chances are you either received an offer *CONGRATULATIONS* or you’re thinking of applying to a STEM degree. Yet, something seems to be holding you back and you’re trying to convince yourself why you should choose Imperial College London. You’re scared of leaving your home town? You’re worried that you may not keep up with the high academic challenges? What should you expect? So many questions with so few answers… I know how stressful it can be to leave everything behind, especially that familial cocoon you grew up in.
As I have completed all of my degree assessments I thought it would be nice to end my time at Imperial and role as a student blogger with an overview of how my degree went.
You touch on the basics of biochemistry and molecular biology, namely amino acids, DNA, and biology of cells. The science is towards the pure side and if you were good at chemistry there are enzyme mechanisms. What I think was interesting was bacteria and genetics in bacteria which wasn’t covered in most secondary school syllabuses at all. Don’t underestimate these little things they can be quite complex!
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.
In the summer before Year 13, my family decided to take me university hopping around the UK. We’d go to different cities, stay at a local hotel, attend an open day, explore for a day or two and then move swiftly on to the next. Sometimes we’d visit 3-4 unis back to back – no stops, just songs blasting from the car speakers and my dog jumping up at every red light. I felt like a traveller (minus the caravan).
Back then I had no clue what I was going to do. I’d always wanted to study medicine, but I just wasn’t sure if I was passionate enough to dedicate 5-6 years of my life to one subject.
If you’re a first year student, sorting out accommodation is straightforward: a place in an Imperial hall of residence is guaranteed in nearly all cases. The situation is different for returning students though. They can’t live in first-year halls unless they find a vacancy (you have to be lucky here) or become a hall senior. Because of that, most returning students decide to live in private accommodation. However, there’s an option to continue living in halls without taking responsibilities of a hall senior or hunting for vacancies in first-year halls. It’s Evelyn Gardens, a set of three halls (Willis Jackson, Southwell, Holbein) located just a 15-20 minute walk away from the South Kensington campus.
Finishing online exams and my top tips
At 10:55am yesterday, I clicked submit on my final ever exam paper. In my head I had always dreamed of this day. We would finish our exam and head to the union. We would bask in the sun on Beit quad before enjoying some well deserved curly fries and pints.
Instead I found myself sitting at my desk staring at the paper and notes all over my desk, (thank you open book exams), I didn’t quite know what to do with myself. It felt a little anticlimactic. Here I was, finishing my last ever undergraduate exam, basically finishing my degree, just sitting at my desk staring at the same blank wall I have been staring at for the past 10 weeks.