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.
When you’re a student, it’s good time to start serious thinking about your career development. CVs, cover letters, interviews, internships, graduate schemes… all of these can be daunting for someone unfamiliar with the professional world.
Thankfully, Imperial doesn’t leave you alone with that as Careers Service offers you all necessary career development support. Don’t underestimate its value! In my case, Careers Service has proved useful several times already.
1. Friends – Highlights of my time at Imperial so far include meeting like-minded students from around the world and different cultures. Imperial is a true melting pot and with the current situation we are all back home, separated by mountains and seas. With friends from England, China, Australia, France, USA, Taiwan, I have realised how challenging it can be to catch up owing to all the different time zones. Luckily we have technology to rescue us # teams and zoom. For all those who have continuously supported me, thank you. I look forward to seeing you all in 3D soon!
Celebrating Kindness for Mental Health Awareness Week 2020
Kindness comes in many shapes and forms: saying thank you to a key worker, giving someone a slice of your freshly baked banana bread, or even just encouraging your friends. But as life goes on, and we hold the door open again and again or help an elderly neighbour with running errands, we can often forget to be kind to one particular person: ourselves.
With exams, a pandemic and the daily stresses of life, we can get so caught up in being the best person for everyone else. We try being supportive to all of our friends, family and those around us but sometimes we forget about what’s best for us.
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the way we live in just a few days/weeks. One of the consequences of that is the new exam organisation at Imperial this year. Using my own computer at home, I have already sat two remote open-book exams and I am about to have another six assessments in the next 3 weeks.
In this post, I am not going to comment on fairness of the Imperial’s decision to hold remote examinations. What I would like to do instead is describing what they look like in our department.
Are you seriously thinking about a research career? If so, there are many opportunities to try out leading-edge research as an Imperial undergraduate student. Some time ago, I wrote a post about IROP, a programme that allows you to have a research internship at prestigious institutions abroad. Today, I would like to write a few words about UROP, which gives you equally-good placements at Imperial itself.
As my final year exams commence, the end of my time as a student here at Imperial is fast approaching. Three of the best years of my life have flown by and I couldn’t be sadder to be leaving. Don’t get me wrong, Imperial has had its downs as well, challenging exams and plenty of coursework, but there have been way more ups, which have kept me going.
In the first week of March, my life was pretty much in the “business as usual” mode. Attending lectures, meeting friends, working on group projects, chilling out. Yeah, nothing special.
In the second week, something began to change. The COVID-19 situation was becoming more and more serious. There was a growing pressure on Imperial to start delivering remote classes as soon as possible. People got concerned about upcoming tests and exams in the last week of term. My coronavirus anxiety increased so much that I started dropping classes to stay in my room in Evelyn Gardens instead (normally, I don’t skip lectures at all!).
After a week of lying around the house, “getting used to” isolation, as I like to call it, and feeling a little bit sorry for myself, I decided it was finally time to start revising for those all important final exams. Except, there was one big problem, I had absolutely no motivation to do much work. I would wake up and just not know where to start, it felt overwhelming that there was so much work to do.
I wanna take a moment to say that it is totally okay to not feel completely normal right now.
Ever since the World Health Organisation’s classification of COVID-19 as a pandemic, a new face of the world was unveiled to us. A world where countries are progressively shutting down borders and locking down. A world where supermarket pasta and toilet roll aisles are ravaged and international capital cities turning into ghost towns. A world that I took for granted.
Taking a step back from this exceptional sanitation crisis and with the social distancing, I realised how elements of what seemed part of a natural lifestyle were in fact blessed treasures: walking in to university daily, picnicking in Hyde Park with some friends, attending workshops, conferences, art exhibitions, socials and the list goes on!