Everything that was going through my head when I firmed Imperial
For any perspective students reading this post, you’re probably going through the daunting process of selecting your firm and insurance choices on UCAS. I remember this being quite an important decision and a lot of time and thought went into making it so I thought I would share some of my thoughts on choosing universities.
After being a student caller, speaking to perspective students and answering all the questions over the phone, I started thinking about all of the reasons I myself chose Imperial and I thought it would be useful to share some of them with you.
In my post about affording London prices I suggested bringing lunches to work, just to save money. No matter how busy I am, I do it most days, thanks to a collection of delicious and ridiculously quick recipes I collected (let me know if you’d like me to post them!). However, sometimes I treat myself to a lunch at Imperial. Where do I go?
At South Kensington campus we have a big choice of catering outlets that serve everything from sandwiches and salads to Japanese and Indian. About 11am they post the menu of the day, which helps to make an informed choice (and procrastinate from work for a few minutes).
If you’re thinking about studying maths at Imperial, you might be wondering what kind of problems first year studenst are supposed to solve in the tutorials. Last term I was a graduate teaching assistant (GTA) for a course Probability and Statistics I. Let’s see an example of a question posed by the lecturer, prof. Emma McCoy.
Imagine that n people, including yourself and a friend, are seated at random in a row of n chairs. What is the probability that you sit next to your friend?
This problem is easier than you think, especially after following the lectures. I’ll explain how to tackle this problem here.
It’s nearly the end of term and I don’t really have that much to report on! General Relativity is still crazy interesting, Quantum Information is still confusing and my Masters project and business course are still going well.
Last week we had our flat Christmas dinner and by some miracle all my old housemates were free to attend. It has been really nice to manage to keep the tradition going and still have a successful gigantic dinner even though our kitchen is tiny, everyone is so busy with deadlines and exams and we only at the last minute remembered that one of our housemates was a vegetarian!
So Freshers finally starts next week! Imperial offers a fair amount of stuff, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, but Halls also offer a lot more, which I can’t remember if you find out about beforehand or not. My halls took us to clubs, for a boat party, on a bus tour, paintballing, to markets and loads more stuff.
I hope you are all excited! I am, even though it’s my third one!
I am sure there are enough freshers tips (including mine!) )for anyone nervous to read and make themselves more nervous, so instead of that, I have a made a freshers map.
A lot of anticipation. There is still a month and a bit to go until freshers, so do you look at work? Do you try and contact people from your course? Do you go out and buy lots of crockery and bath mats? Do you simply try to pretend this big scary life event isn’t going to happen?
The simple answers are no, no, yes and no! Now to the more complicated questions.
Will I fit in?
Everyone you will be around is having the same unnerving experience as you. You would have to try pretty hard not to fit in.
I wrote blithely a couple of weeks ago about ‘how much of an expert’ at renting and moving houses in London I should be by about now. It is now now, however, and that was very very very very wrong. To demonstrate how much of a non-expert I am here is a list of some things that you should NOT do when moving house:
(If I sound exasperated [by which I mean I definitely do sound exasperated], that is because I AM. Brush off the sarcasm and my obvious inability to let things go and hopefully there are some genuinely helpful points here somewhere…)
1) Don’t wait until right at the end of term when everyone has gone back to their actual homes or their actual other countries.
I am now one week into my Easter Holidays, and deep into revising quantum mechanics. Those of you who are hoping to study Physics at university are probably a bit confused by my constant moaning about it. Quantum, after all is a strange and enticing subject, the topic of many interesting popular science books and promises to provide deep insights into the counterintuitive and fundamental nature of everything. 😮 I can empathise. I too was super excited to learn about quantum, but it turned out not to be really what I was expecting, especially last year when learning all the names and equations without really getting into it left me completely baffled.
Hey. Since this blog is probably mostly read by prospective students trying to figure out if Imperial is for them, I thought I’d answer some of the questions people ask me about Imperial.
What is it like living with ‘The Ratio’?
For any of you that don’t know, The Ratio is the ridiculously high number of boys to girls at Imperial. It’s different in different subjects- I think medicine and biology don’t really have problems with this for instance, but it is hugely noticeable when you first move in. There may very well be only one or two girls on your floor in halls for example, which can be odd, especially for the girls.