No class in the morning at the moment so I sleep in for a bit. I do a bit of lifemin (life admin), checking emails, putting on some laundry etc. I have lunch and then head out to meet my group before our afternoon lectures. We’re working on a presentation where we need to pick one area of neuroscience (which is the course we’re doing at the moment) and then present for 20 minutes to teach the rest of the class something new. We’ve chosen to focus on phantom limb syndrome – a pain syndrome where amputees can still feel sensations, including very real pain, coming from where their limb should be.
Some people go to the gym to blow off steam and relax. Some people go shopping. Some people write or play music. I’m partial to all of those things, but if you know me at all well in real life, you will know that my true passion when it comes to down time and relaxation is cooking.
I have blogged about this before but #newyearnewme and all that so I thought I’d share some wisdom on the food front.
This year I decided to stop eating meat at home and become a social carnivore (that sounds absolutely ridiculous, what have I become).
There is one week left of the holidays (sorry medics, I know you’ve gone back already….) and I am feeling the stress. If you are studying at Imperial then there is no doubt that you had a stellar academic record before you came here. You got all of the A*s and did all of the extracurriculars and all that jazz, which is great, and you probably thought that university wouldn’t be much different. I don’t want to sound too depressing, there are many people in my year who I really admire for their intelligence and their ability to understand difficult concepts and write nuanced essays and hold down positions on various different committees.
Summer term is hard on us all. Revision, coursework and exams are all afoot and in this trying time it can become difficult to function as a responsible adult. It remains even more important this term to take care of yourself properly as this will help prevent you from becoming ill during this stressful period and reduce your general stress levels. Here are a couple of my revision period tips:
1. See your friends. This is the easiest time to block them out, put your head down and power through those late night library sessions without distraction. Whilst this may work for some, I’m not a fan of this method.
One thing you will learn pretty quickly when you arrive at Imperial is that everybody thinks their subject is the hardest. The chemists think that their insanely long lab hours make it the hardest degree, the mechanical engineers with their scary maths worksheets think they have it the worst, the medics getting up for placements at 6am everyday have a tough go of things and I have no idea what the electrical engineers do inside the EEE building all day but the ones I know like to complain a lot about their degrees. Everyone has a tough schedule, demanding courseworks and gruelling exams as well as other projects, commitments and compulsory extras (read about the Horizons courses – extracurricular humanties, language and business courses that are compulsory in some faculties – here!
Because being ill is no fun when you’re on your own and your mum isn’t there to bring you cups of tea. (Can you tell that I am coming down with a cold at this very moment?)
1. Stay hydrated. Drink lots of water and hot tea to avoid the headachey part.
2. The best offence is a good defence. Read as: EAT YOUR FRUITS AND VEGETABLES. I had absolutely horrendous freshers flu last year (as in, it lasted for three weeks and culminated in tonsilitis) and I’m pretty sure it’s because my kitchen in halls was carb central and vitamin and mineral free.
If you know me at all well, then you will know that I’m unapologetic in my love of food. There are a lot of student stereotypes that I do fall into (nap time = all the time, forgets to do laundry until only option is to wear pyjamas in public, stays up too late, leaves assignments until last moment) but one that I don’t like is the ‘students can’t cook’ stereotype. I love to cook. The way I see it, I have to eat, I have to take time out of my day to eat and if I’m going to spend fairly large chunks of my day preparing and eating food then I want that food to be delicious.
Now that I am 19 years old, a second year and living in a flat that I rent myself, I feel like I should have my life slightly more together. I had grand plans for this year. I would decorate my new room with fairy lights and candles, prepare delicious homecooked meals every week in my new kitchen, study every night at my brand new Ikea desk and keep a spotless home. Domestic goddess meets super intelligent lady biologist if you will. I would have my cake and eat it too once I’d moved into my new flat with my housemates.
So results day has been and gone, many of you are now unconditional offer holders for Imperial College…. CONGRATULATIONS! You should all feel very proud of yourselves. I know from experience that A Levels feel like the hardest thing in life at the moment you’re taking them but your hard work has paid off so well done. You can now enjoy the rest of your summer worry-free!
My summer has been great so far. I’ve just gotten back from a week in Alsace, France where I helped out at a summer camp and I had the best time. I worked with a fantastic team of people to serve the camp by washing up, cleaning, serving food and dressing up as an evil gang for a night game so that the kids could capture and ‘arrest’ us (the theme of the week was secret agents and there was a lot of back story going on… I still don’t understand all of it myself to be honest).
So, some people might think it’s weird for me to post about this on a blog that anyone can read but meh, to me it’s not something I feel I need to keep a secret and it could probably be helpful for me to talk about as I’m sure there are some amongst you lucky offer holders who do or will experience similar circumstances. So this blog is about my year leading up to my CFS/ME diagnosis.
What is CFS/ME I hear you ask? CFS/ME stands for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. They are two names for the same condition and it’s up to the sufferer which one they use… I personally prefer to say that I have CFS as it’s less confusing and it makes it easier for other people to understand.