Looking back on my time at Imperial
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.
Imperial has so many great things about it. I could sit here and tell you all about the amazing research that’s going on with Covid-19, I could tell you about the incredible moment that the Imperial team won this year’s University Challenge and a million other reason that we’re so proud to be a part of Imperial.
I love coffee. I drink coffee every single day and will probably do for the rest of my life <3. This is why I was beyond excited when I found out about the London Coffee Festival (LCF). I remember buying tickets with my friend last year during a sleep deprivation-induced haze- coursework life :). It ended up being one of the best experiences I have had in London so far.
The LCF takes place in the Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane. This year marks its tenth anniversary and it is one of the biggest gatherings for coffee lovers in Europe!
Studying in one of the most expensive cities in the world is one factor that affects people’s decision to study at Imperial College. Rest assured it can be done, but particularly for students like myself who are undertaking a one year master’s course, the different funding options means that money can sometimes get tight. An upside of the course though, is its flexibility in allowing its students to have part-time jobs. Indeed, most students from the Science Communication Unit have part-time jobs, myself included.
I have previously mentioned my job as an Observatory Explainer at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, but have not delved into many details.
British Summer time officially begins tomorrow. Although this does mean we lose an hour of sleep, it also heralds the beginning of warmer and sunnier weather.
We have already had some unprecedented warm days so far this year, raising concerns for our planet’s welfare and the effect that this has on the ecosystem. Whilst this shouldn’t be forgotten, our body needs sunlight to function. Sunlight activates the production of vitamin D, which is a vital ingredient for lowering blood pressure, protecting against inflammation and improving brain function. Not to mention the benefits to mental health and sleep quality. Summertime cannot come quick enough for me!
I have an unusual routine every Thursday night. I pull on a pair of swimming trunks, a dive mask and snorkel, and a pair of fins before diving into the deep pool at Putney Leisure Centre. I am an underwater rugby player.
Underwater rugby is played in a 3D-environment where attacks can come from anywhere: above, below and all around you.
Underwater rugby (UWR) started life in Germany in the 1960s as a way for divers to stay fit during the winter. It quickly took on a life of its own and today, it is played in much of Europe, as well as the US, Australia, Colombia and Singapore.
London, known to many as “The Big Smoke” has historically, and still today, been synonymous with air pollution, traffic jams and intense urban hustle and bustle. BUT, there is another side to the city – its “greener” side. London, despite the nicknames and assumptions, actually boasts 8 Royal Parks and countless smaller green spaces. So, if you need an escape from city life – the parks are a perfect saviour!
In my opinion, probably one of the best known parks in London for multiple reasons. Found in the Paddington area, this park is HUGE – 142 hectares to be exact.
Thankfully I managed to avoid being dragged to see the Oxford Street Christmas lights this year but as my Christmas-loving boyfriend was visiting it would be rude to not show him any and he was happy with seeing some of the Regent Street lights during a day out in London.
As I described in an earlier blog post, work last week consisted of mostly Christmas parties! Starting off with the the Natural History Museum Student Association Christmas Party and moving on to the Soil Biodiversity Group Christmas gathering where my supervisor Paul Eggleton tried on my Christmas hat! Sadly I was unable to join the group Christmas meal afterwards but it was great catching up with volunteers, students and staff.
I have been experiencing the twin miseries of house hunting and a heavy cold, my mum came down to help with the latter, but to brighten the day we also visited the Camellia show at Chiswick Gardens in west London.
Chiswick House is a neo-Palladian villa built by the third Earl of Burlington in 1729. The conservatory was originally built for growing fruit but was then given over to Camellias which were new arrivals from plant explorers in China. Some of these plants are still here, but were nearly lost when the conservatory fell into disrepair. A £12.1 million project to restore the gardens was unveiled in June 2010.
I took a day off from studying to visit the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill, South East London. The museum has been on my ‘places to visit list’ for sometime, and I was particularly looking forward to meeting its famous walrus specimen, which even has its own Twitter account.
Since rain was forecast we decided to look around the grounds of the museum before heading inside. The building is in the arts and style and was founded in 1901 by Frederick John Horniman. The wall features a mosaic called Humanity in the House of Circumstance.
The museum has extensive gardens which include a bandstand overlooking the London skyline and some farm animals.
Studying in London gives plenty of opportunities for ‘going tourist’ and visiting attractions in London, so for a treat after two busy weeks away in France my friend Andrew visited and we went to see the Tower Bridge Exhibition. The Exhibition had been in the London newspapers recently as it had just opened a glass floor on the high level walkways, giving views from over 100 feet above the River Thames, and so we wanted to pay a visit – despite Andrew being afraid of heights!
Tower Bridge is in the eastern part of London so it was exciting to see a part of London I am not familiar with, emerging from the Tower Hill underground station we saw the Tower of London – another attraction on the list to visit while I am here studying.