Last week I went down to London with my mum and sister to continue searching for flats for next year. My other two housemates are in Japan and Southampton at the moment so the responsibility fell to me!
It’s hard to find a place around Imperial campus close enough to walk, which is what we really wanted, having lived further out in first year and not enjoyed the experience of getting the bus everyday through London traffic (especially early in the morning or on Friday night). Obviously most of the closest areas to Imperial (South Kensington and Chelsea for example) are far too expensive for us to find anywhere suitable, so we ended up looking around Earls Court, Fulham and West Kensington.
Since the end of term I have looked round at least half of London’s flats and houses. Things are a bit trickier this year as one of our housemates is an international student who doesn’t have a UK guarantor (someone who can sign a form to say they will pay her rent if she doesn’t). This is a real problem, especially with visas running out and houses in London costing all the money.
We did find one house that only required a guarantor for three out of the four of us, which sounded good until the estate agent lightly explained to us students, that we needed to show savings of £30000 each.
I’m volunteering at Cheltenham Science Festival this week and have just got back to the YMCA where we are staying after a long day of unloading chairs and tables and sofas and fridges off lorries and distributing them around the venues. I am not a very strong person (!) so this has been a tiring day, but absolutely worth it, because the venues look incredible now, and one of the things I got to help lift was a giant dinosaur head!
Cheltenham Festival looks like it is going to be a great experience– if anyone is interested in science communication I would thoroughly recommend applying next year.
I think they went pretty well in general, although third year exams are hard (as you might expect!)
This was the first exam season where I’ve consistently struggled for time during the exams—normally I finish with a bit of time to spare and check things over, but this year has been a mad rush right until the end for almost every exam, which was disconcerting.
Except for one day of lectures related to next year (that I am accidentally missing by going to Cheltenham Science Festival next week) and the summer balls, I am now done with uni for the year!
It’s almost the end of third year now which is really strange! I’ve still got one more year at Imperial doing my masters, but many of my friends are leaving this year. Integrated masters are a good thing to consider by the way for anyone thinking they might want to carry on in science– you can always transfer off the masters course if you change your mind, but if you do want to do a fourth year, this way it is counted as your first degree so you can take out a student loan, and it is also charged at the same price as an undergraduate course.
Children in care can get moved around a lot—the average number of moves in Hammersmith and Fulham is 3.41 per child, but it is not unusual for this number to be much higher—with around 17 placements per child. It is also likely that the number of professionals involved in their lives— social workers (who change from around 10-30 times too), looked after children nurses, foster parents, teachers, children’s rights advocates etc. etc. is much greater than the number of unpaid close friends and family.
This is why the Independent Visitor scheme exists—it allows volunteers who are not being paid and are somewhat independent of children’s rights services to spend time getting to know children and young people in care, and build up a stable, long-term relationship with them.
I’ve always wanted to go, so I am really excited! It starts straight after my exams so will hopefully be a brilliant beginning to the summer 🙂
In other good summer news Alex got accepted for an internship with First Actuarial which should be great (he actually likes statistics you see). It was his last ever interview, so this should be hope to anyone else who feels like everything’s against them after filling out innumerable applications and failing many online personality tests!
The medical research that is reported on in the news is generally rubbish—there is rarely any mention (and certainly never any critique) of what kind of research the stories are based on or how they fit into the overall picture of health research. Important studies (meta-analyses and negative results) are not reported in favour of easy stories that proclaim ‘red meat is bad’ or ‘this vitamin is good’ and are soon replaced by other stories claiming the exact opposite.
But you probably knew that. This blog isn’t about these things—and it isn’t even about the contents of an essay I recently finished looking at the rhetoric of how health and medical research is reported.
I’ve finally finally finally finished my last lab report!
Labs this year have not been fun, which is a shame because last year I actually enjoyed them, and felt like I was improving and learning things. Not so much this year.
Oh well—I’ve filled out a very angry feedback form, so with any luck the structure of third year labs might change in the future. And they’re over now! Onwards to Easter, chocolate and revision.
This year I’m feeling a lot calmer about exams in general—not because I feel any more prepared (!) but because revision over Easter is something I’ve been doing for the past five years and is now the most routine of routines.
A couple of weeks ago, the MSci projects for next year were announced for us to choose from!
MSci projects are projects that you do in the fourth year if you are taking an integrated Physics Masters, though I think there is a lot of overlap in the projects with regular Master’s projects—for people who come into Imperial just for the year.
They are pretty exciting— I think you have to log in to see the choices on the website, but I took a sneaky screenshot:
As you can see they cover pretty much every Physics topic. The actual names of the projects are like ‘A Search for Dyson Spheres and Cool Astronomical Bodies using the Wide field Infrared Survey Explorer’, ‘Physics beyond the Standard Model at the LHCb experiment… ?’ and ‘The physics of cooking’ and those are just three of the ones I am applying to!