Hi everyone. Firstly, Merry Christmas and happy new year to all:) I don’t actually celebrate Christmas myself, but with all the Christmas vibes and that happy, festive mood going around, it’s a bit sad that I’m spending the winter hols alone (T_T) Well, I guess it means that I get some studying done so it’s not all bad.
Anyway, even without the cheer and fairy lights decorating the streets, London is still an amazing place and I’m truly grateful that I get to study here for 3-years-and-2-terms more to come. Yes, the weather is colder compared to Malaysia (and sort off hard to get used to; I’m not sure I’m actually used to it yet), and I do miss Malaysian food sometimes (I’m starting to get sick of eating bread all the time), and the fact that I’m kinda disappointed about the lack of snow here; but the sights, and the views, and culture and people, and even the weather sometimes, still takes my breath away even though it’s been (almost?) 4 months since I got here.
So I’ve done various things to make some cash on the side:
- Private tutoring
- Turinglab (Tutoring at imperial)
- Undergraduate teaching assistant
and for those keen students looking to make money on the side I’d definitely suggest private tutoring, UserTesting and uTest. If you haven’t heard of uTest, its a website where you test any app possible: games, payment, echo etc and based on your bug finding skills you get paid. Some test cases give you payment just for following the steps, even if you don’t find any bugs.
UserTesting is basically talking about your opinion of a website for around 10-15 minutes, for 10 USD which is pretty good.
The guide to a perfect student Christmas dinner
So for the perfect Christmas dinner in halls, you ideally need: a good number of hungry students, at least two types of meat, a vat of gravy and a mountain of pigs-in-blankets. To be that little bit extra, like us (and the royal family), you could also add a lobster centre piece! Between 6 kitchens and 8 people cooking, we were able to feed 12 people, for only £8 each!!
Rather surprisingly, the dish that was eaten up first was the Brussel sprouts, traditionally a vegetable that gets slightly neglected! However, here are my top tips to preparing and cooking these surprisingly edible greens, in a recipe otherwise known as “sprouts drowning in bacon”.
London is a big place, 1,572 km² to be exact, so you definitely need to know your way around. Whether it’s to shave off those precious seconds on the morning commute so you can lie in bed that bit longer or simply because you don’t want to walk in the rain, one of the most iconic transport systems has got you covered.
The Underground: A.K.A The Tube
Riding at high speed in a metal tube down a very dark tunnel, miles underground sounds like a great way to travel, right? Well, that’s basically the Tube! The massive network of underground tunnels crisscrossing all over London is one of the quickest (and more pricey) ways to get round on public transport.
And 11 other times London made me go WTF
Housing agents work fast in London. 48 hours after I landed, I found myself in a Foxton’s Mini cruising up Holland Park with a bottle of sparkling water in hand, because that’s how Foxton’s rolls.
“See that SUV? It looks like Mr Beckham is home.” said Ben the housing agent. “And the place we’re going to see is right on the next street.”
Sadly, the offer I put down for that sweet little studio was quickly thrown out, along with all hope of brunching/BFF-ing with the Beckhams. But if there’s one thing London has a knack for, it’s an extraordinary ability to be, well, extraordinary.
So here I am a few weeks into term and, like hundreds of other new students, I’m trying to get to grips with the new routine and understand what’s expected of me, what are my priorities, balancing the early beginnings of my course-load with the host of other opportunities & activities available. How do I settle quickly into a new routine? That seems to be the most pressing question. Well a good starting point is getting into College each morning, which itself depends very much on the question of deciding where to live and finding accommodation (and I’ll have more to say about that process in a future blog…) For the time-being let me just confess that despite my number one criterion when flat-hunting being a maximum of 30 minutes walking to Imperial, I somehow ended up near Vauxhall Bridge- about 6 km away, taking at least a good hour’s walk.
“Are you crazy? Going to university in your 50s! What on earth are you thinking? But you’re already a grand-father, why do you want to become a student?”
These were not the actual questions people asked me; they were normally much more polite and restrained when I told them that I’d be going off to do an MSc in Sustainable Energy at Imperial College in London. “How do you feel about becoming a student?” was the typical question I was asked many times by family and friends in the run-up to the start of term. How to start answering that? Excitement?
So it’s International Women in Engineering Day this Friday!
I’m glad of the existence of such a remarkable day!
For it’s a day that appreciates the women in this field
One that inspires girls to use the mind they wield
Let me introduce you to my best friends
Whom which I would stick with until the world ends
Introducing the craziest women in engineering I know
We are the four girls in EIE and you’re probably like “whoa?!”
Zoë is in a deep-seated relationship with mathematics…
Seriously she’s interested if it’s got anything to do with quadratics except when she’s busy with Acrobatics
Belen is the human embodiment of robotics and totally into electronics.
In 3 years’ time, I’ll be graduating from Imperial as an undergrad. Today I got to see behind the scenes of the big day, by volunteering at the Postgraduate Graduation Ceremony.
First year is great and you’re going to have loads of fun but, if you’re anything like me, and you’re starting first year you’re going to be scouring these blogs for advice and reassurance! I’ll try!
You will make friends. They might be you’re hallmates, coursemates, in the club you joined, met them at a club (most likely on the way back) or you decided to crash their table one night (yes, don’t judge me, it worked!). Wherever. You will make friends and you’ll probably find it a lot easier than in school, you’ll always have science in common!
Make it easier on yourself though!