The Spring Term lasted from the 11th of January to the 23rd of March, which fell on a Wednesday. This was a bit odd, as I would have expected the term to end on Friday, but apparently Easter came early this year.
On that note, happy belated Easter! I hope you spent some quality time with your family and loved ones, and that your celebrations for the resurrection of Jesus Christ were lovely.
As for me, I spent Easter with my family. I am very glad to have come back home after 6 months. If you don’t know, my home is Sint Maarten, a beautiful, tiny island in the Caribbean.
At Imperial we are really lucky that everyone gets a guaranteed place on an intercalated BSc course, hence why we are here for a hefty 6 years.
During an intercalated BSc all medical students take a step away from the normal day-to-day life of a medical student and enter the realm of essays and deadlines for a year in 4th year. At the end of year 4 we all gain a BSc in the course of our choice. Pretty cool. We spend September-Feb in lectures and then have our exams, and then we get to complete a research project (or a short course) for a few months.
Every year the Natural History Museum Student Association organises a conference held for Museum-based students to present their research. This year I am on the Student Association Committee so was involved in helping with the conference, and also presented a poster and a talk.
Organising a conference is hard work! There are sponsors to find, speakers to invite, programmes to produce, catering to arrange, and things you might not even consider such as booking porters for the tables and ensuring Museum security procedures are kept to. Organisation began before Christmas but the last few weeks leading up to the event were the busiest, and thankfully it all went well.
This week called for celebration as after 6 years at Imperial we sat our last ever (hopefully) medical school exams!
Six years preparing for one exam?
Yep! Six years of preparation- no pressure!
It’s not that bad; every year has end-of-year exams which you need to pass before entering the next year. Thankfully therefore finals tests you on useful clinical knowledge that you will need to start work, not the details of the Kreb’s cycle or minor anatomical details.
How do they test you on everything?
Exams take a few formats which cover practical and clinical skills, as well as theory.
I’ve mentioned the rig building project already, but let’s refresh the basics again:
“Construction of a closed system rig to independently control level and flow rate of water between two tanks. Water must be delivered from one tank to the other tank while maintaining levels. No by pass or recirculation in only one tank will be allowed.”
We had a week to come up with a design, and then 7 hours to build it. It sounds manageable, but we had a couple other deadlines, so it was terribly exhausting and most of the time I was happy to be able to stand straight and not fall asleep…
I’ve lost all control and can’t stop going on trips. It was was meant to be to Devon, but ended up heading to Wales almost last minute. This worked out pretty well as we got lovely, all be it expensive, accommodation with a cute old couple that gave us food and actual real beds with actual real pillows! Bam.
A few experienced people went off to paddle some nice grade 4, called Nantygwyryd…or so we thought. They returned displeased and it turned out to be a lovely grade 4 scrape. Apparently they actually had to exit the boats and walk a few times.
Living in London is busy. Studying at Imperial is manic. Resting does not come easily.
This week I found myself challenged to rest. Everyone works better when they take breaks as well as study, but I have recently found that this is easier said than done! I find it takes a lot of confidence to be able to take a good break without worrying about work. This is particularly true in the run up to exams.
Everywhere I seem to look people are working. I try to be disciplined and take breaks, but find it hard to relax. I start thinking about work, worrying about things I need to do or I simply cannot sit still!
Since my fellow blogger colleagues started to write about their average weeks, I thought I might try something similar… The only problem was that I always forgot to start it in the past couple of Mondays 😀 But this time I didn’t, so here is
my average week as a ChemEng student and Woodward resident.
05:45 Time to wake up! I like to wake up early because the tube is horrible after 8, so I try to avoid that period. Hence I get up when an average Computing student goes to bed…
07:00 The weather is cold but the sun is shining, the tube is half empty, the birds are chirping.
I can’t cook to save my life. That was the greatest certainty I had, while stumbling confusedly from the stage in life called ‘moving out’. I’d never really needed to cook for myself (except on duke of ed over a dodgy portable oil stove) and whenever I tried, it either took FOREVER, or my mum would casually take over half way in an attempt to save the disaster. I mean I knew the general concept, its not rocket science, more chemistry 😛 … But, the fact remains that when I first arrived in halls I was completely clueless about food. What to buy from the supermarket?
Before my interview, I called anyone I knew who had anything to do with Imperial and read every student blog that even mentioned the word. If that’s why you’re here, hey. Hopefully an extra insight will prove useful.
Outline of the day
This can obviously change between subjects and years, but the general outline is likely to stay the same.
The general idea is that you get a tour of the university from a student, along with a lunch, before meeting the human that decides your fate interviewer. This is the opportunity to ask questions about student life, stresses, work load and living in London, which may be more helpful answered by someone freshly going though it all.