After what feels like ages (actually, 5 months is quite a long time!) I have finished my fieldwork, hurrah! I sampled soil and leaf-litter invertebrates, and microbes, in total of 38 sites in 6 different land-use types (deciduous forest, coniferous forest, heathland, pasture, cropland and urban areas) with the aim to compare how species differ between them.
Despite having taken many pictures outside the Royal Albert Hall, I’ve never once been inside (the auditorium). It’s such a beautiful and iconic venue to study and live right next to, so I can’t wait to actually see the main hall, where concerts, the BAFTAs and Imperial Graduations take place.
Yes, that’s right, Imperial Graduates trace the same paths as red carpet walkers 😆.
Undergraduates also, rather unusually, graduate in the October after they finish their degree, rather than that summer. Since Imperial’s student pool is so international, it will be lovely to see everyone when they return for graduation. This October graduation also has a special name: commemoration day, and during my Fresher’s fortnight, it also had a snapchat filter 😁
I’m not graduating for another few years, but I will be volunteering at the Post Graduate Graduation Day this May.
Last year, my average week looked something like this. This year has been *quite* different… So here is my average Spring Holiday, #revision, #messedupsleepingcycle day 🙂
04.30am Time to go to bed… 😀
01.00pm It’s always nice to wake up and realise that you’re already late for lunch, let alone for breakfast. But nevertheless, I had breakfast, a laaaarge coffee and some vitamins to boost my brain. Or for placebo-effect, who knows…
02.30pm Checking emails, writing emails, answering emails. I mean, if you work as the Comms Assistant for your Department you sometimes get random emails like a lecturer writing “Hi Dora, could you please do a photoshoot of my research group because I heard you are good at this” which just sort of… makes your day 🙂
03.00pm After much procrastination, it is time to start some actual revision.
Here’s to a term that’s brought me so much joy,
Materials Trip to the Culham Nuclear Centre
That’s taken me beyond my limits and expanded the shores of my life.
RSM Spring Dinner 2017
Here’s to a term that’s taught me life skills,
Election Campaign for RSM Regalia Officers
Challenged the way I think and taught me what not to sacrifice.
Group Trip to Santander, Spain, Jan 2017 (Yep, it was during term time, but we didn’t miss a minute of a lecture!)
Here’s to the people that have surprised me,
Inspired me and absolutely mesmerised me.
March arrives and it’s time for the annual Natural History Museum (NHM) Student Conference! I am on the student committee and so help with the organisation. There’s a lot to do organising a conference but we learnt from last year and with new members on the team it seemed a lot less stressful this year! Despite the stress and extra work being part of a committee and helping organising a conference is a great opportunity to learn useful skills and make contacts, so I highly recommend getting involved with one if you can.
Talks are compulsory for 3rd year PhD students like me so although I had spoken at the two previous years’ conferences (I need the practice :\ ) I was yet again up on stage. It was quite fun actually as last year I talked about developing my citizen science project Earthworm Watch which was just about to launch, now it has been running a year so I was able to give the first results from the project.
So after much deliberation, I’ve decided to do a research abroad program next year
(If I achieve 2:1 and above).
This is known as the ERASMUS & Swiss-EU Mobility Program.
Why do I want to do this?
1 – I enjoy studying and living at different cultural environments.
2 – I can spend an entire term, working (not shadowing) in a host research lab of my choice.
You don’t have that kind of opportunity as an undergraduate,
unless you do an industry placement program.
(But that’s the story for another day…)
3 – I want to take this extra time to better plan my future career.
As a prospective student, I once wanted to know what a typical day for an EIE student was so here is my version!
Living in Wilson House as a hall senior I wake up at 8:00am to get to a 9:00 am lecture.
Wilson House is conveniently ~25mins from the SK campus and the walk is visually captivating since you walk through Hyde Park! For those from countries which are really full of nature like me, you probably won’t get what the big deal is to have a walk though a park.
But a park like Hyde Park in a city like London is not easy to come by, so living in a hall that allows you to enjoy this walk everyday is amazing (except during the winters 😀 )
8:00 – Grudging roll out of bed – too early for Electronic labs or Computer Labs
8:30 – Walk to uni
9:00 to 12:00 – This is usually some sort of labs in 2nd year (in first year you enjoy the great life and have labs in the afternoons!
I am so grateful for all the amazing opportunities that Imperial gives you here. One of the best to date has been the intercalated BSc project. In 4th year we take a year out of medicine to do a BSc, and delve into a topic in depth. I have been doing Global Health, and finished my 3x 3hour exams in the last week of Feb. From March-May we now have time to complete out “dissertation” for our BSc, and my project is working with flight surgeons (space doctors) in Cologne at the European Astronaut Centre.
I am so grateful Imperial have supported me in my move out, and honestly my first week has been incredible.
Apologies for the highly controversial title, but I am sure any aficionados of science irrespective of disciplines would have found themselves at this ubiquitous crossroad at some point of their scientific career. For the fortunate ones, this might not have happened too frequently but for the ones who are constant worriers on how decisions can have a lifelong impact on themselves even beyond the scope of childhood ambitions, this dilemma seems evermore pertinent.
Perhaps, it might have been induced by the late nights spent camping out at the library whilst revising for the finals, or from another perspective, it might have been inspired by a talk from a senior or someone of a certain degree of expertise.
Second year. ChemEng. Ohhhh weeeellllll.
The one thing which kind of describes how I feel right now is that I looked at the calendar and I realised it’s March. MARCH. MARCH?! I honestly don’t know what happened in the past 5 months. I was trying to think of things I did, but I just feel like I procrastinated away 5 months and now I am so behind with everything that even my to-do-list making apps want to cry… So what happened in the past 5 months?
Labs. We started and finished second year labs. This year we were only doing 1 experiment for 3 weeks.