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”.
Something I was often told during Freshers’ Week (or Freshers’ Fortnight for the medics) was that my six years at Imperial will fly by. I saw no truth whatsoever to that statement at the time.
However, now that the winter holidays are finally upon us and January exams are alarmingly close- where exactly has first term gone? Honestly- what happened? The wrath of medical school interviews have begun for brave souls across the country, and it’s odd to think that it’s been a year since I was in that position!
After much procrastination and a degree of reflection, I finally pull myself together enough to write up my very first blog about my past 11 weeks at Imperial before it all becomes a blur to me.
The Christmas spirit is absolutely infectious in London.
After making it through a term of epidemiology and medical statistics, I think I’m at least qualified to say that. [95% CI crossing fingers, crossing toes].
Call me a Grinch but I’m not usually one to celebrate Christmas. Back in Singapore, the streets get all gussied up with lights and decorations but it’s hard to really get into the whole snowman thing when it’s 33 degrees Celsius all year round.
I hadn’t given it much thought here in London either, even as the temperatures started falling. Then one foggy Christmas eve day we went to our local laundrette and discovered that it’d turned into the neighbourhood Christmas tree purveyor overnight.
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.
On the 11th-12th December I took over the Imperial College instagram and snapchat accounts (@imperialcollege) to give a peak into my day as a 5th year medical student here! It involves our Medics Winter Ball (Snow Ball) and a glimpse into my paediatrics rotation at Chelsea and Westminster! Broadcasting to over 30k people meant there were quite a few nervous bloopers that I am sure I will share soon too!!
A day at Imperial can involve lectures, homework, trainings and much more.
On a recent “normal Tuesday” at Imperial, I realised the interesting activities I was doing, which I’ll be sharing in this post:
Morning: Data Visualisation for Network Analytics
For our first homework in Network Analytics, we were asked to visualise correlations between stocks. As an investor, you’re interested in diversifying risk by selecting different types of them. You therefore want visualise which stocks behave similarly (positive correlations) or very differently (negative correlations).
Learning a new library is always demanding, but at least the results looked fascinating (spoiler alert: I’m a data visualisation fan).
You know the situation: you’re attending a presentation, you eagerly wait for new information, but the guy in front of you firstly begins by talking for 30 minutes about himself and his references! This has happened too often, so I want to be as brief as possible for the sake of German politeness.
My name is Alex, I’m 23 years old and I have the great chance to complete an ERASMUS+ exchange at Imperial College! 🙂 When I’m not studying for my subject, mechanical engineering, I do a lot of physical training (boxing and weightlifting) in my spare time. I also like to write – especially about things that move me (not the tube).
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.
Landing on the Queen’s land with no set date to stop complying to Her Majesty’s orders was as terrifying as it was challenging. Although I am not a very nervous person, I was specially content, literally in love with the unknown, or perhaps, with the image I had created of it.
Moving was fun. “Hello! My name is Constança” was said so many times that night that for a split second I thought my biggest achievement at Uni would be knowing everyone’s name. Due to living in halls, you meet a bunch of people on the exact same position as you, at least to some extent.