Reflecting upon my achievements last year and setting new goals for this year
Taking advantage of the New Year spirit is a great way to self-reflect and regain motivation for what you want in life. My goals last year were,
Good work-life balance
Spend more time with family
Emotionally impartial when talking to people and completing daily tasks
Be fluent in Python
Be happy with what I do (biochemistry/AI)
Attend social networking, conferences, follow science trends
so how do they tally up this year?
The good news is I’ve subconsciously managed to complete more than half of those goals despite my depression telling me otherwise, showing that we continue to grow as a person every day even when you don’t notice it.
Disclaimer: This is probably the most real I’ve ever gotten in these posts
(Don’t make the same mistake I did, please)
A trip down memory lane
Throughout my time at Imperial I have been documenting my time through these posts. In my current emotionally fragile state, dreading the idea of leaving the comfort that has become Imperial, I took a trip down memory lane reading over everything I seem to have been a part of at uni. From Netball, wellbeing, MathSoc and the RCSU, I have kept myself fairly busy, with my volunteer roles for the Union taking a forefront in my daily life.
In heart of Imperial’s recent campaign for Student Money Week I thought I would add a few of my own tips that help me manage and budget my money effectively. The #FindTheBalance campaign run by the university gave some really helpful tips and advice from Student Finance Services and from current students. Here I have compiled some of the most helpful and achievable ideas in one place, so you can come back and reflect should you need to throughout the year.
Keep a Spending Log
It doesn’t have to be pretty and artsy like the ones you see people spend their life designing in bullet journals, but I find it really helps to make a note of everything you spend each week and calculate your weekly outgoings.
As an international student, I feel the need to see as much as I can while I’m here in the UK. And although I love living in London, I will readily admit that sometimes it’s nice to get out of the city. Fortunately, this island is well-connected by rail, which I’ve found allows for a variety of inexpensive day or weekend trips. And, perhaps less fortunately, I get to indulge my amateur travel-blogger side here on this site.
My first daytrip upon arriving to the UK was to Dover, an hour or so to the southeast. I didn’t know much about Dover beyond some vague notion of white cliffs, but that was enough for me.
Too often people dissociate Art from Science and Technology almost as if it were a field only accessible to the white blouses, natural scientists and engineers. In fact what people tend to forget is that Art is a major driving force of advances in both Science and Social Sciences. Not only is it a mean of communication, education (figures, graphic designs) but it very much impacts how we understand and tackle modern problems. The emergence of biodesigns to promote sustainable fashion through the use of bacterial strains or adaptive building material reflect this. When exposed to the same environment daily, we often tend to forget what actually precisely constitutes it out of habitude.
When a professor asks you a question in a seminar how should you reply? According to one my hall seniors, you shouldn’t say anything, lest you embarrass yourself. Instead, you should “suck up” to professors by going to their office hours.
I found this sentiment quite surprising; I always thought that answering questions in seminars, God forbid raising your hand to try to answer, was a great learning opportunity. After all, the purpose of university for me has always been to learn, not just to memorise content for tests, but to become more confident, to try to tackle hard and interesting problems.
I’ve never really been much of a “library revision” kind of person. Something about how silent libraries are gives a chatterbox like me so much anxiety. To top it off, I’m also that annoying friend who constantly disturbs everyone else’s revision to show them memes because clearly quality memes are most appreciated when you’re nose deep in a textbook (to all my sixth form friends, I’m sorry guys!).
However, university has hit me differently. I might as well not be paying for accommodation at this point considering how I spend the majority of my time on the fourth floor of the library – and yes, for all those aunties out there, I swear I’m actually working!
After the daunting week of exams after a relaxing Christmas break, you can heave a big sigh of relief that exams are over. Or can you?
If you’re like me, as soon as you leave that hall you’re already second guessing all your answers and thinking about what mark you might get. Just because the exam is done doesn’t mean that the stress has gone away, you’re just stressed about receiving your mark now instead of the task of actually completing the exam. All the while you have to carry on with the rest of your lectures and in-course assessments. The stresses of work can seem never-ending, but its important to remember that even though university is for extending your learning, it’s also about having fun with everything else there is to offer.
One of the things I was not expecting when I applied to Imperial is that there are many opportunities to travel abroad – whether it is for your degree (the Research Abroad option), an expedition with DofE society, or trips organised by societies. I attended one that fell into the third category – one that is organised by Data Science Society co-organised with Amstertech which allowed me to meet with London students from other universities and network with tech companies in Amsterdam through a series of talks by Sentient Machine Research, Uber, Bynder, Tesla and Nike, many of which headquartered at Amsterdam.
The Imperial Spring 2020 Telethon will be running for 7 weeks in February and March. I worked on the Spring 2019 Telethon. So, I decided to write about what the job entails and provide some advice for future callers!
This campaign aims to reach out to alumni to share exciting news from Imperial with them and to invite them to support the college through a range of giving opportunities. Ultimately, the telethon is not about fundraising. It is about initiating and strengthening long-term contact between Imperial and its alumni. It is also about you enjoying great conversation with alumni.
The Time Commitment:
Shifts take place on weekdays in the evening on the weekend during the day and afternoon.