‘Congratulations! We are delighted to let you know that we have decided to make you an offer to study H801 Chemical Engineering (MEng 4YFT) in 14/15 at Imperial College London…’
I squeal in delight upon reading this email. I rush to my parents to tell them of the good news. After many hugs and kisses, it dawns on me that I am going to Imperial College (if I met my entry requirements), one of the best academic institutions in the world. Little did I know what this academic year had in store for me.
One of the most important aspects of university life is the accommodation; this is the first time many students stay away from home for a long period of time.
Sometimes it is hard to think what to write on my blog posts, especially when I am supposed to be writing a 9 month report for my PhD! To help I have started a ‘Throwback Thursday’ looking back at some of the posts I made on my pre-Imperial College blog. This one was written in April 2013, when I was 6 months into MSc Taxonomy and Biodiversity at Imperial College London.
This week the Wildlife Gardening Forum held its conference ‘Soil Biodiversity in the Garden’ at the Natural History Museum in London. Being a keen gardener and researching soil biodiversity I had to go along.
Steve Head opens the Wildlife Gardening Forum conference
The Wildlife Gardening Forum is a group of organisations and people who are passionate about wildlife in gardens and seek to help people value and enjoy wildlife in their gardens. While there has been quite a lot of interest in gardens as habitats for birds, mammals and pollinating insects, few consider the life below ground so this conference was a great way to raise the profile of soil organisms and discuss ideas.
I haven’t blogged in such a long time! But exams are now finally over, the summer ball was last night and term has finally drawn to a close. It’s crazy to think that this time last year I was moving out of halls. Second year has flown by and I’m frankly terrified by the speedy passage of time. I feel like things definitely go quicker the older you get! So I’ve been exam-free for a week and it’s been great! I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve been up to (and my apologies to the second year medics who haven’t even finished their exams yet… thinking of you guys!).
Yesterday I attended my first ever hackathon, held at the Natural History Museum in London.
When I first started my Masters here at Imperial, I loved the South Kensington campus. The tall periodic buildings that surrounded it, the open lawn and copious activities within the campus – it all looked great. When I realised that this wasn’t my main campus, but Paddington was, I was a tad disappointed. As nice as Paddington is, it didn’t have the same elegant feel as South-Ken.
Nevertheless, I’ve grown to love my campus and appreciate all it’s little treasures, so I’ve decided to give a brief guide on things you can do if you ever find yourself on this campus!
Symptom 1: uncontrollable shrieking.
Symptom 2: endless hours wasted.
Symptom 3: hypersomnia.
Symptom 4: watching an entire season in one day.
Diagnosis: You’re done with exams!!!
I can’t believe that I can finally say that I am done with my first year at Imperial. The end seemed so far away, almost unattainable and, yet, here we are. Allow me to give you a little insight to those past few weeks; a rare glimpse into the hectic life of Imperial students during exam season. Well, mine anyway.
Each day I would wake up with determination; I am going to revise Maths today and do a couple of past papers.
So much for blogging a bit over the past couple of weeks to keep me sane. Life has consisted of revise, eat, sleep, repeat for the past couple of weeks, and I think I may have gone (more) crazy. I’m still slightly in shock, both that exams are over and I can stop revising, and that I’ve finished my first year. Things are starting to wind down now – most subjects have finished exams, and although some still have projects to finish, everyone’s taking time to relax a bit. Just went down to the kitchen to get some lunch, and currently it’s pancakes and loud music.
One of the highlights of the MPH is the optional Health Systems Development (HSD) course offered by the WHO Collaborating Centre for Public Health Education and Training. When we were first told about it back in October, it garnered quite a lot of interest for its hands-on approach to professional development and health systems management. It was the opportunity to learn the operations of international health systems while at the same time maintaining a focus on the English NHS, incorporate crucial management & leadership skills, and finding out more about key stakeholder interactions within health systems that initially caught my eye.
So, I’ve just got back from Cheltenham Science Festival. It was a really fun and hectic week!
Like most volunteering experiences, a lot of the work we were doing was basic slave labour—cleaning venues between talks, getting water for speakers, clicking people in and out of venues, making tea, carrying messages etc etc. Even while doing these routine tasks however, we were surrounded by such great communicators and lovely people, from the speakers in the talks we attended to the stall holders in the drop-in zones, and the other volunteers.
There was a wonderful atmosphere of inspiration and urgency in many of the talks—most of the speakers were funny and excellent at communicating, but even the ones who seemed initially slightly dumbfounded by the large audiences, had such a depth of knowledge and passion for their subject area that their talks were really brilliant.