My first term at Imperial has drawn to a close, and what better way to summarise my last few months than through the songs of one of the most-loved bands to have ever existed; ABBA.
I Have A Dream
I had a dream, and I am now living it. Two years ago I realised, whilst studying for my undergraduate degree in Maths and Physics at the University of Warwick, that although I enjoyed the science I was learning, my passion wasn’t to delve into further research, but to share my enthusiasm for the subject with others. This led me to Imperial College’s Masters course in science communication.
It has now been a month since I went on my first Imperial Surf Society trip and, as I am missing the sea way too much, I thought that writing about it might help me cope with its absence.
Let me first tell you about how it all started. It was around mid-June and I was scrolling through the list of societies in the Imperial Union website. After seeing quite a few random, yet interesting clubs, I found it. I found a new reason to love the idea of studying at this university: Surf Society.
And so, I bought the membership in early October.
After a long and cold term of lectures in second year Medicine, you have this new and exciting thing called a Firm. The light at the end of the Pharm-Endo-Neuro-MCD tunnel. Basically, it’s an introductory three week placement in an allocated speciality in a hospital in London (is Hounslow really London?!) You are assigned in groups of five or so, and are given NHS ID cards for your respective hospital (major perk here). I’m going to run you through my time on my firm in the Acute Medical Unit at my hospital.
The first thing to do is get lost in your chosen hospital.
After plenty of support and encouragement from my peers and some members of staff, I decided to run for a committee position in MathSoc, Imperial College’s Mathematics Society. In the past the society hasn’t had the best social events, and as this was something I worked on at school, I thought this would be a good position for me to run for. (definitely one of the best decisions I’ve made!)
Last year, MathSoc faced heavy criticism (see Imperial College Secrets/Exposed) for not having enough social events so I was so excited to be able to try and change the way people perceive MathSoc by throwing some fab events and revamping our social media platforms, including setting up an Instagram account.
It’s fair to say that this term has been the most enjoyable term I have had so far at Imperial and I can’t wait to tell you all about it. It’s been super busy, I’m not sure how I managed to keep up with everything and still not skip any (most) lectures! Alongside juggling my degree in maths, I’ve also spent this term applying for internships, being on a few committees and running events as a student ambassador.
Often when people think about studying at such an academic university as Imperial, their immediate thought isn’t about all the extra curricular activities they will be able to take part in.
For those of you who don’t know me and I mean really don’t know me (anyone who has ever met me will now be rolling their eyes) I took a gap year. At school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I was nearing the end of two highly turbulent years and the last thing I wanted to do, was have another three years of the same.
As a child of an accountant and a political activist it was presumed that I would go to university, so I applied at the same time as everyone else, filling my personal statement with platitudes about my love of pure learning and the importance of education and clicked the submit button.
For theatre addicts London is like a bar for alcoholics: a paradise and a hell at the same time. Since the beginning of my PhD I’ve spent a bit too much money and time on plays and musicals — more than I’d ever publicly admit. Meanwhile I’ve mastered the art of getting cheap tickets, so if you’re also a theatre lover on a student budget, read on! This article isn’t sponsored by any of the companies I mention (unfortunately).
Install TodayTix on your phone. You’ll be able to book tickets with one swipe, get some additional offers (e.g. 24-hour-long sales) and, most importantly, participate in lotteries.
It has been a busy end to the term and it really is getting close to the end now- I only have 4 weeks of clinical time left on the wards after Christmas before finals. There is so much going on right now. I have been busy at interviews for my foundation programme, getting my final competencies done on wards and we recently did the Situational Judgement Exam (which counts 50% to allocations for junior doctor training)! However, this term I have also been feeling how close we are to becoming actual doctors (hopefully). This was made even more clear a few weeks ago when I did CPR for the first time.
A term in university thought me one thing, it’s to attend your lectures and actually listen to the lecturers, (don’t spend the entire 2 hours lecture scrolling through instagram feeds, I made that mistake). Most of the time, you’re probably already tired after a full day of lectures, and weekends feel more like a relaxing day than hustle days. So, I personally find being interactive in lectures (taking notes and ask question) should help a lot in your studying, also some of the lectures are actually really interesting.
Prepare your own meal
I know, this feels like a hassle, especially if all you want to do is sleep, I feel you hun.
They say white is the combination of all colours. This is an ideal concept to welcome you to join me on my journey or at least, its beginnings. I promise it will be colourful, but for now, let’s stick to white.
A white envelope was the first thing I ever received at my arrival at Woodward Buildings. It contained a few documents, but most importantly, a white card. Had I known that I would soon be locked out of my room because of forgetting it, I would have grabbed it tighter. Besides that unfortunate event, all the ones that proceeded it were far from disappointing.