Disclaimer: Views expressed below are based my own experiences and are not intended to hurt anyone 🙂
As a traditional Indian living in London and recently moved out of Jakarta (Indonesia), I have thus far been part of three very distinct “worlds”. Below is a screenshot of a map showing all the places I’ve lived in so far. Interestingly, each of the countries I have lived in so far is different and at times ‘contradictory’ in multiple areas, from dietary habits and lifestyle to societal mindset and their respective systems.
India: It goes without saying that given the massive population and size of my country (with over 1.3
Interview season is upon us. Although exciting, it can be really daunting as an applicant as you each medical school interviews differently so you don’t know what to expect. This year, Imperial is using MMIs (Multiple Mini-Interviews) instead of the traditional panel interview. Therefore, I decided to write this blog so people know what to expect and feel more at ease.
“The interview is not intended to be an intimidating experience and staff will try to put candidates at ease while evaluating the following:
Motivation and realistic approach to medicine as a career
Capacity to deal with stressful situations
Evidence of commitment to the values of the NHS constitution
Evidence of working as a leader and a team member
Ability to multitask
Likely contribution to university life
Communication skills and maturity of character”
The above list is directly taken from the Imperial website.
I still face my fair share of feeling inadequate, feeling like I’m not enough for the course that I do and not enough to match up to the people around me. Studies at Imperial already comes with tons of workload. Being the overly ambitious person that I am, I just can’t stop myself from committing to exciting opportunities and projects! I’m literally surrounded by the best and brightest people around and if I were to experiment or embark on a new project, it’d of course be here, no brainer! That being said, every now and then, I’d get hit with the thought that I am inadequate and that I do not belong here.
IC Hack is an annual hackathon held at the South Kensington campus. It is the biggest student-run event of this type in the UK. I had a chance to take part in the ‘19 edition and I felt very lucky then. Getting a ticket to go there is insanely difficult as they always sell out in a few seconds!
You may wonder “What is a hackathon?”. Usually, it is a 24-hour non-stop event (yes, non-stop, meaning hardly any sleep at night) when you team up with other people to create something innovative from scratch, using new technology and possibly other knowledge.
In October 2018, DoCSoc (Department of Computing Society) looked for someone who could be a Beit Hall guide for people coming for undergraduate interview days in my department. I quickly became interested in the role because it was a nicely-paid job and a good opportunity to strengthen my social skills. Having been selected very soon after applying, I worked from November 2018 to February 2019 (excluding the Christmas break of course).
My task was simple: on every interview day (always a Wednesday) between 2 and 5 PM, I had to conduct a hall tour for groups of candidates and their parents, showing them a common room, a kitchen and my own room (an en-suite single) and answering any questions they might have.
Not gonna lie, I was a little anxious about returning to Imperial after the Christmas break. UK Masters programs are only one year long, which is great in many ways (including for my bank account) but time passes incredibly quickly as a result. The arrival of the spring term meant that the pace and level of learning were sure to be kicking up into high gear. Two weeks in however, I‘ve found a lot to love about this second term.
Environmental Technology starts with a core course in the fall, which gets every student on the same page in terms of thinking about the interdisciplinary nature of environmental problem-solving.
Happy Chinese New Year everyone! It’s the joyous time of the year again but for the second year, I won’t be able to return home to my family back in Malaysia for Chinese New Year. This is essentially the most important celebration all year, where all members of the family from all corners of the world return back home, cooking up a feast together in the kitchen, sharing good laughs and cracking jokes about each other’s antics since young. Ah such joyful and heart-warming times. Since we can’t skip classes to return home, (I’m not suggesting any of you to do this yeah 🤣) here’s what I’ve come to figure how to recreate your own reunion here right in London!
Welcome to Round 2 of the Imperial Survival Challenge! Getting back into the ‘zone’ after weeks of slacking off and chilling on the couch during Christmas break does take a lot (especially if you forgot how to write over Christmas :))
Start of Autumn Term
I remembered what the start of the Autumn term looked like. All the “freshers week” events, so-called ice-breakers, socials and “introduction” lectures to the various courses ran through my exhausted mind. The time I got to spend with new faces, exploring the city and attempting to sort out finances (clearly didn’t work for the first few weeks, thanks to my amazing cooking skills).
Its the end of first term and with second term just around the corner, I find myself packing my suitcase with a slightly heavy heart. The last time I was packing for uni, I had no idea what was waiting for me but I knew it was going to be exciting. Fresher’s week came with new friends and experiences and, surprisingly, so did the weeks following it but sadly, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. The last few weeks of the term came with fewer lectures and a lot more exams and when the exams ended it was time to go home.
Similarly to a little bird flying away from its beloved nest, leaving home to come study in a huge city can be extremely daunting for most prospective students. Add to that the many responsibilities (for example grocery shopping, cooking, washing) of an independent life and it is easy to be terrified. However, this is something that we have all been through. Been an accommodation tour guide on the open days and post to discussions with freshers have shown me that many prospective students are concerned about finding a part time job or knowing if it is even possible to reconcile their studies with a job.