The Christmas holidays are indeed a well needed break for everyone that has been working so hard this term. Coming home has given me the TLC I didn’t realise I had needed and the food my body has craved. However, I have come home absolutely broke.
I have zero money. These last few weeks of Christmas events have officially ruined my bank account. I have spent an excessive amount on Christmas presents for my family and I have splashed out on my “Secret Santa” presents. I guess this is something you would be expecting living in the richest area of London (Thanks Imperial!).
Sometimes life can get a bit hard…like when you are told that you have to pay £45 for a halls dinner, or when you check the night bus times and see that you have to wait another 17 minutes for one to come in the freezing cold. Life can get especially hard when you have had a bit too much of the happy juice. Getting happy and then suffering certain problems has been quite common here and I thought I would give you all a template of a typical night out at Imperial as a fresher:
Start the evening. Happy juice is flowing in the common room or kitchen.
One week to the end of term… and still quantum goes on.
I’m sorry our lecturer who is lovely and the notes are amazing, but gosh it goes on and on and on and on. And just, confusion. Operators. Lots more dimensions than there should be. I never liked classical angular momentum, for goodness sake.
The last couple of weeks have been really busy. For a start it was my housemate Oscar’s musical revue with Musical Theatre Society in which he sang and danced very professionally. Afterwards the cast came back to our house for a very musically talented after-party.
Last Tuesday Alex’s parents very (very) kindly took us to see the new Jeeves and Wooster play that is on in the Duke of York’s theatre at the moment.
Since I started this blog quite late in the term, I thought I’d update you on some of the things you have missed!
In second year Physics, labs are divided up into four week cycles, so before writing this blog I’d already completed my first lab cycle which was computing. In first year computing was almost universally dreaded, expect by a lucky few who had programmed before. We use the computing language Python, and I would say for anyone who has a Physics offer from Imperial, that it is really worth having a look at beforehand.
There’s no need to stress about learning how to do certain things in it because you will be taught the specifics, but I think the reason that I and so many other people found it difficult was just that it was so unfamiliar.
How tired you will be and how unembarrassed you will become about taking naps in public. I’m talking lectures, the library, computer rooms, and in my building (Sir Alexander Fleming Building or SAF as we affectionately term it) there are lots of grotty looking sofas on the ground floor. If you study biology or medicine I almost guarantee that will you attempt to nap on the SAF sofas before your time at Imperial is out.
How much you will just not care about your appearance. I mean, everyone likes to make an effort for certain events and occasions, but whereas at home I would never go to college without having washed my hair and thought about my outfit, I am pretty happy here to just put on anything and go.
You all seem like lovely people and it has been a great term getting to know you guys. I thank you for coming out your room occasionally to say hello because it is sometimes nice to have human contact here at Imperial.
I just have a few concerns about the way that we are handling our kitchen at the moment- and by “we” I mean most of you. Okay I will admit that I occasionally may leave a piece of pasta on the floor if it drops but I have never poured my whole beef casserole down the kitchen sink!
First a nominal post about social life at Imperial– it’s not at all what the rumours suggest! In fact, you will never make any friends and I’m still crying alone in my room most days. On rare other days, I make it to lectures and cry there.
Just kidding! Social life here is incredible, varied, and a completely different experience than high school. Everyone at Imperial came here for more or less the same reasons, and that counts for more than I expected when you’re making friends with people. We’re not all massive geeks, though we have those too, but being at Imperial means you’re down with talking science over lunch, will inevitably get excited over something in your lectures, and don’t have to pretend you find learning boring.
Let me just introduce myself– I’m Jelle, a first-year biochemist. It’s pronounced kind of like ‘yellow’ but if you forgot what you were saying halfway through, like “yell-uh?”.
You’re probably reading this, if you’re a prospective applicant or offer holder (congratulations!) for the same reason I read the blogs last year (and the reason I’m so excited to be writing one this year!) : it’s just really nice to have someone give that frank, real-talk account of what life is actually like here. The Imperial website can tell you, for example, which modules you’ll be expected to take as a first-year biochemist, but it won’t tell you that should work on the first cell-biology essay far in advance.