It’s almost the end of third year now which is really strange! I’ve still got one more year at Imperial doing my masters, but many of my friends are leaving this year. Integrated masters are a good thing to consider by the way for anyone thinking they might want to carry on in science– you can always transfer off the masters course if you change your mind, but if you do want to do a fourth year, this way it is counted as your first degree so you can take out a student loan, and it is also charged at the same price as an undergraduate course.
So it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted anything. With holidays, assignments and exams out the way I could finally write about a topic I’ve wanted to for quite a long time: procrastination. It’s something we all do a lot, and it’s something we should all do a lot less. But it’s hard. The truth in that lies in the fact I’ve been trying to write this post for over five six weeks…but every time I come to write it I get distracted and procrastinate. Maybe you could say I’m doing research for the post, more likely you could say I’m lazy…
So a little bit of procrastination can be quite healthy, it helps you relax from the work you have to do.
There is less than twenty four hours before my first exam. So, instead of doing a much needed last minute revision session I decided to blog.
I had a lovely Bank Holiday (honestly I have no idea what this holiday is for despite its obvious name, but I am glad it exists! It can’t just mean that the banks are on holiday so everybody else is, or does it?) celebrating a friend’s birthday. I had my first sushi. Although I had a few misgivings about the whole raw fish thing, it turned out to be surprisingly good. Then we had a calming walk in Hyde Park and went on one of those pedal boats.
Summer term is hard on us all. Revision, coursework and exams are all afoot and in this trying time it can become difficult to function as a responsible adult. It remains even more important this term to take care of yourself properly as this will help prevent you from becoming ill during this stressful period and reduce your general stress levels. Here are a couple of my revision period tips:
1. See your friends. This is the easiest time to block them out, put your head down and power through those late night library sessions without distraction. Whilst this may work for some, I’m not a fan of this method.
So, what is an independent visitor?
Children in care can get moved around a lot—the average number of moves in Hammersmith and Fulham is 3.41 per child, but it is not unusual for this number to be much higher—with around 17 placements per child. It is also likely that the number of professionals involved in their lives— social workers (who change from around 10-30 times too), looked after children nurses, foster parents, teachers, children’s rights advocates etc. etc. is much greater than the number of unpaid close friends and family.
This is why the Independent Visitor scheme exists—it allows volunteers who are not being paid and are somewhat independent of children’s rights services to spend time getting to know children and young people in care, and build up a stable, long-term relationship with them.
We just completed 3 out of our 4 second year exams (last one is end of June). Pushing through to get to the end required so much stamina. Don’t get me wrong, I have done exams before and have been used to the stress of exams however these exams were something different to what I had experienced before. It was just so much volume, SO MUCH VOLUME.
To summarise what we needed to revise over easter once lectures had finished:
Anatomy– Head, Neck, Spine, Upper Limbs, Lower Limbs.
Neuroscience– Covered so much from brain anatomy to what controls us being conscious to how we balance.
As much as I enjoy working at my computer analysing data, it felt good to get out to get outside and collect some data of my own recently. I was sampling earthworms in Purbeck, Dorset with the help of Soil Biodiversity Group volunteers John Chesebro and Fevziye Hasan (https://twitter.com/fezidae), Rachel Efrat of the British Geological Survey (https://twitter.com/RachelEfrat) and my boyfriend Andrew.
The study site is part of a long-term study into heathland restoration. Heathlands are found in areas of free-draining infertile, acidic soils, and are dominated by shrubs such as heather and gorse. Part of this heath was converted to agricultural land in the 1950s by the application of large quantities of fertiliser to increase nutrients, and lime to increase the pH of the naturally acidic soils.
Wow has it really been over a month since I last blogged?! I am now back at Imperial after a long Easter holiday and it’s lovely to be back in London after such a long time away. The trees are in blossom, the skies are blue, the grass is green and no one can judge me for buying ice cream on a (very) regular basis given how lovely the weather is.
I spent the first week of the holiday in Prestatyn, North Wales, at a five day Christian conference. It was great to spend some chill time with friends and go to some interesting seminars about how Christianity relates practically to different areas of life.
“Never get old!”
These were the words of the elderly patient I was looking after. I remember his eyes boring into my soul as he leaned over his zimmerframe, a heightened sense of urgency in his voice.
For all the time that I’ve been working part time as a health-care assistant in hospitals, this is a warning I hear over and over again from different patients. The worst part of this repeated warning, I think to myself, is that I can’t exactly help it!
There are two things that can stop the dreaded aging process. Death, or the elixir of youth.
As we approach the final stretch of a very busy year, I would like to take a moment and reflect upon what I believe were good and perhaps not so good decisions that I have made during its course. Hopefully this would help Freshers of 2015 and any future Imperial Chemical Engineering students so that you won’t repeat my mistakes. So, instead of a to-do list (which I think is quite presumptuous-me telling you what you should do), I compiled a ‘what-NOT-to-do’ list. Here it is:
Leave everything until the Easter break.
You might think that a month is more than enough time to catch up with 6 months’ worth of material, but, trust me, it is not.