This is the weirdest time to be a student. Everyone has exams going on at different times, some people are finished already and starting projects, we’ve finished lectures but there’s still stuff going on, I don’t know quite what to do with myself! I thought I’d give you an insight to what I’m doing in a typical pre-finals week.
Study study study. Realise I have no food. Buy approximately 5 tons of vegetables to make for the fact that I haven’t done any proper cooking in God knows how long.
Wake up at 7.30. Snooze for 40 minutes. Roll out of bed, get ready and pack lunch because it’s FIELD TRIP DAY.
Last night I went to the final of the ‘three minute wonder’ competition, run by the Institute of Physics. The finalists were scientists from all sorts of disciplines and each had three minutes plus one slide or a video to explain their research to a non-science audience. The timing was tight – if they were more or less than I think five seconds under or over they had a point deducted.
Awesomely it was held at the Royal Institution in the nice purple Faraday lecture theatre where the Christmas lectures are presented, and it was free too! Doors opened an hour earlier for drinks and a chance to look around the museum-y bits of the Royal Institution—sadly Will and I didn’t realise how interesting it would be, so only arrived with enough time to grab a glass of wine and notice the dastardly device that first spotted Bragg Diffraction (the bane of many a second-year’s life.) I definitely need to go back and see the exhibits—there was also a wall-sized periodic table that played the element song—the one where they list all the elements to that Gilbert and Sullivan tune—with the aim to keep up and tap the elements in the right order!
So I’ve mentioned my involvement with the Christian Union before in this blog and the fact I go to week long Christian conferences in my spare time and stuff like that but I’ve never blogged specifically about what being a Christian and studying biology at university means to me. I’m going to (attempt) to do that today. WOOP.
So here’s the thing which I think is pretty cool about biology. It’s actually Biblical! People in the Bible were biologists! In Genesis (which is the first book of the Bible) it talks about God bringing all the creatures He created to Adam and Adam deciding what they should be called (Genesis 2:19-20).
It’s been an interesting second week. My second course for this term (Nuclear and Particle Physics) has begun and feels like we have already had much much more than a week of it… It’s one of those courses that quickly sail through lots of results from equations we can’t derive or understand or do and hmm. I’m not it’s biggest fan so far (although it has been useful in telling me how much of special relativity I need to revise from last year). I think the ‘nuclear’ section might contain a bit more information that is more accessible– we shall see.
Exams are only five weeks-ish away. The year is enarly over (HOW. HOW HAVE I BEEN HERE FOR A YEAR?!) The weather has (of course) improved drastically just as I chain myself to my desk. Courses are drawing to a close. Oh wow.
So revision. I am terrible at revising, I’ll put my hands up and say it. I just find it very very hard to get started and I inevitably end up taking a lot of tea breaks. And biscuit breaks. And food breaks in general. And of course I need an appropriate spotify playlist for my mood. And the temperature of the room has to be just right – is the window open too wide?
This week we have had our options talks for third and fourth year. Choosing is a lot trickier than I’d thought- there are many more interesting options than I can pick, and possible essay titles to think of and projects to decide on…
I can do a Horizons (humanities or business course) next year for credit which I am really looking forward to as the courses I have done the past two years have been excellent and communicating science especially really helped me put a lot of what I have been learning in a wider context
I am thinking about doing an extended essay building on what I did last year (luckily I got on well with my lecturer and she has very kindly offered to supervise me) so now I just have to think of a title….hmmmm.
It’s the start of summer term! Summer terms are weird—they very so wildly between courses that there is always someone to be found stressing about their imminent exams. Maths, for example in second year has exams in two weeks, no new courses and then a group project—I have exams in five weeks, two new courses and after that am completely free, and Chemists (poor, poor over-worked beings) have three new courses a—reduced—eight hours a week of labs and exams scattered here there and everywhere. Oh well. It’s always nice knowing that someone is working harder than you!
For the rest of the blog I thought I would write a little bit about open-access Science Journals.
FEAR NOT FRIENDS I am back in London after a lovely Easter and ready to regale you with exciting tales of what I did over the break (no really, I’m not being sarcastic, it was fabulous)
In the first week of the four week break (Uni holidays are THE BEST, they are SO LONG!) I went on a mini break to Madrid with one of my school friends to visit another friend who is currently working there as an au pair. We arrived horrendously early for our flight as we’d never flown without our parents before and were terrified of being late!