I’m nearing the end of my first ever uni vacation and I thought I’d share a few thoughts. Clearly you prospective applicants are basing your applications on the quality of the uni vacations.
For one thing, they’re ridiculously long and there’s a lot less build-up. I remember “the week before Christmas break” being a massive thing every year in secondary and elementary school–you’d start counting down the month before and fiiiiinally you’d get your break. The whole school cheers as the last bell rings, etc.
And for what? You get a miserable little week off, maybe two if you’re in a fancy, padded private school or indeed anywhere in civilised Europe, but then you’re back on the treadmill.
I joke a lot about the ratio here at Imperial. However, this week I caught up with a friend from Imperial who has given me permission to discuss her story in this blog. We will call this girl Amy for the purpose of the article.
Amy told me about how hard she was finding it adjusting to University life. I agreed with her that it had been quite an adjustment for me too and we chatted about what she was finding quite difficult in particular. She was getting quite down due to all the work and little free time she had.
For anyone reading these blogs who has or hopes to get an Imperial interview, I thought I’d share my experience. Mine was obviously for Physics, so I’m not sure how relevant it will be to other subjects, but hopefully hearing about someone else’s experience will help to put your mind a little bit at rest!
In the build-up to it, my Imperial interview seemed like it was going to be the worst, most terrifying thing—ever. It was the first interview I was invited to, and though my school had promised me that they would try and find someone to practice with, I was called before they had a chance, so my preparation consisted of stressing and searching the internet for tips.
I’M FINALLY AT HOME FOR CHRISTMAS! As absolutely fabulous as it to not have to pay £3 every time I do a wash and experience my mum’s home cooking once more, it’s a bit surreal to sleep in my room and walk around my area again… I know I’ve only been away for ten weeks but it’s almost like everything that came before uni is a bit of a blur… Did I ever really live here?? Anyway, crises aside, I probably won’t have anything exciting to blog about over the festive season (unless you’re interested in biology of organisms and general crying about lab arithmetic) so I thought I would do a fun-filled Imperial Fresher FAQ
Last week over! It was a pretty busy one- I finally got my essay in, after changing my mind about its ending five hundred times, saw The Hobbit 2, made some mince pies and went to see Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People, which is a science-comedy show. It was actually pretty disappointing- a lot of the acts were a bit terrible, although the ones that were funny were hilarious.
Beautiful mince decoration…
On Thursday we made a house Christmas dinner, with two chickens, stuffing, Yorkshires, gravy, sprouts and everything. It was a great end to the term, and required a lot of team peeling and chopping.
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.