I had one of the most fantastic days on Wednesday as I graduated with my intercalated BSc! Imperial graduations occur at the Royal Albert Hall, which is just such a beautiful venue to celebrate in. The graduation ceremony for the School of Medicine was at lunchtime, so I could get to campus mid-morning to collect my gown and have some photos done with my family. The ceremony itself was so grand and we were all smiles and cheers watching our friends cross the stage with their degrees!
Walking across the stage
Going onto the stage was terrifying, and I really thought my gown was all wonky…but once you are up there it flashes by so fast.
In some ways I have an advantage as in addition to my Asperger Syndrome diagnosis I have a long history of anxiety and depression going right back to my early teens so am already equipped for dealing with mental health difficulties. Here is what I have found:
This weekend I was back at The Regent’s Park helping with their project Mission Invertebrate. This project is funded by the People’s Postcode Lottery and is investigating what invertebrates live in The Regent’s Park and how this relates to where the Park’s hedgehog population lives.
The project is a citizen science project – members of the public have been recruited to take soil cores, put in pitfall traps and count the number of slugs and snails in a set area. Myself and my colleague Anthony Roach were helping the volunteers identify the invertebrates collected in the pitfall traps. This involves picking each invertebrate out of each pot, identifying and counting them, and then putting them into a tub of alcohol to preserve them.
I have to say that I was really, really nervous about completing a placement in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (O&G). Being involved in the care of a soon-to-be mother and their precious unborn baby is a huge privilege and responsibility, and up until 5th year it is pretty easy to not have to have dealt with the complications of pregnancy in clinical practice. O&G was a whole new ball game for us medical students.
I was attached to the O&G team at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital for 7 weeks. We began our attachment learning about the basics and what to do in emergency situations; completing simulations as well as learning from patient experiences.
I was thinking today about the advice that I wish I had known before I had started applying for medicine. It really is a bit of a long road to get into medical school and takes a lot of determination and work to get there. You have hurdles with work experience, entrance tests like BMAT, writing your personal statement, getting your grades (and predicted grades), securing an interview, doing well at interview… the list is pretty long. But it is so, so worth it so don’t let this put you off at all cause it all does make sense!
I have some really exciting news- I found out that I am graduating my intercalated BSc in Global Health with a 2.1! I am so relieved and happy! I am now a few weeks into 5th year (yeah don’t ask…we only got 4 weeks of summer).
So with graduation in mind I thought it would be quite timely to discuss how Imperial celebrates its students here…
The medics have our own bits and bobs- we have arts dinner and a sports dinner where we award club of the year/team of the year. Netball won club of the year this year which is so cool!
We were celebrating my friend’s birthday in a pub, when someone mentioned that “something happened on London Bridge”. Soon I got a message from my mum, who wanted to make sure I was fine. Not much later the news were getting more and more upsetting. A van? A stabbing? How many victims?!
When we were going back home, some random people approached us on the train station to check if we were aware what happened (because we were actually heading in Vauxhall/Borough Market direction). I think only then I realised how serious it was. I felt safe-ish only when I finally made it to my room…
Many of you might have had similar experiences last night.
Today is Endangered Species Day, which aims to make people aware about endangered species, why they are threatened and how they can be helped. An endangered species is one where its population is especially low, when the last have gone it is classed as extinct. Around the internet today there will be lots of articles on familiar endangered animals such as elephants, rhinos and tigers, but lots of smaller animals, including some earthworms, are also endangered – so I wrote a blog on these neglected animals.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) assesses species to see how at risk they are of extinction on its Red List.