One thing you will learn pretty quickly when you arrive at Imperial is that everybody thinks their subject is the hardest. The chemists think that their insanely long lab hours make it the hardest degree, the mechanical engineers with their scary maths worksheets think they have it the worst, the medics getting up for placements at 6am everyday have a tough go of things and I have no idea what the electrical engineers do inside the EEE building all day but the ones I know like to complain a lot about their degrees. Everyone has a tough schedule, demanding courseworks and gruelling exams as well as other projects, commitments and compulsory extras (read about the Horizons courses – extracurricular humanties, language and business courses that are compulsory in some faculties – here!
It’s official, I have now been back in London for a month. I am no longer a fresher – it usually takes me a moment or two to remember this when someone asks me what year I’m in – and I do grown up things now that I live in a flat and not halls, like pay rent, set up direct debits and clean the kitchen. Wow.
After a great (but long) summer, it’s been a little bit difficult to settle back in to Imperial life but I’m enjoying my courses so far and also the change to my timetable! Morning labs can be hard to motivate yourself before but on a non-lab day I now get a lie in rather than the continuous 9am starts that I had last year so I’m not complaining too much!
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).
I just can’t stay away. I received a really good comment on an old post recently which I wanted to give a decent, long answer to publicly as I think it asks some great questions which will be relevant to many people thinking about choosing their firm and insurance universities very soon! The comment was thus:
Hi, I’ve got an offer to come to Imperial this year to study Biology, I’ve already got my grades because I took a gap year, but I am torn between choosing York and Imperial primarily because York has been ranked higher for student satisfaction and I’m worried going to Imperial I may slightly miss out on the ‘student experience’ living in London.
Now that I’ve finished my biochemistry and microbiology course, I’m no longer performing endless protein assays which require so much pipetting that you leave the lab with your hand seized up in to a crab claw because you’ve been holding a Gilson for two and a half hours. If you study biology, you will no doubt make acquaintances with Gilsons fairly early on in the year. This, my friends, is a Gilson pipette.
They come in a few different sizes and use very fine pipette tips to measure very small amounts of liquid (usually less than a millilitre). They have a dial on the top which you have to turn to set the volume you want to draw up and you have to depress the plunger before you put the tip into the liquid and then release it or you end up sucking stuff in to the barrel.