Firstly, a disclaimer. I am in no way trying to slander Imperial College London and the Physics department. They are being very supportive and understanding of my newly developed situation. This is more of a personal account of what’s been happening in life, because answering the question ‘Hey, you’ve not been around…what’s going on?’ gets tedious a hundred iterations in.
Around June, I had my last two exams of first year postponed to the September re-take period. I spent a healthy chunk of the summer revising and felt on track to do just well enough to be ready for second year.
You can find the official stuff on horizons here, but I’ll try to give an idea of the experience behind it. Either way, I’d recommend the course, as it’s a nice non-course-related thing to do with your life.
Background: as part of the Year in Europe part of my degree, I have to study the appropriate level of the appropriate language (as well as a special language course which I’ve mentioned elsewhere). For me, this was level 4 German, since I had studied it up to A-level. The course outline, assessment details and learning objectives for this particular course: bam.
So much for blogging a bit over the past couple of weeks to keep me sane. Life has consisted of revise, eat, sleep, repeat for the past couple of weeks, and I think I may have gone (more) crazy. I’m still slightly in shock, both that exams are over and I can stop revising, and that I’ve finished my first year. Things are starting to wind down now – most subjects have finished exams, and although some still have projects to finish, everyone’s taking time to relax a bit. Just went down to the kitchen to get some lunch, and currently it’s pancakes and loud music.
It’s about 1am, I can’t sleep, so I thought I might as well blog.
The blog’s been a bit quiet lately – the opposite of everything else in my life. I can’t believe it’s been over two months – it feels more like two minutes.
Since then, ICSM will have made all their offers to potential Freshers. So, to all of you who received offers…. CONGRATULATIONS! Welcome to the best medical school on the planet (I’m not at all biased…)
For those of you who didn’t, don’t give up. I didn’t get into med school first time round, so I took a gap year and worked as a healthcare assistant.
Last Thursday was my last exam for the year.
Sadly I still have two assignments to hand in this Thursday, and I must say, this exam season has been an all-time low in terms of stress. It’s like the stress was so much that I literally shut down and my mind couldn’t concentrate on anything. Usually I’m the annoying one who’s still reading right up until the last minute. Yep, I’m that person who enters the exam hall still trying to get some last minute information in, prepared to keep reading until the examiner says, “Put your flashcards away!” That’s me.
So, some people might think it’s weird for me to post about this on a blog that anyone can read but meh, to me it’s not something I feel I need to keep a secret and it could probably be helpful for me to talk about as I’m sure there are some amongst you lucky offer holders who do or will experience similar circumstances. So this blog is about my year leading up to my CFS/ME diagnosis.
What is CFS/ME I hear you ask? CFS/ME stands for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. They are two names for the same condition and it’s up to the sufferer which one they use… I personally prefer to say that I have CFS as it’s less confusing and it makes it easier for other people to understand.
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?
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!
I think the last couple of weeks have been some of the busiest I have experienced so far at uni! It feels like it’s been a never ending stream of essays, deadlines, coffee dates, lunch dates, train journeys and pancakes (ok I won’t complain about the pancakes). There’s no hope of things quietening down before the end of term and I’m not actually going home properly until two weeks in to the Easter holiday so apologies to everyone that it’s taken me so long to update, life has been horrendously busy! Here is a run down of how Imperial life has been since I last posted:
1 – A week and a half long lab was completed. This lab involved various members of the my bench going in to the lab twice a day to take care of the algae we were growing.
This week in anatomy I spent minutes trying to find my pulse…yes that thing that I can normally feel without any grief whatsoever. I thought I was dead for a split second, but swiftly told myself that this was probably not at all the case. I persisted on until I found it, and when I did I felt my pulse was pretty elevated. I had been anxious over not finding my pulse when it was pretty clear from the start that I was going to have one.
I think it just reflects my mind set at the moment…and a lot of first years I have spoken to.