You picked Imperial to become a scientist, engineer or a medical doctor. What do these careers have in common? You’ll need to write a lot: scientific papers, grant applications, lecture notes, popular science articles. Unfortunately, university curricula lack writing courses, so we end up with thousands of unreadable scientific papers. In my research I’ve chosen some mathematical methods just because the authors made them easy to understand; nobody has time or energy to look for interesting science hiding behind word clutter.
I’m a mathematician, not a writer, and my writing is far from perfect. Let me share five tips to improve your writing so that you can learn on my mistakes.
And how I wish I hadn’t been so worried
As soon as I found out that I’d be studying here, I was immediately filled with petty worries. Worries about whether I would miss home, not be able to make friends or struggle on my course! However since coming to Imperial I can say for certain that these concerns, and the many more I had, have all disappeared. Here’s a few of the worries I had and how I realised they actually weren’t actually such a big deal and how I wasted so much energy being worried about them!
Imperial ratios: Coming from a small, all-girls school, I was sceptical about dealing with the famous “Imperial ratio”.
Has it really been almost a year since I had my medical school interviews?
To get me through the preparation process, I recall going through endless online resources (TSR is great!) reading through interview tips, experiences, etc. So I thought it would be exciting to add to the wealth of online material and offer a post with some advice and a bit of an insider’s view to what my interviews were like!
I attended three interviews last January/February- two of which were panel (Imperial and Queen Mary/Barts), and one MMI (Newcastle). This is where I sheepishly admit that I personally found the Barts one most enjoyable (promise I’m not a traitor); whereas the Newcastle one was half a disaster- MMI was not my friend!
Let’s face it: living in London is expensive. It might sound scary, especially that for some of you the first year of the university will be also the first year when you have to be fully responsible for your finances. Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Here are my survival tips.
- Find a good accommodation. This is the key, since paying rent will be your biggest expense. Remember that you’ll also need to cover bills – and you might underestimate how high they’ll probably be. Having said that, I must stress: don’t go for the cheapest option. If something looks too good to be true, it probably is.
Twitter: @malamawks | Instagram: @malamawkin
I am so grateful for all the amazing opportunities that Imperial gives you here. One of the best to date has been the intercalated BSc project. In 4th year we take a year out of medicine to do a BSc, and delve into a topic in depth. I have been doing Global Health, and finished my 3x 3hour exams in the last week of Feb. From March-May we now have time to complete out “dissertation” for our BSc, and my project is working with flight surgeons (space doctors) in Cologne at the European Astronaut Centre.
I am so grateful Imperial have supported me in my move out, and honestly my first week has been incredible.
Did you get accepted to Imperial College? Congratulations! Now it’s time for the real challenge – finding a place to live in London. Something nice, clean, quiet and close to the campus.
Well, unless you’re a millionaire, I don’t think such a place exists. If you’re based at South Kensington campus, you probably won’t be able to afford living close to the college, since its neighbourhood is one of the most expensive parts of London. The only exception: student halls, which are offered only to undergraduates, so not for me L But worry not, you aren’t doomed! Everyone finds a place, sooner or later.
Some days… throw yourself into the deep end
There are some weeks when life overwhelms you and you can only just keep your head above the water. Even after you’ve recovered, it somehow takes monumentally higher courage to get back into the water.
Today, I jumped in. And it was fun.
After living in halls for four months with the world’s most zealous kayaking enthusiast, I finally bit the bullet and came along to a session. After back to back lectures, a lunch time committee meeting, labs and a Horizons French lesson, the thought of trying kayaking vs work was a no brainer.
You decided to cycle in London. Good choice! The benefits of commuting to the uni by bike are countless. Let me list just a few.
- You save money. Plenty of money! Assume, optimistically, that you live in zone 1 or 2 (i.e., in the centre or quite close). Then the monthly travelcard will cost you £126.80. For this amount of money you could buy a decent new bike, a second-hand one would be even cheaper. So the bike will pay off in just a month, maximum two, if you decide on a fancy one! Do I still need to persuade you that it’s worth it?