Is it too early to be thinking about going back to university? It’s that weird time at the end of the year, between Christmas and New Year’s, when no one really knows what day it is or what they’re supposed to be doing. In this time I find my thoughts keep coming back to the start of Term 2, which is just one week away now.
Firstly, I hope you have all had a lovely Christmas, whether you spent it at home with your family and friends or here in London exploring the city. With New Year’s Eve coming up and then Term 2 starting just a few days after that, here’s some tips for making the most of the last week of the holidays.
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.
Everyone has questions about accommodation, so here’s another cheesy helpful extract answering questions you may or may not care about the answers to. For background: I currently live in Beit hall, in a single without en suite. I pay £192 a week, £2 of which are for hall activities, like karaoke, Netflix & chill nights and Beitan’s got talent.
IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE THAT IS, MAP WILL BE YOUR GUIDE
So here are questions stolen from places, provided by the union and invented by my brain.
Every hall has a different atmosphere; how would you describe the atmosphere in your hall?
I’ve lost all control and can’t stop going on trips. It was was meant to be to Devon, but ended up heading to Wales almost last minute. This worked out pretty well as we got lovely, all be it expensive, accommodation with a cute old couple that gave us food and actual real beds with actual real pillows! Bam.
A few experienced people went off to paddle some nice grade 4, called Nantygwyryd…or so we thought. They returned displeased and it turned out to be a lovely grade 4 scrape. Apparently they actually had to exit the boats and walk a few times.
Before my interview, I called anyone I knew who had anything to do with Imperial and read every student blog that even mentioned the word. If that’s why you’re here, hey. Hopefully an extra insight will prove useful.
Outline of the day
This can obviously change between subjects and years, but the general outline is likely to stay the same.
The general idea is that you get a tour of the university from a student, along with a lunch, before meeting the human that decides your fate interviewer. This is the opportunity to ask questions about student life, stresses, work load and living in London, which may be more helpful answered by someone freshly going though it all.
Picocon 33: Origins has now happened and the SciFi library has stopped looking like a frantic booklet folding factory. For those who aren’t aware, Picocon is a tiny ComicCon, i.e. a mini ultimate nerd fest organised by ICSF. It included talks from guest authors, silly games, readings and viewings of hilariously terrible content with the chance to bid money to make it stop and destruction of dodgy merchandise with liquid nitrogen and big hammers. The one thing that most certainly didn’t occur was a fish duel and I most definitely did not have salmon stored in my fridge, stinking out the kitchen.
Working on weekends kills the relaxation aspect that they are associated with, so I’ve adapted to consider Tuesdays and Wednesdays as the weekend. Mainly because they contain clubs, so since I have things to say about them, here’s a general overview of the clubs you should go join.
Juggling and Circus- This used to be just juggling, but I wasn’t around in that era. It now consists of people standing in a room playing with various crap – perfect. There’s a bit of poi, staff, diabolo, uni cycling, rolla bolla joys and balls flying around. Outdoor sessions also involve a slackline, until the guy I borrowed it from remembers that I have it.
Now that I’m a chunk into term 2, I finally understand enough of term 1 to talk about it. This is due to my own stupidity and laziness, not the difficulty of the course, so don’t be put off much. Here’s an overview of what happens in the first bit of 1st year Physics. I’ll include the not-particularly-physicsy bits and everything to do with the year in Europe and Theoretical courses too. If you are reading this because you want to study this stuff, do remember that you may have different lecturers and some of the aspects may change.
The first term contains five lecture course, none of which span the term, though I believe mechanics comes close.
Back to money. Warning: I’m about to go into detail of how much money I have or don’t have and where it comes from. If this seems boring, that’s because it is, but I need to rant about my own stupidity.
Background setting of sorts:
As I’ve mentioned at some point already, I receive no bursaries or grants, the minimum student loan and I live in Beit. Complain complain my own fault for choosing expensive accomodatipon weep weep I know. My parents are also not super-rich; they just have a lot on paper and no-one in Student Finance cares how many people your dog eats for or how much debt you have.
Yes. Yes it is stupid to go on a kayaking trip in late November with nothing to keep you either warm or dry. As wonderful as club wetsuits are, they’re not fantastic if there’s a massive rip on the backside. So mistake number one was really just agreeing to go at all.
Bearing in mind the outcome of the trip, I would call the first day a success. We arrived at around 2am and did the sensible thing and went to bed. This still didn’t leave me with a lot of sleep, since I decided that the words ‘morning mission’ were enticing enough to wake up at 6.30