Welcome to a new academic year

Welcome and welcome back to all our students!

I hope you had a restful/enjoyable/stimulating/remunerative/challenging* summer and are now looking forward to the academic year. For those of you who are having their first taste of university, it can all be rather daunting. So many new people and places and expectations to cope with. I hope the older hands will make themselves available to first years to pass on a few words of wisdom or reassurance about life at university.

It is very important to try to make the most of your time at university — I recommend that you work hard and play hard. But please don’t burn yourself out. I tried to say as much in my introductory remarks to the 1st year biochemists earlier this week and to issue a gentle warning about the dangers of aiming for perfection. Of course we want you to do brilliantly but sometimes there is only enough time to complete a task to an acceptable standard and that’s OK. To reinforce that point I thought I might share with you an article that appeared in the Observer newspaper last Sunday by a Cambridge undergraduate, Morwenna Jones.

Many of her experiences are likely also to be relevant to students at Imperial, which can also seem like a high-pressure environment at times. It is important to try to keep a sense of proportion as you approach your studies. Please make sure to look after yourselves and to ask for help — through the Education Office, the UG Liaison Officer, your personal tutor or the Senior Tutor — should the need arise.

Very best wishes for the year ahead.

Prof. Stephen Curry


*delete as appropriate

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