Big Phat Freshers Post

So results day has been and gone, many of you are now unconditional offer holders for Imperial College…. CONGRATULATIONS! You should all feel very proud of yourselves. I know from experience that A Levels feel like the hardest thing in life at the moment you’re taking them but your hard work has paid off so well done. You can now enjoy the rest of your summer worry-free!

My summer has been great so far. I’ve just gotten back from a week in Alsace, France where I helped out at a summer camp and I had the best time. I worked with a fantastic team of people to serve the camp by washing up, cleaning, serving food and dressing up as an evil gang for a night game so that the kids could capture and ‘arrest’ us (the theme of the week was secret agents and there was a lot of back story going on… I still don’t understand all of it myself to be honest). We also went on a couple of great day trips, one to a lake where we went swimming and ate crepes, one to an outdoor swimming pool (swimming in the rain and ultimate frisbee were both super duper fun) and one to a patisserie. French patisserie is almost  my favourite thing in life to be honest, it’s so good. 

The beautiful lake! Most of my team decided to swim across the whole thing but I'm not a very strong swimmer so I watched from afar instead
The beautiful lake! Most of my team decided to swim across the whole thing but I’m not a very strong swimmer so I watched from afar instead
A selection of the cakes available at the patisserie we went to
A selection of the cakes available at the patisserie we went to

Anyway, that’s my summer blogging done for now, time to look ahead to freshers week! I was terrified about freshers week to be honest. Prior to starting uni I had never been out drinking or clubbing and was dreading a nonstop week where everyone was expected to go out every single night, get drunk and generally be crazy. This was made worse by the fact that I’d managed to sign up to what I thought was an official Imperial facebook page but was actually one of those that are used by club promoters to try and sell you expensive wristbands to club nights. Oopsy.

Truth is, freshers week is what you make of it. I received a handy booklet from the RCSU about the events they would be throwing during freshers and also found my way to my hall facebook page which put me at ease massively. All kinds of events happened during my freshers week and once I arrived at Imperial I found that there was actually no pressure to drink every night if you didn’t want to. One of the first events that you’ll attend will most likely be the infamous boat party. Every hall goes to a boat party on the Thames and it’s a great opportunity to meet people so I would definitely reccommend going. The only downside is that you’re stuck on a boat for like three hours so you can’t leave and if you want to buy drinks it’s horrendously expensive. I also went to the Mingle (a freshers party in the Union that you’ll go to on the first or second night), an afternoon tea party put on by the RCSU, a pub crawl which was fun because I got to hang out with my biology sister and meet some others from our course, freshers ball, a CU games night and a campus tour. My hall (the mighty Fisher!) also put on loads of stuff like a trip to China Town, bowling, a games night, movie nights etc.

My point is, there is loads of stuff going on during freshers week but no one will come to your room to make you go. It’s really hard at first, but it’s so important to get along to as much as possible and just mingle and chat with people. You won’t necessarily meet your best friends immediately (although I actually met my current housemates by gatecrashing the conversation they were having when the people I thought I was hanging out with left from campus without me…) but sitting in your room feeling lonely is no way to spend your first week in London when there is so much going on!

I’m so excited to get back to London and see all my friends and move into my house! I’ve got to get down to IKEA pretty soon and buy last minute stuff for my room and I suggest you all do the same! Definitely bring stuff to make your room feel more homey, I think there’s nothing more sad than an undecorated halls room.

I’m also excited to meet my new biology children. I’d definitely reccommend signing up to the Mums and Dads scheme which is run by the IC Union. If you are lucky enough (hehehe) to get me as your mum, you will also get one of my best friends, Adam, as a dad and three siblings. Your mum and dad are there to answer your questions about student life, help you settle in and buy you drinks when you decide to skip the family scavenger hunt that the department organises  wait I mean help you win the very exciting and fabulous scavenger hunt that the department organises. I’ve found it really useful having my bio family this year, my two mums were great at answering all of our questions and it was good to have my sister to hang out with in the early days where we didn’t know too many people.

That’s about all I have to say on the topic of freshers at the moment, please do comment if you have any other questions you’d like me to address more deeply! Getting comments is what makes this blog so much fun 🙂

Stay safe during the rest of your summer friends, can’t wait to see all you biology guys in October.

4 comments for “Big Phat Freshers Post

  1. Hello Isobel! I’ve been reading through your blogs and they’ve been very helpful in numerous ways from freshers to needing to contact people about extra help that I may need at Imperial, but I still do have one question which I can’t seem to get answered in a straightforward way anywhere! Reading- do I need to do any reading before beginning in October, and if so, where do I get a reading list?
    Thank you,
    Kate x

    1. Hi Kate, great to hear you’re joining us in October 🙂 You should soon receive the first year handbook which will give you your timetable for the year and include information about your courses, including reading lists. I don’t think the 2014/2015 handbook has come out yet but this link will take you to the 2013/2014 handbook to give you an idea of what you’ll need read. My advice for the reading lists is thus: don’t buy any text books before you arrive! Two text books which you’ll find really useful are Biochemistry by Voet & Voet and Molecular Biology of the Cell by Alberts BUT you will either be able to buy these cheaper from students once you arrive or get them from the library so please don’t waste £100 buying these! I would reccommend reading The Ancestor’s Tale by Richard Dawkins and maybe The Selfish Gene as well, the former is an especially good intro to the Biology of Organisms course. Other than that, I don’t think it’s massively necessary to do tons of reading before you arrive. Just look over a few things, maybe look any concepts mentioned in the handbook that are unfamiliar to you 🙂 oh, dusting off your lab arithmetic skills will definitely work to your advantage – look at molar calculations, logs, basic algebra. Sorry for the super long reply, hope that helps you and please comment again if anything was unclear or you need more info 😀

  2. Hi Isobel, thank you for your very helpful blogs~The new term will start soon so I am kind of nervous…May I ask you a questions here? Today I was really sad to find out that I have missed the registration for Mums and Dads Scheme…(I did not notice the email from Pascal in my new email boxes!)Is it possible that I will still be matched up with a biology sister or brother? (I wish it will be someone like you…)
    Looking forward to meet you soon after I arrive~


    1. Hi Sherry! Fret not, every new student will be put into a biology family. The family event happens in the first week that you arrive so you’ll be meeting your biology family very soon. Hope all is going well for you as you prepare to arrive in London, do leave more comments if you have more questions 🙂

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