Work (not very) hard. Play (a lot) harder.

I think I might be the only person I know who wishes Christmas wasn’t so soon.

Don’t get me wrong; I LOVE Christmas. Christmas trees are appearing everywhere (including one that randomly appeared on the kitchen table today); Secret Santas are being arranged; and I’m having lots of Christmas dinners in the next few weeks with lots of lovely people. But I still don’t want Christmas to come.

Kitchen Christmas Tree :)
Kitchen Christmas Tree 🙂

By Christmas, I will have finished my first term at medical school.

Meaning that I only have 17 terms left, which suddenly doesn’t seem very long to learn a lot of stuff.

And then I get to go and be a doctor – eek :O

I’ve wanted to be a doctor since I was about ten. I was first influenced by my mum’s addiction to Casualty and Holby City. Since then I’ve had to come up with some better reasons for wanting to study medicine to put in my personal statement. All the generic (but true!) stuff such as ‘I’m really passionate about science’ and ‘I want to help people.’ I feel a bit sorry for medicine admissions tutors, having to read pretty much the same thing thousands of times. Although I don’t feel quite so sorry for the ones who decided not to give me an interview. But I don’t care because I didn’t want to go to their medical schools anyway 😛 (ICSM love <3)

The first time I applied to uni I decided that there was no way I was ever going to Imperial. My mum, two aunts and two uncles all studied here; so I, of course, decided I definitely didn’t want to – I wasn’t even going to bother with the open day. Long story short, I applied elsewhere, received four rejections and decided to take a gap year and rethink things a bit. It was then I realised I quite liked the idea of going to study Medicine in London – this was of course because ‘London’s such a diverse city, offering medical students a far greater variety of clinical experience’ – definitely nothing to do with the music scene…

Me (far left) and my friend Mew (far right) with Gabby Young & Other Animals in November. This band had absolutely nothing* to do with me wanting to study in London. *I may not be being entirely honest here...
Me (far left) and my friend Mew (far right) with Gabby Young & Other Animals in November.
This (London-based) band had absolutely nothing* to do with me wanting to study in London.
*I may not be being entirely honest here…


So, I went along to Imperial’s open day and, despite all intentions, fell in love (cheesy, but true). Over the next few months, my purpose in life was solely to get into Imperial – personal statement, BMAT, interview, etc., etc., etc.. It’s been more than nine months since I got my offer, I’ve been here two months and I think that maybe it might possibly just be starting to sink in that I am studying Medicine at Imperial College London!! 😀

I’ve been here for two months and I love it even more than I did at the open day. I’ve learnt a lot (mainly outside of lectures), spent more money than I really should have, deprived myself of sleep and vitamins (until some vitamin tablets arrived in the post – thanks Mum!) and made some wonderful friends.

Some of the most important/useful/random things I have learnt so far:

– Eight hours sleep a night is really not necessary. Five hours at night and then three the next day during lectures works equally well.

– Even if you have had eight hours of sleep the night before, there are some lectures that are impossible to stay awake in *cough*Epidemiology*cough*

– Freshers’ Flu is real (see coughing above.) I’ve been ill since week 2. During the first few weeks, every lecture was accompanied by a constant cacophony of coughing.

– The violin parts for all the songs in ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ (I’ll blog about this soon!)

– A LOT of drinking games

– Looking at stuff under a microscope is actually kinda cool. Or maybe I’m just a nerd…

– It is a bad idea to realise as you step outside in the morning that you’ve left something that you need in your room … on the third floor… up six flights of stairs… (d’oh!)

– When the label on an item of clothing says it shouldn’t be tumble-dried, it’s honestly okay to ignore it.

– ICSM is like one big, happy family – some of the older years told us this when we started, which at the time seemed really cheesy but actually turned out to true… ICSM love <3

Medical students are well known for their motto ‘work hard, play hard’ (or, at Imperial, ‘work hard, play harder’.) At the moment, the first years are neglecting the first part a bit but making up for it by focussing on the second. Far too much fun has been had to write about everything here (i.e. I’m being lazy) but a few highlights have been:

– ICSM MusicSoc’s Weekend Away in Bristol – 48 hours during which we took the ‘Fun Bus’ to Bristol, where we spent a lot of time in various Wetherspoons across Bristol and rehearsed a bit to justify it being a ‘Music’ weekend. The best bit was Saturday night – going for dinner and then to Thekla in our ‘Firms’ and all dressed in scrubs. Depending on year, we were ranked from ‘Consultants’ (6th years) to ‘Work Experience Students’ (1st years e.g. me). My firm was ‘Obs & Gynae’ so our tasks for the evening involved educating people on STDs and contraception… and, randomly, building lots of pyramids (out of ice cubes, ‘wet floor’ signs, people)

– Opera Invasion – a group of us from Light Opera Society went round London trying to complete a list of tasks. We ended up fitting a lot of us in a telephone box and even more of us on a (stationary) Boris Bike; playing hide-and-seek in Harrods; and singing songs from musicals outside of the relevant theatres, amongst other random, crazy, fun things.

Yes, there is a bike under there!
Yes, there is a bike under there!
Rainbow! Minus orange... and green... and indigo and violet..
Rainbow! Minus orange… and green… and indigo and violet..
Light Opera Society creates true works of art.
Light Opera Society creates true works of art.

– Halloween – I never did much for Halloween when I was younger, so dressing up for the Halloween Bop at the Reynolds (Medics’ bar) was very exciting!

Creepy cracked china dolls for Halloween. Left to right: Me, Catkin, Mew.
Creepy cracked china dolls for Halloween.
Left to right: Me, Catkin, Mew.

If my first term is anything to go by, the next 17 are going to be amazing. I used to see medical school as something I had to do to become a doctor, but it’s actually a lot more than that. It’s an amazing experience, and an education (not just in lectures!) Best of all, it’s a wonderful family.

On that cheesy note, I’ll stop writing for now.

Blog again soon,

Em x

2 comments for “Work (not very) hard. Play (a lot) harder.

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