2014 in Review

I don’t want to always be the person who remarks on the passage of time (like it’s a big suprise) but I can’t believe it is 2015. It feels like only yesterday that I was waking up on September 28th 2013 with butterflies in my stomach and the knowledge that once I left my house that morning to move in to halls, I’d never be living in my family home full time again.

In true new year spirit, I thought I’d give you a run down of some great 2014 moments and look ahead to what I’m hoping for from this year!

Izzie’s 2014 in Review

1. I came in to my own at Imperial. Anyone who knows me from home will know that I can be horrendously shy and awkward when going in to unfamiliar situations and to be honest, the idea of starting uni filled me with dread. On the day I moved out I was actually very excited but as we got to the Hammersmith flyover, my mother freaking out about driving on terrifying London roads, my father shouting at her to ‘JUST PULL OUT,’ and the contents of my life boxed up in the back of the car, I was overcome with a sense of impending doom. I didn’t want to leave home. I didn’t want to live with strangers. What was I doing. Can we turn back??! Suffice to say that after a blurry first term, I feel like I really found my niche in 2014. I met my best friends and my current housemates, got to grips with independent living and had some genuinely fabulous experiences.

2. I moved in to my first rented home. I got my first taste of true adulthood when we went on house viewings and signed the contract on the flat that will be our home for the next two years. I absolutely adore my flat and wouldn’t want to be living anywhere else, although moving into housing in the private sector is definitely a harsh wake up call to the world of real adult life. Rent, bills, broken washing machines, mice, broken showers, mouldy grouting, lights that don’t work and wobbly furniture have all come our way but I’m proud of having survived my first term in the new flat with no major mishaps (touch wood).

The view from my window!
The view from my window

3. I survived my first year of exams. First year ended up being very challenging for me for a number of reasons, one of which you can read about in this blog that I wrote but ultimately, I passed the year and I’m very happy about that. Though I can’t say I am massively fond of 3 hour exams…

4. I met my best friends. This sounds horrendously cheesey but even if you get nothing else out of your universiy experience, I really do believe that uni is where most people find their friends for life. I couldn’t be more thankful to have found such a great group of people to share life with.

Bouncy fun with besties
Bouncy fun with besties

5. I travelled abroad alone for the very first time! To the international students and travel lovers among you, flying alone is probably not a big deal, but to this kid who has lived in the same house her entire life and never been abroad without her parents before, making it to Gatwick airport and flying to Basel solo was a big triumph. In August 2014 I spent 8 fabulous days in Alsace, France, volunteering at a summer camp. A year ago I would not have considered doing this but I believe the confidence that I found at uni was a deciding factor in my decision to take the plunge and do it. And I’m so glad I did! It was a great week and I’m still in contact with many of the people that I worked with – we’re already counting down until we can go back this year!

Take me back to France!
Take me back to France!

6. I had an article published on the I, Science website! At the beginning on this academic year I decided to join the writer’s list for I, Science magazine. I, Science is a magazine produced in conjunction with Imperial’s student-run newspaper Felix. It focusses on current events in the science world and as well as being a print publication, there are a number of students who write blogs and articles for the website. I wrote about the transmission of Ebola virus disease from fruit bats to humans which you can read here! I’m trying to get more good writing practice in because…

7.The RCSU launched the 8th annual Science Challenge in December. The Science Challenge is a science communication competition run by the RCSU. Anyone can enter and the challenge is to answer a question set by one of the four guest judges (check out the questions here!). There is a cash prize for the winner and I think the final involves a fancy dinner (to be honest, fancy food is reason enough to enter in my opinion). I didn’t enter last year but I think I am going to make a good go at it this year as science communication has become my passion in life. If I enter and do well, it’s good exposure for going into a science comms career later, and if I flop, it’s still good practice! Whilst talking about it, please read fellow blogger Emma’s post about entering the SC last year… and winning!

Well that’s about it for my 2014 run down. It’s been one of the best and hardest years, both academically and emotionally(!), but I am glad to have made it through to 2015! Bring on a new year, new courses, new challenges and new experiences. I hope all you Imperial hopefuls had a lovely Christmas and best of luck for the coming year!


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