Exam Freedom!

I haven’t blogged in such a long time! But exams are now finally over, the summer ball was last night and term has finally drawn to a close. It’s crazy to think that this time last year I was moving out of halls. Second year has flown by and I’m frankly terrified by the speedy passage of time. I feel like things definitely go quicker the older you get! So I’ve been exam-free for a week and it’s been great! I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve been up to (and my apologies to the second year medics who haven’t even finished their exams yet… thinking of you guys!).

The biologists take over the Union post-exams!
The biologists take over the Union post-exams!

This has very much been a week of chilling and catching up with friends. The exam period has been long and gruelling with many hours spent holed away in my room or in Charing Cross Library trying to remember the stages of phosphorylation cascades in T Cell signalling or the life cycle of the influenza virus. The Saturday that my exams finished one of my friends had his birthday party which was a lovely way to catch up with people who I hadn’t seen for a while. There was also a trampoline and a dog so it was a pretty great party.

Fun in the late evening sun at the birthday party.
Fun in the late evening sun at the birthday party.
I've had lots of time to bake since finishing exams so I made these chocolate-greek yoghurt cupcakes for the party.
I’ve had lots of time to bake since finishing exams so I made these chocolate-greek yoghurt cupcakes for the party.

On Monday I went shopping at Westfield Shepherds Bush in the morning, something I’ve been putting off for ages because I needed new shoes and I really don’t like shoe shopping! After that I met up with some friends for lunch and board games! I had my first experience with Settlers which is a brutal stragey game that involves building settlements and roads and trading your resources to gain the most points. I did not win but hoping to go in strong the next time I play this.

The Settlers board is very odd
The Settlers board is very odd

On Wednesday I went over to South Kensington to help set up at my church’s annual bazaar. I baked a cake for the cake stand which turned out a bit ugly but the ladies on the stall were so happy when I showed up with cake… apparently there was some kind of disaster and there weren’t enough cakes so some of the mums had to do an emergency baking sesh that morning. Drama! I also had lunch with a chemist friend whilst she was taking a break from the library.

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One of the sad things about finishing exams before other friends is that I’ve been hanging out on my own quite a lot. Not wanting to waste the great weather though I went down the Thames path to my fave park and soaked up the rays (through my factor 50 suncream of course. #gingerlife). I also befriended a dog. it was a great afternoon.

That sun tho
That sun tho

My bestie finished her exams on Friday and we went for a lovely walk along the river in the evening sunshine. The Thames is honestly beautiful at that time of day in the sun, I love how it feels like you’re in the countryside even when you’re in central London!

On Saturday we had the annual Christian Union barbeque. The turnout was great and although it was forecast to rain all day, we only got a little bit of drizzle which I’m very grateful for! I loved spending time with CU buddies before we all head off for the summer. A friend from home was also visiting me so we went to the Victoria and Albert museum to look at the Raphael Cartoons room. These are absolutely enormous paintings by the Renaissance painter Raphael of scenes from Bible stories that were comissioned by the Pope in the 16th century to be references for tapestries which were hung in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. They’re very impressive and I find it quite amazing that these paintings are 500 years old and very precious and important for art history and yet I can cross the road from uni and see them any time for free!

This installation is part of a theme that the V and A is focussing on this year - what does it mean to be responsible for a national collection and  how does design affect our collective identity?
This installation is part of a theme that the V and A is focussing on this year – what does it mean to be responsible for a national collection and how does design affect our collective identity?

Saturday (yesterday although time has melted into a blob for me at this point) was, of course, the summer ball. Imperial students turned out in force to enjoy the fairground rides, fireworks, live performances from Imperial groups and a set by Professor Green on the South Kensington campus. At 1am, lots of people headed across the road to the Union to go to the after party. Although I didn’t attend the ball itself, I did go to the after party with the CU to hand out teas, coffees and biscuits to everyone who was coming across for the party. Some people find it quite odd that the CU willingly stand outside in the wee hours to chat to the party-goers and supply them with biscuits and hot drinks but we’ve become a welcome and dependable presence at Union events throughout the year and people seem to really appreciate having something to eat to keep them going. We packed up around 4.30am and I finally got home to bed at 5.30(!)

 

ICCU survivors post-after party! This was taken at 4.30am!
ICCU survivors post-after party! This was taken at 4.30am!

It’s been a great, fun-filled week and I’m so happy to be done with what was my best exam period at Imperial so far. I’m feeling positive for results days and also looking forward to heading home this weekend to see my family and get started on my summer holidays. My plans, among other things, involve going to Serbia, doing some work experience and (eek!!) turning 20. That’s for another blog post though.

Congrats to all the A2 students who have finished their exams! Enjoy your summers and I look forward to meeting some of you in October when you arrive at Imperial for the first time 🙂

 

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