Let’s start from the beginning. So, we had our first exam on Friday, then the Imperial Festival happened on the weekend, and in between there was a BBQ party in Woodward as well. I could say it was a busy weekend, but that would be quite an understatement…


First exam: Mastery. This was an afternoon exam, so I woke up at 8:30 and then didn’t do anything in the morning so that I have all my brain capacity available for the exam. It started at 14:00 so I decided to leave from Woodward at 11:30 – just in case anything happens. Well, as it turned out I wasn’t the only one worrying about the time: I met 11 guys from the Woodwarder ChemEng squad at the tube station… You can imagine the faces of the people when we started to loudly discuss the pressure drop equation for the case of unknown pipe diameter… We went to have a pancake and then joined the other 100 supernervous freshers waiting for the Mastery.

Everyone had different strategy: some guys tried to do last minute revision, some were eating / chatting / reading. And then there was my group: the nervously walking around and trying not to panic type… I was doing the usual pre-exam ritual, listening to my favourite motivational music:

At 13:50, 120 students invaded the Design Rooms. We realised that the seating plan is terrible: you are sitting at one end of a table and facing someone during the exam. At 14:00 sharp we started the exam…

… and at 16:55 I realised I only have 5 minutes left. And 15 % worth of questions to do… The thing about Mastery is that  it’s a pass/fail exam, with an 80% passmark. It means that you can only lose 20%. And if you couldn’t even start the last 15%, well, then you’re screwed… So, at the end, I was desperately trying to write down as many partial random information as possible, and I am hoping for the best. At least I was not the only one having problems: based on talking with a lot of classmates, I assume about the 120 of us will do the Mastery resit in June 😀

When I went home I couldn’t even think, so I just rewarded myself with a Subway sandwich and tried not to think about how terrible this exam was… Horrible… Awful… 🙁


First day of the #impfest!!! On Saturday I applied for tour guiding, which was basically taking groups from the info tent to the Pilot Plant. Easy, right? I arrived quite early, so I helped with the setting up of the info tent. Then it was time to take the first group to the Pilot Plant. Part of my job was to supervise them while they were in the room, so I had to stand outside and… and wait. 😀 The tours started at every hour and the Pilot Plant is about 3-5 minutes from the info tent. So when the first group was still inside and it was already 12:58, I started to panic a little… Then the next group suddenly appeared and that’s when the confusion started 😀 I managed to separate the two groups, direct the first one out while guiding the second in. But then, halfway through the second tour, a guy fainted in the control room…

So, as a volunteer, I was given detailed orders about what to do when I find a lost child, a lost adult or a “suspiciously behaving individual”. But what to do with someone who fainted????? Luckily, Dr Hale, who is the god head of the Pilot Plant, managed to remain calm, call the security, and carry on, but I was quite shocked. These are the situations you just can’t possibly be prepared for…

The rest of the tours went normal, except that none of them was finished on time, so I always had to run to the info tent and get the next group and then take the previous one out and ahh… It was a very-very-very busy day and I only had time for lunch at 16:30… The funny thing about the Imperial Festival is that it’s organised together with the Alumni Weekend, so the department was full of people with “graduated in this/that year” badges. I talked with a few of them and it was quite reassuring to realise that so many people “survived” the course… 😀

When I finally got back to Woodward, I realised it’s the day of the BBQ party. As I was hungry anyway, I went down to join the queue and have some fun. You might have realised by now that I am not that “party-type”, so when I say fun, I mean helping with the packing up and cleaning 😀 I ended up cleaning the tables and collecting the bottles, and… It was so good! I mean, that’s what I call fun: the satisfaction of turning back everything to normal, transforming a post-bbq table back to clean study desk, filling several bags with recycle-waste. I loved it 😀 But at the end, I was so tired that I literally fell into my bed…


Another #impfest day! There was no Pilot Plant tour this day, so I applied for being an Entrance Assistant. This was basically asking “Would you like a map?” about 2000 times and handing out these maps with some “You should see this or that” and “Have a wonderful day” 😀 It was quite funny, especially when people said no, then went to the other side of the street, stopped, looked in the street and saw the festival and the fun and the people and the feeling and the excitement, and came back, asked for a map, and went in 😀 Being an Entrance Assistant also meant standing. A lot. From 10am till 5pm, I only sat down for 10 minutes. At the end, I couldn’t even feel my legs 😀

Even though I have been there both days, I haven’t seen anything from the Festival (apart from the Pilot Plant tour about six times…). I could have walked around and check the Robot Zone or the Research Zone. But volunteering to make the festival successful was much-much better. I loved every bit of it, and I will definitely go next year as well. Seeing the happy faces, getting questions about being an Imperial student or getting random “Oh my god, this festival was AWESOME!”… I loved it. As you can probably tell…

Me and my lovely ImpFest T-shirt. Photo by Andreea :)
Me and my lovely ImpFest T-shirt. Photo by Andreea 🙂

2 comments for “#impfest

  1. Hi Dora,

    Thank you very much for your amazing support.

    I enjoyed reading your blog about your volunteering experience at the 2016 Imperial festival.

    I am very glad to hear you loved the Festival 🙂

    We are looking forward to the next year’s Imperial Festival .. with your support !!



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