In this blog entry I would like to start by briefly comparing my previous impressions of the educational systems in Germany & UK. It’s not that easy, it’s actually like comparing croissants with Berliners. Both quite tasty, but fundamentally differently conceived. I would like to emphasize at first that these are only my personal impressions. Of course, the factors outlined beneath cannot be generalized to whole systems. Hence, no system should be put in a bad light.
The concept at the Imperial College is fundamentally different from my educational institution. We have lectures and examinations over a period of six months.
And how I wish I hadn’t been so worried
As soon as I found out that I’d be studying here, I was immediately filled with petty worries. Worries about whether I would miss home, not be able to make friends or struggle on my course! However since coming to Imperial I can say for certain that these concerns, and the many more I had, have all disappeared. Here’s a few of the worries I had and how I realised they actually weren’t actually such a big deal and how I wasted so much energy being worried about them!
It still is a big deal when there’s more girls than boys!
Living in Halls
I present to you- Woodward (WW) a.k.a #DiamondofImperial a.k.a Alaska (because it’s low-key a trek from campus).
In case you aren’t sure how it works, all first year undergrad students are guaranteed a place for accommodation as long as they accept Imperial as their firm. I received an invitation to apply for accommodation in July- you get to choose 5 preferences but these are all ranked equally.
My halls consist of three blocks: B, C, and D (I’m not quite sure what happened to A). Block D is arguably the place to be- where the kitchens have panoramic views. *Insert heart eye emojis* At WW, all the rooms are ensuite and we’ve also got an on-site two storey gym, music rehearsal rooms, study spaces, a common room complete with pool and foosball tables, etc.
Moving on as an Oxbridge reject
Getting rejected from Oxbridge is one of those moments where you feel like you’ve lost control and things haven’t gone how you wanted or expected them to go, leaving you feeling utterly discouraged. Maybe you feel like you’ve let yourself or someone else down, or maybe you feel annoyed or angry. Perhaps you feel drained, not seeing the point anymore and wishing you hadn’t tried in the first place.
Whenever you do feel like any of these, from disappointment to frustration it is most important to share how you feel with someone, I know it can seem like the hardest thing to do but it will definitely help you cope better.
How to work 16x faster on your laptop
Christmas is coming and yet many of us want to continue working on the computer during our holidays. Fortunately, we are becoming more and more mobile – writing, reading and 1000 other things can be done comfortably from our laptop. Nevertheless – there is always room for improvement, even when it comes to our laptop performance!
If your Laptop don’t possess an SSD, get a new one!
During my internship in 2011, my supervisor from the R&D department infected me with the spirit of Solid State Drives (SSDs). At that time, these things were quite unaffordable.
Last year, as part of EIE (EE + Computer Science) cohort we took 2 computing modules, which I find easier compared to EE. Looking just at coursework, my experience in computing was far better than EE. It’s possible for everyone to get close to 100 marks (all my friends have A* 80-100) whereas in EE the moment we get marks above 70ish it gets moderated down. Of course, the computing mark is pre-moderated as well. (I have my doubts that they lower it, who knows?)
I favour the computing side, not only because of the marks, but because I find some EE things slightly tedious (too much maths!), plus the exams are only 2 hours vs 3 hours long.
One term down, seventeen to go.
Something I was often told during Freshers’ Week (or Freshers’ Fortnight for the medics) was that my six years at Imperial will fly by. I saw no truth whatsoever to that statement at the time.
However, now that the winter holidays are finally upon us and January exams are alarmingly close- where exactly has first term gone? Honestly- what happened? The wrath of medical school interviews have begun for brave souls across the country, and it’s odd to think that it’s been a year since I was in that position!
After much procrastination and a degree of reflection, I finally pull myself together enough to write up my very first blog about my past 11 weeks at Imperial before it all becomes a blur to me.
The Christmas spirit is absolutely infectious in London.
After making it through a term of epidemiology and medical statistics, I think I’m at least qualified to say that. [95% CI crossing fingers, crossing toes].
Call me a Grinch but I’m not usually one to celebrate Christmas. Back in Singapore, the streets get all gussied up with lights and decorations but it’s hard to really get into the whole snowman thing when it’s 33 degrees Celsius all year round.
I hadn’t given it much thought here in London either, even as the temperatures started falling. Then one foggy Christmas eve day we went to our local laundrette and discovered that it’d turned into the neighbourhood Christmas tree purveyor overnight.
London is a big place, 1,572 km² to be exact, so you definitely need to know your way around. Whether it’s to shave off those precious seconds on the morning commute so you can lie in bed that bit longer or simply because you don’t want to walk in the rain, one of the most iconic transport systems has got you covered.
The Underground: A.K.A The Tube
Riding at high speed in a metal tube down a very dark tunnel, miles underground sounds like a great way to travel, right? Well, that’s basically the Tube! The massive network of underground tunnels crisscrossing all over London is one of the quickest (and more pricey) ways to get round on public transport.