Hmm how to start…
So, summer is here… Yes, London, 23ºC. Thank you, global warming.
And exams are over…
No more problem sheets, no more past papers, no more revision.
No more “do you think he will put absorption columns in it?”
No more “how many past papers have you done?”
No more “aaand pencils down!”
No more “what did you get for question 4?”
No more “ohh God I deserve it I just had a thermo exam” oreo milkshakes.
But the most important thing is of course the result. Our last exam was on the 6th June, but we had to wait until the 5th July – the Board of Examiners meeting – to find out the results.
I have never been to an Imperial Open Day before. When I was applying, I lived in Hungary, so I couldn’t just turn up on a random Wednesday at London… But yesterday, I finally attended one of these, and it was a-ma-zing. So let’s start from the beginning…
I got an email a couple of weeks ago. Perks of being a student blogger: when there is a marketing work, you’re the first to be asked 🙂 So they asked me if I liked speaking in front of a lot of people, because there will be a talk on the Open Day where they need students (i.e.
Well, first of all, they’re difficult. Especially if you had no “revision strategy” at all, and you have a tendency for procrastination. Like me. They’re also difficult, because this is Imperial. And you know, it’s the best uni in the world… So let me tell you a few things about exams…
1. You can get used to sleeping on the tube. That precious 30 mins can’t be wasted, so you need to use it the best you can: put on sunglasses, sit on the end seat and relax. Don’t forget to display your ID card (or at least some Imperial badges) so people don’t think you were partying yesterday…
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.
… where I no longer know what day it is today. I switched to a new time scale: how many days left till the next exam. It’s very effective 😀
The summer term has started but I didn’t really notice… We don’t have normal lectures, just a couple of revisions and extra tutorials. That means I don’t have to go to SouthKen at 7am, which is surprisingly good 🙂
Revision is… Well, I start to understand Thermo, which is progress, right? 😀
And of course, I couldn’t resist, so I signed up for volunteering at the Imperial Festival on the 7th May.
I’ve mentioned the rig building project already, but let’s refresh the basics again:
“Construction of a closed system rig to independently control level and flow rate of water between two tanks. Water must be delivered from one tank to the other tank while maintaining levels. No by pass or recirculation in only one tank will be allowed.”
We had a week to come up with a design, and then 7 hours to build it. It sounds manageable, but we had a couple other deadlines, so it was terribly exhausting and most of the time I was happy to be able to stand straight and not fall asleep…
First of all, the design.
Since my fellow blogger colleagues started to write about their average weeks, I thought I might try something similar… The only problem was that I always forgot to start it in the past couple of Mondays 😀 But this time I didn’t, so here is
my average week as a ChemEng student and Woodward resident.
05:45 Time to wake up! I like to wake up early because the tube is horrible after 8, so I try to avoid that period. Hence I get up when an average Computing student goes to bed…
07:00 The weather is cold but the sun is shining, the tube is half empty, the birds are chirping.
Act 1 – The casual resident
When I started Imperial, I wanted to focus solely on my studies. I did many “other stuff” in high school, but university is obviously a lot more difficult, so I decided to “stay out of any trouble” and just study-study-study. Well, I managed to do it for a couple of weeks… In the first few weeks, I only applied for the position of the Year Representative, but I didn’t get it, and looking back, I am actually glad. Being a year rep is mainly about arguing with the lecturers to extend a deadline or record the lectures.
“CE1-03-2 Foundation Laboratory (2015-2016)”
This is the fancy name of the lab sessions, something which we only started in the spring term, but I can understand now why… Even though we only have 2 sessions in approx. every two weeks, it requires a lot of preparation and work afterwards. In short, it is extremely time-consuming.
In my high school we didn’t have lab sessions, because my school didn’t have a lab. I did only a few experiments before uni (usually in summer camps or in other schools) but I think we can easily say I had no experience in labs.
Everyone knows that Imperial is (mainly) a STEM university. Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (and a bit of Medicine and Business): all the good stuff. The average Imperial student knows pi to the 40th decimal places by heart but probably couldn’t name 3 Shakespeare plays… That’s why the Horizons program is such a good idea: it brings a little bit of humanities into our STEMy world. How little? Well, exactly 2 hours a week 🙂
Amanda has written about the topic in detail, so I won’t repeat the dropout rate or the advantages and disadvantages. I would like to write about my experiences instead…
In the first term I signed up for The World Today (I chose this over Spanish because I realised Spanish can be learnt anywhere, but this course is quite a unique thing…).