One thing you will learn pretty quickly when you arrive at Imperial is that everybody thinks their subject is the hardest. The chemists think that their insanely long lab hours make it the hardest degree, the mechanical engineers with their scary maths worksheets think they have it the worst, the medics getting up for placements at 6am everyday have a tough go of things and I have no idea what the electrical engineers do inside the EEE building all day but the ones I know like to complain a lot about their degrees. Everyone has a tough schedule, demanding courseworks and gruelling exams as well as other projects, commitments and compulsory extras (read about the Horizons courses – extracurricular humanties, language and business courses that are compulsory in some faculties – here!
Because being ill is no fun when you’re on your own and your mum isn’t there to bring you cups of tea. (Can you tell that I am coming down with a cold at this very moment?)
1. Stay hydrated. Drink lots of water and hot tea to avoid the headachey part.
2. The best offence is a good defence. Read as: EAT YOUR FRUITS AND VEGETABLES. I had absolutely horrendous freshers flu last year (as in, it lasted for three weeks and culminated in tonsilitis) and I’m pretty sure it’s because my kitchen in halls was carb central and vitamin and mineral free.
If you know me at all well, then you will know that I’m unapologetic in my love of food. There are a lot of student stereotypes that I do fall into (nap time = all the time, forgets to do laundry until only option is to wear pyjamas in public, stays up too late, leaves assignments until last moment) but one that I don’t like is the ‘students can’t cook’ stereotype. I love to cook. The way I see it, I have to eat, I have to take time out of my day to eat and if I’m going to spend fairly large chunks of my day preparing and eating food then I want that food to be delicious.
Now that I am 19 years old, a second year and living in a flat that I rent myself, I feel like I should have my life slightly more together. I had grand plans for this year. I would decorate my new room with fairy lights and candles, prepare delicious homecooked meals every week in my new kitchen, study every night at my brand new Ikea desk and keep a spotless home. Domestic goddess meets super intelligent lady biologist if you will. I would have my cake and eat it too once I’d moved into my new flat with my housemates.
So results day has been and gone, many of you are now unconditional offer holders for Imperial College…. CONGRATULATIONS! You should all feel very proud of yourselves. I know from experience that A Levels feel like the hardest thing in life at the moment you’re taking them but your hard work has paid off so well done. You can now enjoy the rest of your summer worry-free!
My summer has been great so far. I’ve just gotten back from a week in Alsace, France where I helped out at a summer camp and I had the best time. I worked with a fantastic team of people to serve the camp by washing up, cleaning, serving food and dressing up as an evil gang for a night game so that the kids could capture and ‘arrest’ us (the theme of the week was secret agents and there was a lot of back story going on… I still don’t understand all of it myself to be honest).
So, some people might think it’s weird for me to post about this on a blog that anyone can read but meh, to me it’s not something I feel I need to keep a secret and it could probably be helpful for me to talk about as I’m sure there are some amongst you lucky offer holders who do or will experience similar circumstances. So this blog is about my year leading up to my CFS/ME diagnosis.
What is CFS/ME I hear you ask? CFS/ME stands for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. They are two names for the same condition and it’s up to the sufferer which one they use… I personally prefer to say that I have CFS as it’s less confusing and it makes it easier for other people to understand.
Exams are only five weeks-ish away. The year is enarly over (HOW. HOW HAVE I BEEN HERE FOR A YEAR?!) The weather has (of course) improved drastically just as I chain myself to my desk. Courses are drawing to a close. Oh wow.
So revision. I am terrible at revising, I’ll put my hands up and say it. I just find it very very hard to get started and I inevitably end up taking a lot of tea breaks. And biscuit breaks. And food breaks in general. And of course I need an appropriate spotify playlist for my mood. And the temperature of the room has to be just right – is the window open too wide?
1. Guaranteed that you have friends waiting for you there, you just need to find them.
2. Great way to get to know the area and the university before you start lectures.
3. When it’s 1am and you’re coming back from the Union and you don’t want to go to bed yet, you can always find someone to have late night chats with.
4. Movie nights.
5. Hall organised events such as ice skating, musicals, Easter egg hunts, bowling, meals out and formals.
6. Feeling lonely? Make dinner then text everyone you know. Chances are at least a couple of people will come and eat with you.
If you have been following my blog for any period of time you will know that I frequently like to talk about the lack of women at Imperial. As most of my friends will tell you, this is something I feel pretty strongly about (no for real, even if they care 0% about the gender ratio, I rant about it so often they will still be able to tell you why it can be hard to be a woman here). I do think it’s important for Imperial ladies to stick together and to know what to expect so here we go, from one female to fresher to (hopefully!) another.
I’M FINALLY AT HOME FOR CHRISTMAS! As absolutely fabulous as it to not have to pay £3 every time I do a wash and experience my mum’s home cooking once more, it’s a bit surreal to sleep in my room and walk around my area again… I know I’ve only been away for ten weeks but it’s almost like everything that came before uni is a bit of a blur… Did I ever really live here?? Anyway, crises aside, I probably won’t have anything exciting to blog about over the festive season (unless you’re interested in biology of organisms and general crying about lab arithmetic) so I thought I would do a fun-filled Imperial Fresher FAQ
Is the Imperial Ratio as bad as people say it is?