Hi. 🙂 This is me (finally) following up on mentioning that I was stressed and depressed in second term this year. I am not anymore!
A period when you feel like you can’t quite cope with things (or perhaps a rather more extreme version of that feeling) seems to be common at university, so I thought I would share with you what helped me when I was in a similar situation and might help you prevent some sadness.
Firstly though, two things:
1) You might be thinking: ‘lol stressed?! Why would I be stressed at uni? No parents, lots of friends and activities and university is all about having fun.’
I have just got back from a glorious week in Tenerife where I went in a submarine (!) and also found out that I did well in second year. I hope everyone reading this is having a similarly fun summer and is awaiting/has received good results too!
This week is a bit of a different blog— as you might know, I am in the process of discovering what sorts of careers are involved in science communication. To this end, I am hopefully (if I can find more willing volunteers) going to be asking a few questions to some of the people I talk to about their jobs and experiences for this blog.
I wrote blithely a couple of weeks ago about ‘how much of an expert’ at renting and moving houses in London I should be by about now. It is now now, however, and that was very very very very wrong. To demonstrate how much of a non-expert I am here is a list of some things that you should NOT do when moving house:
(If I sound exasperated [by which I mean I definitely do sound exasperated], that is because I AM. Brush off the sarcasm and my obvious inability to let things go and hopefully there are some genuinely helpful points here somewhere…)
1) Don’t wait until right at the end of term when everyone has gone back to their actual homes or their actual other countries.
Here is the previously promised planet cake video 🙂
The pictures you can’t quite see in the background are a plan of the cake (in the picture below) and that classic photo of Earth seen through Saturn’s rings as the little tiny blue dot.
Frustratingly, the side we cut into the green (metallic hydrogen) layer was a bit mixed in with the outer atmosphere of Saturn! It actually came out much better the other side, but we ate that so you’ll have to take my word for it…
If anyone is thinking of doing this themselves please (please!) cook the core completely then fill the edges of the molds with the next layer’s mixture and place the cooked core inside it to cook again and continue this way.
I apologise in advance for this blog being a bit scatty today as I have been really busy since the end of exams and am going out again in about an hour to Imperial’s Raising and Giving summer festival where one of my housemates is playing in a band. I have woken up to him learning songs on guitar in his room for the last three days straight, and by the sounds of it, it should be a good show!
Last weekend I dived straight into after-exam-joy by making a Saturn cake (the video of which I will hopefully post when Alex and I have had time to edit it).
I finished exams today! It has been a very long two weeks…
A couple of days before they started my parents came down for a stress-break lunch on the river and we went to a talk on dark matter at the Royal Institution which you may remember from another blog is my new favourite place.
The speaker (http://gianfrancobertone.net/about/) was great and presented some very compelling evidence for dark matter over other theories that seek to explain the odd behaviour of stars and galaxies, as well as being endearingly honest about the uncertainties in the field and frankly how much he didn’t like the necessity of dark matter at all.
It’s been an interesting second week. My second course for this term (Nuclear and Particle Physics) has begun and feels like we have already had much much more than a week of it… It’s one of those courses that quickly sail through lots of results from equations we can’t derive or understand or do and hmm. I’m not it’s biggest fan so far (although it has been useful in telling me how much of special relativity I need to revise from last year). I think the ‘nuclear’ section might contain a bit more information that is more accessible– we shall see.
This week we have had our options talks for third and fourth year. Choosing is a lot trickier than I’d thought- there are many more interesting options than I can pick, and possible essay titles to think of and projects to decide on…
I can do a Horizons (humanities or business course) next year for credit which I am really looking forward to as the courses I have done the past two years have been excellent and communicating science especially really helped me put a lot of what I have been learning in a wider context
I am thinking about doing an extended essay building on what I did last year (luckily I got on well with my lecturer and she has very kindly offered to supervise me) so now I just have to think of a title….hmmmm.
It’s the start of summer term! Summer terms are weird—they very so wildly between courses that there is always someone to be found stressing about their imminent exams. Maths, for example in second year has exams in two weeks, no new courses and then a group project—I have exams in five weeks, two new courses and after that am completely free, and Chemists (poor, poor over-worked beings) have three new courses a—reduced—eight hours a week of labs and exams scattered here there and everywhere. Oh well. It’s always nice knowing that someone is working harder than you!
For the rest of the blog I thought I would write a little bit about open-access Science Journals.