One of the best parts of my life at Imperial
With the Netball season coming to a close, I thought it was time to reflect on another year as a member of Imperial College Netball Club (ICUNC). If you’ve ever seen me around campus during the week, there’s a high chance I was probably covered head to toe in Netball Stash, but my love for Netball and the girls at ICUNC doesn’t end there. As a girl at Imperial, it can be pretty lonely, but the saving grace has been the incredible girls I have met through Netball. Training together through the freezing winter, matches in the rain and Sports Nights going wrong has made me so close to all of the girls in my team and the rest of the club, and I have so appreciated always knowing that I have a whole team of girls to turn to.
The other day, one of my classmates came up to me with a rather interesting question. He was wondering whether student bloggers were able to say bad things or criticize Imperial in any way.
And the truth is that yes, we can. I guess we simply don’t do it because we want to spread positivity within our readers. However, he made me realize it was time to share our not-so-pink reality. After all, prospective students need to know what they are getting themselves into.
The downside of Imperial’s internationality
Although diversity is one of the qualities we are most proud of, it does drag along a small issue: background inequality.
Choosing a PhD supervisor is one of the most important decisions you must make before you start grad school. A bad one can turn three or four years of your life into a nightmare, while a good one will make the experience bearable, if not enjoyable (at times).
I often get asked for advice on how to approach this decision. Today I’ll share what I did and what factors mattered to me most. However, bear in mind that everyone has different needs and deal-breakers, so please don’t blindly apply all my advice!
I started looking for a supervisor quite early, over half a year before beginning my PhD.
Growing up I don’t think I was actually aware of the gender gap in STEM. Having gone to an all girls school, I grew up in this idealistic bubble where I thought I could do anything and be anything I wanted. I am glad for this bubble as it didn’t hold me back from trying to be the best at Science, Maths and Computing. However in yr10 this bubble was popped. No it wasn’t popped by some boy saying he was better than me or a teacher telling me girls couldn’t be engineers.
As we all know, Imperial is one of the world’s top universities, with an internationally recognised reputation. Would you say that this reputation is obtained by having students chilling out? You guessed right, it isn’t.
If you are a student here, you will already know what the overload of work is like. If you aren’t a student yet, do not worry, you will find out.
So, when you have a computing exam coming up, three tutorial sheets to be done, a few lectures to Panopto, two labs to write and a life to live, you better organise yourself.
Here are a few tips that may help you to be the most productive you can possibly be:
Your whole year is already timetabled, the least you could do is check how does your week looks like.
How have I already reached halfway through my time at Imperial?
As we hit the middle of September there was only one thing I could really think about, coming to half way through my degree. All undergraduate Imperial students studying engineering and most science students are on 4 year programmes, however, breaking tradition, I have decided to only do the 3 year BSc. A lot of this is due to my focus away from research and towards industry as the 4th year of the maths degree leans towards research.
During my year and half here I have definitely made some incredible friends from all over the world, learnt so much – not only academically but also practically and also had some of my best memories.
Leake Street Tunnel is a hidden celebration of urban art in Central London.
Located just off the bustling Southbank, under Waterloo station is perhaps the most colourful tunnel in the UK. Spray painting is normally something that is shunned, but down in Leake Street it’s encouraged. The tunnel was last open to traffic when the Eurostar was located in Waterloo. But now, it’s a pedestrian only area, full of magnificent art.
In May 2008, the Bristolian artist Banksy curated the “Cans” Festival in Leake Street. The festival extended an open invitation to urban artists to come turn a dark forgetful tunnel into a vibrant, modern art exhibition.
We have all experienced the pressure of sitting an exam but, oh dear, school has nothing to do with university. There are three main characteristics that differ school exams/A-levels to uni examinations: complexity, time consumption and uncertainty of performance.
First of all, the contents of the module to be examined are usually a whole new bunch of stuff you have never seen before. You only need to check out the names of the subjects: structural analysis, aerodynamics… where are my known physics, chemistry or biology?
Forget about being in a class where you revise previous years’ content, as this is very unlikely to happen in a lecture theatre at 9 am.
Like a lot of imperial applicants, I applied around October, with a cheesy personal statement. Yes, cheesy, I still look back at it now and couldn’t resist a giggle here and there. But hey, it got me here. I remembered, when I was writing it I thought, how would anyone expect a 16 y.o. to know what they want to do for the rest of their life. In that moment, I stopped and wrote not what I thought would get me in, but I wrote what makes me who I am today.
After I applied, to the 5 university choices, I waited.
Applications for 2019 entry to the Science Communication Unit are open and will remain so until the 26th of February. For those interested in the courses on offer at the unit, here is an insight into a day of an MSc Science Communication student.
Tuesday 15th January
08:30 The alarm goes off and the day begins. Whilst having my breakfast I browse through The Conversation’s latest articles, an independent news publication which I recently discovered. It sources articles from the academic and research community and is written to engage the public. You are encouraged to keep up-to-date with science (and general) news whilst in the Science Communication Unit at Imperial and I find reading earlier in the day works for me.