So here I am a few weeks into term and, like hundreds of other new students, I’m trying to get to grips with the new routine and understand what’s expected of me, what are my priorities, balancing the early beginnings of my course-load with the host of other opportunities & activities available. How do I settle quickly into a new routine? That seems to be the most pressing question. Well a good starting point is getting into College each morning, which itself depends very much on the question of deciding where to live and finding accommodation (and I’ll have more to say about that process in a future blog…) For the time-being let me just confess that despite my number one criterion when flat-hunting being a maximum of 30 minutes walking to Imperial, I somehow ended up near Vauxhall Bridge- about 6 km away, taking at least a good hour’s walk.
“Are you crazy? Going to university in your 50s! What on earth are you thinking? But you’re already a grand-father, why do you want to become a student?”
These were not the actual questions people asked me; they were normally much more polite and restrained when I told them that I’d be going off to do an MSc in Sustainable Energy at Imperial College in London. “How do you feel about becoming a student?” was the typical question I was asked many times by family and friends in the run-up to the start of term. How to start answering that? Excitement?
So it’s International Women in Engineering Day this Friday!
I’m glad of the existence of such a remarkable day!
For it’s a day that appreciates the women in this field
One that inspires girls to use the mind they wield
Let me introduce you to my best friends
Whom which I would stick with until the world ends
Introducing the craziest women in engineering I know
We are the four girls in EIE and you’re probably like “whoa?!”
Zoë is in a deep-seated relationship with mathematics…
Seriously she’s interested if it’s got anything to do with quadratics except when she’s busy with Acrobatics
Belen is the human embodiment of robotics and totally into electronics.
In 3 years’ time, I’ll be graduating from Imperial as an undergrad. Today I got to see behind the scenes of the big day, by volunteering at the Postgraduate Graduation Ceremony.
First year is great and you’re going to have loads of fun but, if you’re anything like me, and you’re starting first year you’re going to be scouring these blogs for advice and reassurance! I’ll try!
You will make friends. They might be you’re hallmates, coursemates, in the club you joined, met them at a club (most likely on the way back) or you decided to crash their table one night (yes, don’t judge me, it worked!). Wherever. You will make friends and you’ll probably find it a lot easier than in school, you’ll always have science in common!
Make it easier on yourself though!
So it’s about that time of year where you realise if you want to stay at Imperial next year (and you do!) you actually need somewhere to live!
Where to start?!
Okay so here are the top things you should think about
1) Know your budget
This is the key thing to do before you start and will determine which areas you should look in. Remember you’ll now have to think about wifi, gas, electricity, water and transport, if you’re tubing/busing as well.
2) Think about location
So your budget might help you here! Obviously closer to college will be more expensive but don’t rule out nearer just because of that, you might save on tube/bus fares.
Being able to pursue higher education in London has always been one of my objectives on my ever-growing to-do list and quite frankly, I believe the same for many of you guys reading this too who are considering to undertake a degree in London!
It’s very true when they say living in London is costly. But that’s not the point of this post and in fact, it’s quite the opposite. It’s going to incur some unexpected expenditures, and for me, that is *cues drum rolls*…..
Yes, you heard me right. Food glorious food! I mean, do I even need to introduce this to anyone at all?
When you are a student at one of the best universities in the world (a.k.a. Imperial) you tend to study. A lot. Basically all the time. You accidentally put down Central Library as your home address and drink more coffee than water… (Seriously, my exams are sponsored by caffeine…).
And while you know all the different types of heat exchangers and the derivation of the Navier-Stokes equations, you might forget an interesting fact: that you happen to live in London. The best city in the world. The home of super-amazing-fantastic cultural experiences (theatre, cinema), culinary experiences (restaurants, pubs) and shopping experiences (Westfield, high streets).
Everyone has a to do list.
A list of dreams, ideas, and tasks that just have to get done.
But we rarely finish our lists? Why?
Some goals are not SMART? They’re not Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic or Time Framed. But some goals are SMART and we fail to achieve them anyway, or we achieve them inefficiently.
Today I’d like you to stop. Stop making excuses for why you haven’t progressed on the side project you started a few months. Stop deliberating about how to start a dream – just start. And stop doing things just because everyone else is; nobody ever changed the world because they did what everyone else did.
Instead take charge.
It is my personal belief that a good scientist is more than just his own set of skills/proficiencies in laboratory techniques and applications. It is in fact, the amalgamation of several measures, both tangible and intangible traits that often define the “standard” of an outstanding scientist. With this brings me to one of the many such measures e.g. building professional network connections.
How do I go about doing this?
Well, my answer is to participate in social events. Imperial often hosts a whole list of events at its campuses throughout the academic year and one event that I had attended in the past week was the Imperial Postgraduate Open Evening held at the Hammersmith Campus.