Since I started this blog quite late in the term, I thought I’d update you on some of the things you have missed!
In second year Physics, labs are divided up into four week cycles, so before writing this blog I’d already completed my first lab cycle which was computing. In first year computing was almost universally dreaded, expect by a lucky few who had programmed before. We use the computing language Python, and I would say for anyone who has a Physics offer from Imperial, that it is really worth having a look at beforehand.
There’s no need to stress about learning how to do certain things in it because you will be taught the specifics, but I think the reason that I and so many other people found it difficult was just that it was so unfamiliar.
How tired you will be and how unembarrassed you will become about taking naps in public. I’m talking lectures, the library, computer rooms, and in my building (Sir Alexander Fleming Building or SAF as we affectionately term it) there are lots of grotty looking sofas on the ground floor. If you study biology or medicine I almost guarantee that will you attempt to nap on the SAF sofas before your time at Imperial is out.
How much you will just not care about your appearance. I mean, everyone likes to make an effort for certain events and occasions, but whereas at home I would never go to college without having washed my hair and thought about my outfit, I am pretty happy here to just put on anything and go.
You all seem like lovely people and it has been a great term getting to know you guys. I thank you for coming out your room occasionally to say hello because it is sometimes nice to have human contact here at Imperial.
I just have a few concerns about the way that we are handling our kitchen at the moment- and by “we” I mean most of you. Okay I will admit that I occasionally may leave a piece of pasta on the floor if it drops but I have never poured my whole beef casserole down the kitchen sink!
First a nominal post about social life at Imperial– it’s not at all what the rumours suggest! In fact, you will never make any friends and I’m still crying alone in my room most days. On rare other days, I make it to lectures and cry there.
Just kidding! Social life here is incredible, varied, and a completely different experience than high school. Everyone at Imperial came here for more or less the same reasons, and that counts for more than I expected when you’re making friends with people. We’re not all massive geeks, though we have those too, but being at Imperial means you’re down with talking science over lunch, will inevitably get excited over something in your lectures, and don’t have to pretend you find learning boring.
Let me just introduce myself– I’m Jelle, a first-year biochemist. It’s pronounced kind of like ‘yellow’ but if you forgot what you were saying halfway through, like “yell-uh?”.
You’re probably reading this, if you’re a prospective applicant or offer holder (congratulations!) for the same reason I read the blogs last year (and the reason I’m so excited to be writing one this year!) : it’s just really nice to have someone give that frank, real-talk account of what life is actually like here. The Imperial website can tell you, for example, which modules you’ll be expected to take as a first-year biochemist, but it won’t tell you that should work on the first cell-biology essay far in advance.
For most of us that came to Imperial we were the geeks of our schools- the hardworking “sciency” ones. Our individualities and personal quirks were built around this fact. However because everyone has passed the same interview to get into here it means that everyone is a hardworking, science geek with lots of hobbies. So how can we stand out and become individual all over again? What are the new stereotypes you can choose from as an Imperial Medic Fresher? (Note: You may be more than one!)
Bollywood Back Row- You know who you are. We know who you are. You will either catch them asleep in the back row after a late night out at PI or discussing an event happening at another London University.
You guessed it folks, the festive season is upon us. The massive Christmas lights are up in Westfields, the red cups are back in Starbucks and Oxford street is heaving with tourists. (On a side note, I frequently find myself getting angry with tourists despite the fact that I have literally lived in London for nine weeks so I basically still am one. Is this allowed??)
I like a good list so thus commences the first list of the blog:
Reasons Why London at Christmas is Aces
Christmas lightseverywhere. I was in Westfield Shopping Centre in Shepherd’s Bush today and there are some seriously impressive Christmas lights up in there.
Hey. Since this blog is probably mostly read by prospective students trying to figure out if Imperial is for them, I thought I’d answer some of the questions people ask me about Imperial.
What is it like living with ‘The Ratio’?
For any of you that don’t know, The Ratio is the ridiculously high number of boys to girls at Imperial. It’s different in different subjects- I think medicine and biology don’t really have problems with this for instance, but it is hugely noticeable when you first move in. There may very well be only one or two girls on your floor in halls for example, which can be odd, especially for the girls.