It has been two weeks since I finished my first ever hospital placement or firms as we call them at Imperial. 2nd year has been going at full speed, so it was really nice to spend the last three weeks of term in hospitals seeing and talking to patients as opposed to lectures or tutorials.
I was based in the acute stroke unit in Charing Cross Hospital with three other students. Although, we had a general induction from Imperial the day before we started and a Charing-Cross-Hospital-specific induction on the first day of firms. It still felt daunting to go into the ward as we all felt that we didn’t belong there yet.
Is it too early to be thinking about going back to university? It’s that weird time at the end of the year, between Christmas and New Year’s, when no one really knows what day it is or what they’re supposed to be doing. In this time I find my thoughts keep coming back to the start of Term 2, which is just one week away now.
Firstly, I hope you have all had a lovely Christmas, whether you spent it at home with your family and friends or here in London exploring the city. With New Year’s Eve coming up and then Term 2 starting just a few days after that, here’s some tips for making the most of the last week of the holidays.
I’ve really needed a job to undo my financial errors. To be blunt, I was very financially reckless last term, knowing fully well that I was spending more than I was getting, and that nothing could really bail me out. Therefore, I decided to return to my gap year job in retail.
Being the most busy season of the year, they welcomed me with open arms!
Working during the Christmas holidays has been a blessing, but not without its stresses. This blog post outlines the good and bad parts of Christmas retail.
The good parts
Money! Ultimately, I needed this job because the minus sign on my bank statement was turning my blood cold.
Studying at Imperial; one of the best universities in the world, is certainly not easy. It can get tough sometimes. Catching up with lectures and tutorial sheets, meeting report deadlines, rushing projects, all the while trying to maintain a decent social life and sleep. Sounds impossible doesn’t it? It doesn’t help that I’m the kind that cannot stay still and do one thing at a time!
“You’ll only focus on studying and not join anything else this term!” It’s been 3 terms and it certainly hasn’t worked out AHAHAHAH. I TRIED but at Imperial, there are just so many exciting things to do!
Important factors to consider when flat-hunting in London
Before coming to Imperial, I was concerned about how there is no campus accommodation after your first year. However, this offers flexibility for you to decide how you want to live. There are many options, living alone, with friends, in halls…so what are some factors you must consider?
Staying in halls close to campus
If you haven’t gathered the courage to find friends to live with, don’t worry. Evelyn Gardens is an accommodation for returning undergraduates that has similar layouts to first-year halls, letting you make friends with people on your floor whilst having your personal space in one-person bedrooms.
In Syria, we celebrate Christmas on the 25th day of December of each year. The celebrations take many forms from spectacular Christmas trees, colourful decorations and Christmas songs blasting from almost everywhere to life-size nativity scenes in big and famous churches and squares in Damascus. Giving presents is customary but it is usually from parents to their young children. It stops once the children reach a certain age around 12-14 years. Families gather together for a family feast on Christmas Eve. Usually, they can hear the sound of enthusiastic and celebratory fireworks in the background.
‘Milad Majeed’ is how we say Merry Christmas in Syria and we call Father Christmas ‘Papa Noel’ although Santa Claus is also quite common.
During the fall term I spent most of my time on campus, even coming in on weekends to use the pool at Ethos and get some work done in the quiet student common room of my department building. But now that the College is closed for the holidays I’ve been spending a lot more time at home, which for me is a student accommodation in North London. Finding a place to live in London was a big concern for me as an incoming international postgraduate student, as options through Imperial were limited, and I know that many of my fellow students have been in the same boat.
Insights on time management, making friends and self-care
Many Imperial students such as your departmental Mums and Dads (a support scheme of older students) would tell you that Imperial has a “work hard, play hard” culture – drink on weekends, study hardcore on weekdays. This is not necessarily true as you are the one in control of your uni experience. It’s also impractical if you cannot stand working for long hours. Moreover, not drinking seems like a social disadvantage since the most notable weekly event at uni bar FiveSixEight is when all sports societies head down after practice to chill. There’s so much going on, academics, socialising…- the people are one of the best things about Imperial – so how do you make the most of your time here?
Whilst my first two years at Imperial could be largely summed up by my extra curricular activities, coming into third year I have decided to focus my attention on my degree in order to secure that 2.1. (I’m not that academic :/ )
With this in mind, my first step was to decide what activities I would continue into final year, and what would sadly have to face the chop. Having been elected President of MathSoc, I knew that this would be my biggest focus and would take up most of my free time.