– 8 things that have gotten me through my first term
After ten weeks of lectures, problem sheets, weekly tests and repeat, with the odd excitement of computing coursework, I am wondering how I made it through this term without getting too exhausted of the cycle! As much as I love the struggle of finding “the largest number of chicken nuggets it is impossible to buy, when they come in boxes of 6,9 and 20” (real question!!), sometimes you do find yourself drowning in work and you need a break, to relax and clear your mind in order to improve your focus for when you do sit down to work again.
I had one of the most fantastic days on Wednesday as I graduated with my intercalated BSc! Imperial graduations occur at the Royal Albert Hall, which is just such a beautiful venue to celebrate in. The graduation ceremony for the School of Medicine was at lunchtime, so I could get to campus mid-morning to collect my gown and have some photos done with my family. The ceremony itself was so grand and we were all smiles and cheers watching our friends cross the stage with their degrees!
Walking across the stage
Going onto the stage was terrifying, and I really thought my gown was all wonky…but once you are up there it flashes by so fast.
Let’s face it: living in London is expensive. It might sound scary, especially that for some of you the first year of the university will be also the first year when you have to be fully responsible for your finances. Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Here are my survival tips.
Find a good accommodation. This is the key, since paying rent will be your biggest expense. Remember that you’ll also need to cover bills – and you might underestimate how high they’ll probably be. Having said that, I must stress: don’t go for the cheapest option. If something looks too good to be true, it probably is.
I am so grateful for all the amazing opportunities that Imperial gives you here. One of the best to date has been the intercalated BSc project. In 4th year we take a year out of medicine to do a BSc, and delve into a topic in depth. I have been doing Global Health, and finished my 3x 3hour exams in the last week of Feb. From March-May we now have time to complete out “dissertation” for our BSc, and my project is working with flight surgeons (space doctors) in Cologne at the European Astronaut Centre.
I am so grateful Imperial have supported me in my move out, and honestly my first week has been incredible.
Did you get accepted to Imperial College? Congratulations! Now it’s time for the real challenge – finding a place to live in London. Something nice, clean, quiet and close to the campus.
Well, unless you’re a millionaire, I don’t think such a place exists. If you’re based at South Kensington campus, you probably won’t be able to afford living close to the college, since its neighbourhood is one of the most expensive parts of London. The only exception: student halls, which are offered only to undergraduates, so not for me L But worry not, you aren’t doomed! Everyone finds a place, sooner or later.
There are some weeks when life overwhelms you and you can only just keep your head above the water. Even after you’ve recovered, it somehow takes monumentally higher courage to get back into the water.
Today, I jumped in. And it was fun.
After living in halls for four months with the world’s most zealous kayaking enthusiast, I finally bit the bullet and came along to a session. After back to back lectures, a lunch time committee meeting, labs and a Horizons French lesson, the thought of trying kayaking vs work was a no brainer.
You decided to cycle in London. Good choice! The benefits of commuting to the uni by bike are countless. Let me list just a few.
You save money. Plenty of money! Assume, optimistically, that you live in zone 1 or 2 (i.e., in the centre or quite close). Then the monthly travelcard will cost you £126.80. For this amount of money you could buy a decent new bike, a second-hand one would be even cheaper. So the bike will pay off in just a month, maximum two, if you decide on a fancy one! Do I still need to persuade you that it’s worth it?