As we approach the final stretch of a very busy year, I would like to take a moment and reflect upon what I believe were good and perhaps not so good decisions that I have made during its course. Hopefully this would help Freshers of 2015 and any future Imperial Chemical Engineering students so that you won’t repeat my mistakes. So, instead of a to-do list (which I think is quite presumptuous-me telling you what you should do), I compiled a ‘what-NOT-to-do’ list. Here it is:
Leave everything until the Easter break.
You might think that a month is more than enough time to catch up with 6 months’ worth of material, but, trust me, it is not.
I have to say I am quite disappointed that I haven’t seen a single snowflake thus far; it seems like I always miss it. First, the snowstorm at the end of December (I was in Oman enjoying the magnificent warmth and sunlight after many a bleak, grey days) and then, the day after I leave Reading, it snows there. It was my first time outside of London (I really should go out more!!). I was visiting a friend of mine who studies there. It was interesting to experience the differences between London and a large town (my friend insists that Reading is not a city, but on the edge of one).
It’s inevitable that whenever a year draws to a close, people feel the need to constantly ram down your throat how amazing their year has been and all the wonderful things they’ve done. It becomes annoying and unrelenting, so that’s why I waited for it all to simmer down so I can ram this blog post down your throats. Actually I just procrastinated too much over Christmas so much that this post wasn’t ready yet.
But in all seriousness, I decided it would be a good idea to review what has been an incredibly interesting year…I also realise the only entry in my blog thus far is a rant about missing a train.
It’s official, I have now been back in London for a month. I am no longer a fresher – it usually takes me a moment or two to remember this when someone asks me what year I’m in – and I do grown up things now that I live in a flat and not halls, like pay rent, set up direct debits and clean the kitchen. Wow.
After a great (but long) summer, it’s been a little bit difficult to settle back in to Imperial life but I’m enjoying my courses so far and also the change to my timetable! Morning labs can be hard to motivate yourself before but on a non-lab day I now get a lie in rather than the continuous 9am starts that I had last year so I’m not complaining too much!
So results day has been and gone, many of you are now unconditional offer holders for Imperial College…. CONGRATULATIONS! You should all feel very proud of yourselves. I know from experience that A Levels feel like the hardest thing in life at the moment you’re taking them but your hard work has paid off so well done. You can now enjoy the rest of your summer worry-free!
My summer has been great so far. I’ve just gotten back from a week in Alsace, France where I helped out at a summer camp and I had the best time. I worked with a fantastic team of people to serve the camp by washing up, cleaning, serving food and dressing up as an evil gang for a night game so that the kids could capture and ‘arrest’ us (the theme of the week was secret agents and there was a lot of back story going on… I still don’t understand all of it myself to be honest).
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.
2) Family– My family hasn’t really changed to be fair, but the amount of time I see them has increased a lot. Before university I would sit in my room, alone. Most of the time in the dark. Now I see them about once a week. Result!
3) Food– Oh gosh food is amazing. I have really fallen in love with big meals. My cooking “buddy” makes me eat a lot of vegetables which is a nice change from the lunchtime £1.43 chips at the union. Some of the meals I have had have been full of imagination and creativity with favourites including burgers on waffles with nutella.
It is hard starting afresh. New friends, new environment and new lifestyle. It was even harder coming to Imperial, one of the greatest Universities in the world, with preconceptions of what life would be like here. After hearing all the rumours about Imperial’s (lack of) social life, I sought some advice from an older student who told me to just throw myself into Imperial and I will love it. I followed this advice and am now able to smile at a weird, wonderful and frankly exhausting week.
I must admit, it wasn’t as simple as I had hoped it would be.