Happy Chinese New Year everyone! It’s the joyous time of the year again but for the second year, I won’t be able to return home to my family back in Malaysia for Chinese New Year. This is essentially the most important celebration all year, where all members of the family from all corners of the world return back home, cooking up a feast together in the kitchen, sharing good laughs and cracking jokes about each other’s antics since young. Ah such joyful and heart-warming times. Since we can’t skip classes to return home, (I’m not suggesting any of you to do this yeah 🤣) here’s what I’ve come to figure how to recreate your own reunion here right in London!
For theatre addicts London is like a bar for alcoholics: a paradise and a hell at the same time. Since the beginning of my PhD I’ve spent a bit too much money and time on plays and musicals — more than I’d ever publicly admit. Meanwhile I’ve mastered the art of getting cheap tickets, so if you’re also a theatre lover on a student budget, read on! This article isn’t sponsored by any of the companies I mention (unfortunately).
- Install TodayTix on your phone. You’ll be able to book tickets with one swipe, get some additional offers (e.g. 24-hour-long sales) and, most importantly, participate in lotteries.
We were celebrating my friend’s birthday in a pub, when someone mentioned that “something happened on London Bridge”. Soon I got a message from my mum, who wanted to make sure I was fine. Not much later the news were getting more and more upsetting. A van? A stabbing? How many victims?!
When we were going back home, some random people approached us on the train station to check if we were aware what happened (because we were actually heading in Vauxhall/Borough Market direction). I think only then I realised how serious it was. I felt safe-ish only when I finally made it to my room…
Many of you might have had similar experiences last night.
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.
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.
“Hi, I’m Franz. What’s your name?” 29/09/15
“Which lecture room do we have today?” 12/10/15
“Here’s your first summative assignment.” 03/11/15
“1st term’s over! Merry Christmas and a happy new year!” 18/12/15
“Welcome back. How were your holidays?” 11/01/16
“This term’s tough. More assignments and labs!” 15/02/16
“Yeah, I’m going home for Easter.” 23/03/16
“How are exam preparations coming along?” 25/04/16
“The first exam actually went pretty well.” 29/04/16
“I’m really glad they’re over.” 01/06/16
“Congratulations on passing the year. See you in the 2nd.” 19/07/16
I finished my 1st year at Imperial several months ago, and it truly went by too fast.
Another great trip started off pretty well as the glorious leader, who wasn’t going anyway, fell ill and couldn’t do the shop. While the previous glorious leader dealt with that, three freshers managed to deal with boats. Then people arrived, things happened and we ended up leaving half an hour late anyway. But hey, we tried.
The tall clumsy one, being a pain by nature, needed picking up from Luton, which sucked, but at least we successfully implemented the grab-and-eat-in-bus attitude to food, saving a bit of time. We arrived, tried to create warmth by hoping for it and closing the doors.
Now that I’m a chunk into term 2, I finally understand enough of term 1 to talk about it. This is due to my own stupidity and laziness, not the difficulty of the course, so don’t be put off much. Here’s an overview of what happens in the first bit of 1st year Physics. I’ll include the not-particularly-physicsy bits and everything to do with the year in Europe and Theoretical courses too. If you are reading this because you want to study this stuff, do remember that you may have different lecturers and some of the aspects may change.
The first term contains five lecture course, none of which span the term, though I believe mechanics comes close.
BAH stands for Bad ad Hoc Hypotheses, which is rather self-explanatory and already promising, but the host was a comedian and the improvised key note speaker used paint for his presentation. Perfection. It was a really good laugh and probably the best source of nerdgasms, other than the SciFi library.
The event was spread over two days and consisted of Evolution on Friday and Big Science on Saturday. I was busy on Saturday, leading to increased appreciation of the live stream on Youtube. Speaking of
Evolution: You want to watch this a lot
Big Science: You want to watch this a lot too
If you haven’t seen it, your’e silly.
Imagine a massive crowd of 500-ish people, dressed as Santa, playing christmas music and skating through the streets of central London. That’s pretty much all there is to it, but there’s just something so awesome about hijacking the roads. I went along with a handful of people from Imperial SkateSoc, who didn’t know I was coming so I was rather lucky to find them right at the beginning.
I also missed the fact that you could actually buy a santa suit from the people organising it. I’m hence dressed in rainbows and tinsel, as you can see in the video at around 5.30.