Already Halfway?

How have I already reached halfway through my time at Imperial?

As we hit the middle of February there was only one thing I could really think about, coming to half way through my degree. All undergraduate Imperial students studying engineering and most science students are on 4 year programmes, however, breaking tradition, I have decided to only do the 3 year BSc. A lot of this is due to my focus away from research and towards industry as the 4th year of the maths degree leans towards research.

During my year and half here I have definitely made some incredible friends from all over the world, learnt so much – not only academically but also practically and also had some of my best memories. Here are some of the best things I’ve learnt over my time here and also some of my top tips to making the most of your first year or so here.

What I’ve Learnt:

  • Step out of your comfort zone: More than once I have slightly gone out of what I knew and looking back I’m so glad I did. One example is actually student blogging. I didn’t plan to keep writing when I came to university, however I stumbled across a flyer and I thought I’d just have a go. I was so sure I wouldn’t get selected to be a blogger that I didn’t tell anyone I had applied, not even my best friend at Imperial or my parents. Given the large number of applicants it was such a good feeling to be told I made it and made me so glad I tried something new.
  • If an opportunity comes knocking, take it! At the start of summer all Maths students were invited to apply to be induction ambassadors for the incoming freshers. I already had a packed summer of work experience and travel lined up so decided not to apply as I wanted to myself some time to relax as well. About midway through the holiday the member of staff running the selection programme emailed asking if I’d like to apply thinking the role would be a perfect fit for me. Although I had initially been hesitant I thought, why not? I had nothing to lose after all. Once again one the of the best decisions I’ve ever made. The opportunity to work with a completely new team on a project I was very passionate about gave me a lot more confidence in myself and left me feeling utterly grateful to have had the opportunity.
  • Don’t compare yourself: Imperial students have all come from similar backgrounds, being amongst the top in their schools. When all of these people come together at Imperial it creates an insane atmosphere where everyone is super smart and want to well. Given this, it’s easy to lose confidence in yourself by comparing your downfalls to other people’s successes. I have definitely been guilty of doing this! Coming into second year in particular what I have learnt is that everyone has different levels of success. Success should just be about doing your best and if you’re gonna compare yourself to anyone compare to yourself. See if you’re improving throughout the year. Everyone also has different goals for which they might need to have achieved different things.
  • Get involved! Imperial is is home to over 16,000 students. It’s easy to get lost amongst this and feel like you don’t matter. My top tip to overcoming this is to get involved. After first year I felt quite disjointed from Maths, as if I was just going through the motions. Through getting involved with Student Ambassadors, MathSoc Committee and Women in Maths, I’ve begun to feel like I’m actually a part of something and has definitely made me feel a lot more settled.

Imperial is such a great place to study at, make sure to make the most of it!

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