10 things I miss about Imperial

1. Friends – Highlights of my time at Imperial so far include meeting like-minded students from around the world and different cultures. Imperial is a true melting pot and with the current situation we are all back home, separated by mountains and seas. With friends from England, China, Australia, France, USA, Taiwan, I have realised how challenging it can be to catch up owing to all the different time zones. Luckily we have technology to rescue us # teams and zoom. For all those who have continuously supported me, thank you. I look forward to seeing you all in 3D soon!

2. Clubs and Societies – Big shout out to the Biochemistry society who has created unprecedented and novel events ranging from an amazing Spring Ball, Valentine’s day masquerade, Ice skating, Curry dinner and joint Biochemistry-Chemistry careers fairs. Thank you to all the volunteers of the Royal College of Science Union (the Natural Sciences Union) and executive committee who have taught me so much. More specifically thank you to all my Activities committee for having hosted an Autumn Ball, movie night, Axe-throwing, pub quiz night!

                                                             #Biochem Spring Ball

3. The iconic orange couches of the SAF building – They are almost the mascots of the Sir Alexander Fleming building and I miss being able to indulge a fresh smoothie with friends after a lecture or meeting up to prepare for a team project! I can’t believe I’m saying this but I miss our main lecturing room, G34 and being able to see so many friendly faces!

4. Kimiko – The go to place for food at Imperial in the Junior Common room for all those that love Japanese food. Just yesterday some friends and I were discussing how much we missed the chicken Katsu curry and the grilled salmon.

5. London – A magical city really. I miss being able to roam around freely near in areas such as Notting Hill, Kensington, Covent Garden, or even Piccadilly Circus. Being able to run through lush green parks, walk along the crowded pavements and hear so many languages around me.

6. Labs – With remote learning and as part of my Biotechnology degree, the cloning labs that we were really looking forward to, have been shifted online. Although the capacity of our department to adjust and adapt to this situation by allowing us to do virtual restriction digests digestion, PCR and gel electrophoresis is truly amazing, I miss being in labs with my lab coat and safety googles. I miss the more practical side of our degree despite the content of this new module being extremely stimulating.

7. Running in the parks– during the months of strict lockdown in France it was often challenging to freely run out whenever there was some sunshine due to most parks being closed. I miss dashing through the wind with some motivational music on or even sprinting with friends.

8. British expressions – “Are you taking the piss?” “Oh blimey!” “Oh my Days”. I crazily miss those beautiful expressions.

9. College Cafe – One of my favourite places to unwind after a long day on campus with friends. Its relaxing environment and freshly made smoothies or coffees with delectable pastries are ideal as an energy top up!

10. Library– With exams coming up and with the confinement it can be hard to find the motivation or a quiet place to study. Again, I can’t believe I’m saying this but I miss being able to work in the central library whether it’s in the groups study areas or the individual spaces. Please make sure that you take breaks and walks to “air” your mind out even in this challenging context. Be sure to keep a healthy work-life balance to preserve your mental health!!

Despite all this, the Imperial community continues to flourish remotely so a huge thank you for all the efforts and support that the Imperial community has provided during these unprecedented times. From student representatives, course convenors, IT teams, library services, careers services to name but a few. I really hope that we will be able to be back on campus soon!

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