As the academic year comes to an end, I thought I’d reflect on my first year at university.
Here’s the thing- we all have a tendency to sugarcoat. We share all the good, but seldom the ‘bad’ times. Sure, there’s the occasional (or frequent) posts about workload and stress; but how many of us actually openly share our experiences when the goings get really tough? Following my last blogpost, I’d really like to keep the honesty streak going.
First term was a bit of a nightmare for me- it was almost a process of trying to rediscover myself in a sense.
“Imposter syndrome is a recognised phenomenon, first identified by psychologists in 1978, and describes a feeling that your achievements are undeserved and the fear of being exposed as a fraud. Those with imposter syndrome tend to feel that luck rather than ability lies behind their successes.”(1)
Getting into Imperial was a massive deal for me. I had not planned to apply at all- but I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life looking back with what ifs.
I didn’t think I was smart enough. I’ve always had a fluctuating impression of myself; ranging from borderline conceited to possessing a pretty low self esteem.
As the holidays came to a start- my initial mindset was, “Oh, I’ve got looaaddss of time. I definitely deserve a break. One more season of this show on Netflix won’t hurt.” It must have slipped my mind that the exam on the day I go back is not a mock. Now that I’m about 70% through my Easter/Spring break, I am filled with regret and drowning in revision. :’)
Watching a season of Hell’s Kitchen
The first thing I did was binge watch as soon as the term ended. Personally a big Gordon Ramsay fan, even though he’s not a believer in Vegetarianism/Veganism cries.
Dieses Jahr habe ich Deutsch gelernt!
I successfully completed my German Horizons course last week!
Imperial’s Horizons programme provides optional, free of charge, extra-curricular courses for undergrad students. The classes for all courses are two-hours long and take place once a week on campus. Mine were on Tuesdays from 4 to 6PM in the School of Medicine (SAF) building- I’m still grateful I didn’t have to trek my lazy butt half way across campus for them.
The course is split between two terms (Autumn and Spring term); some options last one term in duration whereas others, like languages, last two. The different courses on offer fall under the following categories: Business and Professional Skills; Global Challenges; Languages and Global Citizenship; and Science, Culture and Society.
Picking up where I left off in the last blog post; as the Autumn Play was happening, Freshers’ Play was also a thing! So each year, older years in drama get together to direct (and sometimes even write) 3 short plays featuring the freshers. I remember genuinely freaking out because one of the plays were improv meaning the audition would be too. Honestly ended up having an absolute blast- and got one of the leads. I played a (largely-drunken) drama fresher who was couch-surfing because she had been kicked out of halls. Good times.
Drama is the macrophage, and I the pathogen. It has engulfed and destroyed me. (In all the best possible ways)
Welcome to part one of your insight into Imperial College School of Medicine (ICSM) Drama– the best medic society at Imperial. I promise I’m not biased.
The start of the journey brings us back to Freshers at Freshers’ Fair- where 370+ clubs and societies are showcased across campus to try and spark your interest in joining them. Standing right by the entrance to the medicine building was Gen, who is all types of lovely plus she’s also president of the society.
Before I jump right in- kindly note that it’s pronounced dis-section, and not di-(s)section. Literally the one thing I can recall from the intro to anatomy lecture from Freshers’ week.
Safe to say our very first dissection session was highly anticipated amongst my cohort. We’re currently learning about the thorax- part of the body between the neck and abdomen. At Imperial, we do full-body dissections rather than prosections. Each group consists of 10-11 students and we are assigned a cadaver per group for the whole of the anatomy course, which lasts into year 2. The dissections are done at our Charing Cross campus.
This is about how I managed my time during first term (I didn’t).
So this is where I confess I may have missed about half – or more- of my lectures last term. So where did it all go wrong? I’ll be fine, I thought- I’ll just catch up over Christmas.And so on top of procrastinating plenty all term (it’s in my nature, sadly)- I dived head first into the wealth of extracurricular Imperial has to offer. From drama rehearsals, to paediatrics play team, giving campus tours, and attending German Horizons classes- I was all over the place.
Now this was the same mentality that I had all throughout secondary school- I would save up all the content to learn on my own over the holidays.
I present to you- Woodward (WW) a.k.a #DiamondofImperial a.k.a Alaska (because it’s low-key a trek from campus).
In case you aren’t sure how it works, all first year undergrad students are guaranteed a place for accommodation as long as they accept Imperial as their firm. I received an invitation to apply for accommodation in July- you get to choose 5 preferences but these are all ranked equally.
My halls consist of three blocks: B, C, and D (I’m not quite sure what happened to A). Block D is arguably the place to be- where the kitchens have panoramic views.