With our second-year exams well and truly over, this week we had been timetabled several sessions entitled ‘Medical Skills Kitchen.’ I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who was slightly confused by this in the first instance. This confusion further increased when we received an email informing us that we would require two potatoes, two carrots, two bananas and one courgette to take part in these sessions as well as telling us to pick up a ‘kit’ after our last exam. However, when I actually read the session description in full, this confusion was soon replaced by excitement.
The ‘Medical Skills Kitchen’ is a course co-created by medical and culinary professionals enabling us to develop our practical skills, in preparation for third year, from the comfort of our own kitchens.
Read Medical Skills… Kitchen? in full
You’ve selected Imperial as your firm choice (great choice), but what comes next? Ah yes- applying for accommodation. I still remember how anxious I felt when faced with my ‘Accommodation Hub’ portal trying to decide which 5 halls of residence to apply to. The gravitas of this decision really got to me. After all, the hall I lived in was likely to influence every aspect of my first year experience- the friends I made, my day to day routine, the part of London I would spend the most time in. To an extent, I was right. I couldn’t imagine spending first year in any other halls of residence and, if I had, I suspect my life would have been markedly different.
Read Top Tips for Choosing First Year Accommodation in full
I’ve been studying in London for some time now, but if you were to ask me where I’m from I’d tell you ‘the North’ in a heartbeat. Despite having visited London numerous times before joining Imperial, I hadn’t appreciated how different living here would be. Culture shock would be too superfluous a term, however, there certainly are subtle differences between life in the good old North-West and the capital. In case there are any curious Northerners out there thinking of making the move, I thought I’d pen out a few of the contrasts here.
1. Diversity It would be unfair to group the whole of the North into one bubble when discussing diversity, so here I’m referring to my home in Cheshire.
Read What it’s like to move to London from the North in full
With exam season creeping around the corner once again, I was reminded of the situation we were in this time last year. When the national lockdown was implemented in March, I had to pack my bags and return home abruptly a week before the Easter break was due to start. Rather naively, at that point in time I expected the situation to blow over soon enough and that we’d be back at the end of April to sit our exams. Obviously, I was horrifically wrong but thankfully the college had better foresight. Within a week or so we were emailed to say that all of our exams would be conducted remotely, on an online platform, and were to be open book.
Read Reflections on Remote Exams in full
As you go from primary to secondary school, and then GCSEs to A-Levels, the academic expectations keep changing. In response, your study habits also evolve slightly. Going from sixth form to university is no different. In this post I’ll share a few of the study-specific differences I noticed when I made the transition to Imperial.
1. You don’t have textbooks at university When I was doing my GCSEs and A-Levels the exam board specified textbook formed the cornerstone of my study routine. I took great solace from the fact that everything I needed to know for my exams was contained within its covers.
Read Studying at University vs. Sixth Form in full
Communication is something most people take for granted. It just comes naturally, doesn’t it? Therefore, it comes as a surprise to a lot of incoming Freshers to see that a fair amount of their timetable is allocated to ‘Communication Skills’ (or Comms for short). Sometimes in straight three-hour chunks. This sense of shock isn’t unreasonable- after all most medical students studied Science or Maths for the majority of the time at A-Level so having classes dedicated to a social skill seems alien. If I’m being completely honest, I too was a little sceptical by the concept of having to study Comms- surely I didn’t need to be taught how to communicate?
Read Learning how to Communicate in full
Since the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020, forcing the country to a standstill, remote working has become a feature of my degree to varying extents. My third term of first year was purely online (including what should have been my first hospital placement) which I undertook from my family home. Since the start of second year, the college has adopted a ‘multi-mode’ learning strategy encompassing elements of remote and face to face learning. Needless to say, it looks likely that remote learning will be here to stay for the foreseeable future so I thought I’d share a few of my reflections in this blog post.
Read How Remote Working Changed my University Experience in full
Moving to university can be overwhelming. Usually, by the time you’ve reached year 13, your position in the fabric of the school is quite well established. You probably have a reputation, a core group of friends and you may even have started being on first name terms with some of your teachers. Then, all of a sudden, you get parachuted out of that familiar environment into Imperial- one of the best universities in the world, in a city like London, with thousands of new faces. Nobody knows who you are. It’s a clean slate. For some of you this may feel liberating, but for others it can be disorientating.
Read A Small Fish in a Big Pond in full
It’s that time of year again; we’ve officially kissed 2020 goodbye and have hailed in 2021. For some people, approaching the end of a calendar year calls for a moment of self-reflection to figure out how they can better themselves during the next one. They toss the last Quality Street box in the bin and vow never to eat a chocolate again. Or they dig out their trainers and pledge to start exercising more. They may even take a pass on the Winter sales and resolve to start saving more money. At least these are the more common resolutions made.
However, statistics condemn that most (90%) of these resolutions will be broken long before 31st December 2021.
Read Are New Year’s Resolutions Pointless? in full
Hospital placement. The experience that the majority of prospective medical students will tell you they are looking forward to the most. It was certainly the case for me. In fact, one of the reasons why I applied to Imperial was because, unlike many medical schools, it gives us the opportunity to go on hospital placement during the early years of our degree. In addition, alongside a fascination for science, what equally compelled me to study medicine was the opportunity to interact with patients. Hence, you can imagine my excitement when I found out the last two weeks of this term had been set aside for our first hospital placement.
Read Being a Medical Student on your First Hospital Placement in full