IC Hack is an annual hackathon held at the South Kensington campus. It is the biggest student-run event of this type in the UK. I had a chance to take part in the ‘19 edition and I felt very lucky then. Getting a ticket to go there is insanely difficult as they always sell out in a few seconds!
You may wonder “What is a hackathon?”. Usually, it is a 24-hour non-stop event (yes, non-stop, meaning hardly any sleep at night) when you team up with other people to create something innovative from scratch, using new technology and possibly other knowledge.
Cramming is inefficient but sometimes continuous studying is not gonna happen. There’s no denying it, Imperial like any other research-intensive university requires the utmost diligence to time management, you have coursework, social club activities for downtime which means you need to learn how to prioritise your independent studying – which is the most important part of your course, often worth at least 50% of your degree if not more (for Life Sciences it is 75%). In a way, it’s great because it gives you more time to prep and to give your all after the holidays but because of how vibrant life is at Imperial it also means you don’t have time to study!
Like many students coming to university the first time I was quite apprehensive about leaving my high school friends behind. Never having moved school in my life, it was the first time I would be somewhere where I knew nobody.
I need not have worried. The first day I arrive in my kitchen and right there, everyone’s playing cards against humanity. Perfect, it’s a social game, I know the rules and the awkward “Hi what’s your name? What do you study?” conversation starter will be much easier once we’ve all laughed at some inappropriate jokes.
Looking back at the last week, I’ve massively appreciated the hall events I’ve attended.
It has been two weeks since I finished my first ever hospital placement or firms as we call them at Imperial. 2nd year has been going at full speed, so it was really nice to spend the last three weeks of term in hospitals seeing and talking to patients as opposed to lectures or tutorials.
I was based in the acute stroke unit in Charing Cross Hospital with three other students. Although, we had a general induction from Imperial the day before we started and a Charing-Cross-Hospital-specific induction on the first day of firms. It still felt daunting to go into the ward as we all felt that we didn’t belong there yet.
Is it too early to be thinking about going back to university? It’s that weird time at the end of the year, between Christmas and New Year’s, when no one really knows what day it is or what they’re supposed to be doing. In this time I find my thoughts keep coming back to the start of Term 2, which is just one week away now.
Firstly, I hope you have all had a lovely Christmas, whether you spent it at home with your family and friends or here in London exploring the city. With New Year’s Eve coming up and then Term 2 starting just a few days after that, here’s some tips for making the most of the last week of the holidays.
Studying at Imperial; one of the best universities in the world, is certainly not easy. It can get tough sometimes. Catching up with lectures and tutorial sheets, meeting report deadlines, rushing projects, all the while trying to maintain a decent social life and sleep. Sounds impossible doesn’t it? It doesn’t help that I’m the kind that cannot stay still and do one thing at a time!
“You’ll only focus on studying and not join anything else this term!” It’s been 3 terms and it certainly hasn’t worked out AHAHAHAH. I TRIED but at Imperial, there are just so many exciting things to do!
Insights on time management, making friends and self-care
Many Imperial students such as your departmental Mums and Dads (a support scheme of older students) would tell you that Imperial has a “work hard, play hard” culture – drink on weekends, study hardcore on weekdays. This is not necessarily true as you are the one in control of your uni experience. It’s also impractical if you cannot stand working for long hours. Moreover, not drinking seems like a social disadvantage since the most notable weekly event at uni bar FiveSixEight is when all sports societies head down after practice to chill. There’s so much going on, academics, socialising…- the people are one of the best things about Imperial – so how do you make the most of your time here?
Whilst my first two years at Imperial could be largely summed up by my extra curricular activities, coming into third year I have decided to focus my attention on my degree in order to secure that 2.1. (I’m not that academic :/ )
With this in mind, my first step was to decide what activities I would continue into final year, and what would sadly have to face the chop. Having been elected President of MathSoc, I knew that this would be my biggest focus and would take up most of my free time.
I guess many of you came across Imperial Horizons when doing research about our university. For those who didn’t: it’s free classes (held once a week at 4-6 PM) which give you a chance to learn something outside of your main course and get it indicated in your final transcript. There is a really wide range of topics available for every student and once chosen wisely (read on!), it’s a great way to jump away from your everyday lectures and labs! Horizons isn’t only about languages: the picture shows what modules I could pick for this year.