Having been highly involved with Imperial College’s Malaysian Society in my first two years at Imperial has led to a deep appreciation for the purpose and goals of cultural societies. Imperial College is one of the most diverse universities in the UK. With more than 50% of its students coming from out of the UK, it is no surprise that cultural societies play a big part in helping students settle into this new environment. Besides organising events to help students settle into London, many cultural societies also put on an annual performance to showcase their culture to anyone who wishes to appreciate it.
As someone who is involved in the A Cappella community, The ICCAs (International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella) is one of the most exciting events in the year for collegiate A Cappella groups around the UK and US. For those who are wondering what exactly is the ICCAs, it is a competition for collegiate groups to showcase a 10 minute set of A Cappella music. This allows the groups to unleash their creativity in creating diverse arrangements and wicked choreography, allowing the audience and judges to appreciate a night of constant surprises. In other words, it is basically the competition seen in the movie Pitch Perfect.
At university, student societies make up as much, if not more, of your overall experience than the degree you choose to study. On balance, they can also take up just as much of your time. For the past few years, I have been a particularly active member of ICSM Surgical Society (SurgSoc). This year I had the privilege of being tasked with organising the annual ‘Plastics Skills Day’ conference. I say annual, but the truth is that this event had not taken place in-person since 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, no SurgSoc conference had happened in person since 2020.
# From a current EU student to prospective EU students
If you’re reading this blog, chances are you either received an offer *CONGRATULATIONS* or you’re thinking of applying to a STEM degree. Yet, something seems to be holding you back and you’re trying to convince yourself why you should choose Imperial College London. You’re scared of leaving your home town? You’re worried that you may not keep up with the high academic challenges? What should you expect? So many questions with so few answers… I know how stressful it can be to leave everything behind, especially that familial cocoon you grew up in.
Looking back on my time at Imperial
As my final year exams commence, the end of my time as a student here at Imperial is fast approaching. Three of the best years of my life have flown by and I couldn’t be sadder to be leaving. Don’t get me wrong, Imperial has had its downs as well, challenging exams and plenty of coursework, but there have been way more ups, which have kept me going.
Imperial has so many great things about it. I could sit here and tell you all about the amazing research that’s going on with Covid-19, I could tell you about the incredible moment that the Imperial team won this year’s University Challenge and a million other reason that we’re so proud to be a part of Imperial.
Here are my top tips to coping under lockdown
After a week of lying around the house, “getting used to” isolation, as I like to call it, and feeling a little bit sorry for myself, I decided it was finally time to start revising for those all important final exams. Except, there was one big problem, I had absolutely no motivation to do much work. I would wake up and just not know where to start, it felt overwhelming that there was so much work to do.
I wanna take a moment to say that it is totally okay to not feel completely normal right now.
Reflecting upon my achievements last year and setting new goals for this year
Taking advantage of the New Year spirit is a great way to self-reflect and regain motivation for what you want in life. My goals last year were,
- Good work-life balance
- Spend more time with family
- Emotionally impartial when talking to people and completing daily tasks
- Cook more
- Eat healthily
- Be fluent in Python
- Be happy with what I do (biochemistry/AI)
- Attend social networking, conferences, follow science trends
so how do they tally up this year?
The good news is I’ve subconsciously managed to complete more than half of those goals despite my depression telling me otherwise, showing that we continue to grow as a person every day even when you don’t notice it.
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?
Module Choices, Job offers and tough decisions
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 :/ )Tough Choices
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.
And just like that third term is over! In keeping with my previous end of term blogs I thought I’d stick to tradition, but this time use songs from some of the best-loved Disney films to round up my final term at Imperial.
We finally reached the practical option term of the masters course and I chose to take courses in radio and documentary. For radio, I produced a short piece about cultured meat and together with some course mates, produced a short documentary called ‘the sun shines for everyone’. It was an incredibly busy term with not much time for reflection as it progressed, but looking back on it now I learnt so much and gained experience to aid me in the future.