I’m sure that your English is fluent enough for you to study in the UK (if you aren’t confident, take a look at my post about studying in English). I’m also sure that you’re able to communicate with international students withouth any problems. But do you understand what locals, i.e. English people really mean? It took me a while (and a few awkward situations), so here are a few surprising things Brits say.
- How are you? You’ll hear this question dozens of times every day. In the beginning I thought: “wow, these Brits are so nice, they really care about me”.
Some people were just born public speakers. Others are terrible at it, they suffer from stage fright and should just avoid talking to crowds altogether.
That way of thinking is very convenient but, unfortunately (or fortunately), not supported by facts.
Most of us have attended some presentations or watched TED talks that left us with a feeling: “Wow, this guy knows how to get the audience’s attention! I’m so jealous, I wish I was like him/her”. What if I told you that this guy isn’t “a natural”, but has been working very hard to sound so? What if I told you that you can give talks that people would enjoy listening to?
It’s not a secret that grad school might be dangerous for mental health. In recent years people started to talk about it openly, numerous studies on this topic have been done (eg. on suicides or depression). The awareness of mental health is rising, which definitely makes it easier to get help when needed. However, this isn’t the full story.
A few years ago I started to consider a possiblity of pursuing a PhD. So I googled around – big mistake. Phrases such as “grad school mental health” returned thousands of websites suggesting that the coming years will be filled with pain and tears.
A PhD is hard. Plenty of people have blogged about mental health problems while doing a PhD e.g.
In some ways I have an advantage as in addition to my Asperger Syndrome diagnosis I have a long history of anxiety and depression going right back to my early teens so am already equipped for dealing with mental health difficulties. Here is what I have found:
We were celebrating my friend’s birthday in a pub, when someone mentioned that “something happened on London Bridge”. Soon I got a message from my mum, who wanted to make sure I was fine. Not much later the news were getting more and more upsetting. A van? A stabbing? How many victims?!
When we were going back home, some random people approached us on the train station to check if we were aware what happened (because we were actually heading in Vauxhall/Borough Market direction). I think only then I realised how serious it was. I felt safe-ish only when I finally made it to my room…
Many of you might have had similar experiences last night.
Let’s face it: living in London is expensive. It might sound scary, especially that for some of you the first year of the university will be also the first year when you have to be fully responsible for your finances. Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Here are my survival tips.
- Find a good accommodation. This is the key, since paying rent will be your biggest expense. Remember that you’ll also need to cover bills – and you might underestimate how high they’ll probably be. Having said that, I must stress: don’t go for the cheapest option. If something looks too good to be true, it probably is.
So.. recently in my course I’ve experienced some changes.
My MSc in Preventive Cardiology is a taught course where we have to do a research project worth a 3rd of our overall grade. Those who want to do a PhD or go into research after their masters understand the importance of the research project and choose something that they may like to follow up afterwards. As I’ve said in a previous post, I am interested in cardiovascular disease and mental health, and I was hoping that as part of my research project I could actually have patient contact and carry out some interviews.
“Never get old!”
These were the words of the elderly patient I was looking after. I remember his eyes boring into my soul as he leaned over his zimmerframe, a heightened sense of urgency in his voice.
For all the time that I’ve been working part time as a health-care assistant in hospitals, this is a warning I hear over and over again from different patients. The worst part of this repeated warning, I think to myself, is that I can’t exactly help it!
There are two things that can stop the dreaded aging process. Death, or the elixir of youth.
It’s the end of March!
Just a gentle reminder in case you hadn’t realised yet 😀
When this year started I was convinced that by now I would have achieved so many things. Not “resolutions” as such, just plans I’d made – such as joining basketball, gospel choir, writing, learning Japanese, etcetera etcetera…
However as of yet nothing’s happened. I find myself getting caught up with studying and working, with little money left to do what I’d planned. However living in London has made me see that cash has little to do with have a decent time. In all honesty, all you need is great company!