We have reached the end of what I’m told is summer term (it’s different for PG students, since we keep working through to September) and with it, the end of this blog. It’s been quite the journey, even before the disruption brought on by the coronavirus, and so I have some final thoughts to share.
There is no doubt in my mind that coming to London was the right decision for my master’s degree. Beyond the practical reasons to leave the US—program length, cost, not having to take the GREs—London in particular has been a special place to me.
I love coffee. I drink coffee every single day and will probably do for the rest of my life <3. This is why I was beyond excited when I found out about the London Coffee Festival (LCF). I remember buying tickets with my friend last year during a sleep deprivation-induced haze- coursework life :). It ended up being one of the best experiences I have had in London so far.
The LCF takes place in the Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane. This year marks its tenth anniversary and it is one of the biggest gatherings for coffee lovers in Europe!
Instead of flying back home for the holiday break, I ended up staying in London. Since many of my friends were out of town or spending time with family, I was afraid that I would be unbearably bored— fortunately I found that London has plenty to offer displaced students over Christmas.
As expected from a city where the Christmas lights come out in October, London is overflowing with Christmas markets come December. Whether purposefully seeking one out or stumbling across one accidentally, I loved passing through them for the lights and lively atmosphere.
Staying In Shape
Parkrun, which facilitates free timed 5k runs in the UK, has been a key part of my fitness routine while in London.
With Imperial being in London, it’s more than simple to get some plant-based grub! Right on campus, there’s a vegan restaurant that serves up a variety of cuisines that are entirely plant based. On top of that, every restaurant on campus offers plant-based options; from tofu dishes to veggie burgers.
If you love cooking and like me, cooking is where you find solace from the hustle or you’re simply on a tighter budget, cooking is the way to go! Although it can be true that eating plant-based may cost more, I’m here to give you some insider tips on how to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to grocery shopping!
In the 3 months since I moved to London the number one question that I’ve been asked by everyone from classmates to relatives to strangers is how it compares to New York City, my hometown. Overall, I think the two cities have very similar vibes but some aspects I just can’t help but compare. So, for the curious, I’m pleased to present the definitive comparison list:
Subway System: Londoners are shocked when I proclaim my undying love for the Tube, but it’s true. The NYC subway may run 24/7 (ostensibly) but you lose a little piece of your soul every time you miss your train and see that the next one isn’t for another 18 minutes.
Coming to Imperial was honestly surreal for me, it felt like a dream, and when I woke up it was exam time, and I had to fought tooth and nail to survive. Until I was actually in London, there was always a possibility at the back of my mind to back out. I wanted the easy path, the “I know I can ace every
single class”, which was why Imperial was sort of my second choice. Yes, you heard me, it was my second choice, despite the fact that tons of people are dying to get in.
I know from the beginning, that Imperial would be hard, so I lost hope since the beginning.
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.
Studying in one of the most expensive cities in the world is one factor that affects people’s decision to study at Imperial College. Rest assured it can be done, but particularly for students like myself who are undertaking a one year master’s course, the different funding options means that money can sometimes get tight. An upside of the course though, is its flexibility in allowing its students to have part-time jobs. Indeed, most students from the Science Communication Unit have part-time jobs, myself included.
I have previously mentioned my job as an Observatory Explainer at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, but have not delved into many details.
As I’m approaching the end of my PhD, not only do I have to decide what jobs I’m going to apply for, but also if I want to stay in London or move to another city. I thought I’d share my list of pros and cons in case some of you never lived in London and are trying to decide if you’d enjoy studying here.
+Theatres! No place in the world apart from London and NYC has such a big offer of theatre plays. At any given day you can choose between dozens of musicals, dramas, comedies etc., often rather affordable, if you know where to look.
British Summer time officially begins tomorrow. Although this does mean we lose an hour of sleep, it also heralds the beginning of warmer and sunnier weather.
We have already had some unprecedented warm days so far this year, raising concerns for our planet’s welfare and the effect that this has on the ecosystem. Whilst this shouldn’t be forgotten, our body needs sunlight to function. Sunlight activates the production of vitamin D, which is a vital ingredient for lowering blood pressure, protecting against inflammation and improving brain function. Not to mention the benefits to mental health and sleep quality. Summertime cannot come quick enough for me!