Seeing that the country I live in is now stuck in a state of quarantine, it’s become impossible to hang out with friends like I used to. However, my high-school friends and I have found a means to connect together over online games. Not online videogames, but online board games.
Despite not being able to play in person, this tool has allowed my friend and I to play together. It’s fantastic, as it simulates an actual 3D playing environment, allowing players to interact with virtual board game pieces including dice, cards and tokens. It’s been a great source of laughter and a good chance to reconnect.
Engaging, exciting and educational, the optional Horizons module sound technology has been one of my favourite courses this year. The content aims to bridge music and science, starting with the basic physics and biology governing sound and our perception of it, before exploring further into resonance phenomena and the impacts of music on our cognition. We’ve also looked at the artistic side, learning to compose and analyse music with consideration to how anticipation and subversion govern emotional responses to music. Notably, this class has been a massive opportunity for discussion, gaining interesting perspectives from my classmates, lecturers and even visiting presenters who are innovating to change the technology we use to experience music.
Studying Environmental Technology has been, more often than not, a bleak undertaking. My classmates and I have made a whole lot of jokes about each lecture being a new existential crisis. It feels like climate change is a train wreck in slow motion: a present danger with the potential for utter catastrophe and an increasing number of people frantically waving their hands about trying to warn others. Its most immediate effects are often played down or ignored, not helped by the fact that it can be hard to definitively say which events have been caused or exacerbated by climate change. It’s far easier for those in positions of power to continue with “business as usual”, kicking responsibility down the line until the situation inevitably reaches a point of no return.
I have done and still do a lot of part-time work at Imperial. It is financially rewarding and it feels that I am contributing to the Imperial community in some way. Last time, I spoke about working as a student caller and fundraiser with the regular giving team. This time, I am going to tell you about what the President’s Ambassador (PA) scheme is and what it is like to be a PA.
The Application Process
Hiring usually opens a few weeks into the first term of the academic year. You are required to fill a standard application form to provide your contact details, the reasons behind applying, and any previous experiences you have.
A week ago I moved out of my student accommodation. So much has changed in this past week, and social isolation has become of utmost importance. There’s been a lot of uncertainty from the outbreak, particularly for those being made redundant, or the GCSE and A Level students. The country, the world, has felt a lot of anxiety. The Covid-19 outbreak has had the unexpected side effect of significantly worsening the world’s mental health. It’s hard enough worrying about catching coronavirus yourself, but the thought of spreading it to the vulnerable makes things all the worse. I’ve found a couple of things have really helped my mental health during this outbreak, and may well help yours too.
Not quite how I thought my time at Imperial would end
Last Friday night standing in Metric, waiting for the results of the Leadership Elections 2020, little did I know that that would be the last time I saw so many of my friends, the last time I stood in the Union Buildings and my last gathering of more than 5 people as an Imperial student. 10 minutes later, we received the email that told us College was due to close and that the entire community of 17,000 students and 8,000 staff would be moving online.
Recent international, governmental and institutional decisions have truly shook the face of the Earth. The empty supermarket shelves, the lack of pasta and toilet paper, the closing of universities and borders… Currently on my way home with mixed feelings, my chest seems to weigh a ton but I wanted to share the main highlights of my second term:
I have taken part in a range on events this term: creating Beeswax films with the Ecology society, debating with FemSoc, participating in the FoNS-MAD Science competition, attending the musical Dear Evan Hansen, Biochemistry Ball, Science challenge… The diversity of these have not only allowed me to forge new connections but also engage in interesting conversations such as “to what extent do quotas reflect merit?”
I haven’t written a blog since I have come back in January, and I’ve realised why. In all honesty, I have really had a horrible term. It is beginning to look up, but a lot has happened that has made me hold off on blogging. I have had amazing experiences at this uni, but for the last eight weeks I’ve really struggled to see the positive from all the rubbish that has made me ultimately hate being here for a bit. However, I wouldn’t have published this if I didn’t have a positive spin on my awful second term. While I’ve hit my lowest points a few times, I’ve been proactive and have made some changes which are beginning to make my uni experience less terrible.
There’s this module called Science Communications in my degree and here is why it is unironically great.
Before starting the Science Communications module as part of the requirements for completing my final year Life Sciences degree, I was quite conflicted about needing to do it as an aspiring research-minded scientist.
You do the SciComms module in your final year of a Biology/Biochemistry degree (as they both belong to the Department of Life Sciences) alongside your literature project which is equivalent to your final year dissertation at other universities. At Imperial, there is the advantage of doing a research project alongside your lecturers or other researchers participating in cutting-edge research to make a real difference to the current scientific field rather than working individually or just with your peers.
For the first few weeks, I had a routine going – I got up an hour before my 9am classes (a huge change from waking up 20 minutes before), made myself a healthy lunch, actually managed to get some breakfast down and was up to date with deadlines. I had enough time to see friends and go on a fun night out and I also saved some time at the end of the day to read a little just before bed. Boy, was life going great.
Honestly, I don’t really know what happened after the third week.