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.
Lots of people say that they’re a bunch of rubbish, and that if you want to change, you can do it anytime. I’m a big proponent for them, though. For sure, New Years resolutions come with problems. I’ve been unrealistic with mine sometimes, with crazy past resolutions being hitting 100% in tests, getting 8 hours of sleep every night (never gonna happen, haha), going from a cheese obsessed vegetarian to vegan (I want to, but not overnight!).
New Years resolutions are great because with the start of a new year, the changes you make can be traced back to January 1st, and it feels more significant.
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!
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.
I’ve really needed a job to undo my financial errors. To be blunt, I was very financially reckless last term, knowing fully well that I was spending more than I was getting, and that nothing could really bail me out. Therefore, I decided to return to my gap year job in retail.
Being the most busy season of the year, they welcomed me with open arms!
Working during the Christmas holidays has been a blessing, but not without its stresses. This blog post outlines the good and bad parts of Christmas retail.
The good parts
Money! Ultimately, I needed this job because the minus sign on my bank statement was turning my blood cold.
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!