With Easter having come and gone there’s one word which everyone has started hearing a bit more frequently- exams. While the style and timing of exams vary from course to course, every university student invariably faces some form of assessment year on year. They’re not fun. No one likes doing them. What’s even the point of them?
That question is one I’ve definitely asked at some point- albeit usually as exam season starts looming. After all, isn’t the purpose of higher education to develop skills rather than smash through multiple choice questions accurately? You can’t blame a student from feeling somewhat resentful that their ability and dedication to a subject across a whole year is gauged based on an exam sat within a few hours.
Easter break is always a conflicting time for most students. On one hand, we finally get to take some time off and catch up on lectures and worksheets, while enjoying the change of weather. On the other hand, this signifies the arrival of our end of year exams and the endless amount of revision associated with it. I’m someone who always needs to have my headphones on in order to focus on my work. I love the feeling of sitting in a coffee shop while putting on a pair of ANC headphones and listening to my tunes. Even if there are people rushing about around me, a good tune will allow me to focus on my work easily.
Easter break is a huge blessing for Imperial students, allowing us to take a big sigh after submitting a series of weekly coursework. With the weather getting warmer and the flowers blooming again, many students tend to use this opportunity to enjoy the pleasant weather, even if it means just revising for their exams while basking under the sun in Hyde Park. This year, we are blessed with a few weeks of sunny days in London throughout the week of April. With this, I felt recharged to not just catch up on my studies but felt my adventurous spirit take hold again too.
As a current student in the recently launched MSc in Environmental Data Science and Machine Learning, I’ve been asked many questions about what I’m learning in the programme and how I will use this knowledge throughout my career path (my aim is to work in the industry and apply data science and machine learning to climate-related topics). Whether you decide to do a PhD or whether you decide to work in the field, here are the top five skills I’ve learned while doing this course!
Have you ever felt really overwhelmed by the amount of work you need to do at university? Stressing over completing projects, catching up on lectures, and hours-long exam revision can be very taxing and leave little time for anything non-academic. Believe me, we’ve all been there. Any Imperial student will tell you that balancing studying with taking care of your wellbeing is a tricky matter, especially around intense periods like exam sessions.
I used to think that improving my time management skills will solve my problems, but despite developing practical study skills and working out better organisational techniques, my stress levels didn’t significantly drop.
A final year research project is one of the main focuses in a Master’s year for many courses. As a Mechanical Engineer, I was spoiled with the privilege of being able to choose from a range of projects from diverse modules and topics. This is largely due to the fact that a large range of modules are introduced in our course, ranging from solid mechanics to fluid mechanics, or even mechatronics. Students are then able to specialize in specific fields upon their third year of studies. Therefore, it’s really interesting to see how widely my project differs compared to some of my coursemates who might be working on projects related to Machine Learning or even Design and Manufacturing.
Central London is very well-known for its diverse street performances ranging from street mimes, dance performances, all the way to opera singing. Watching these street performances was definitely one of the memories that stuck with me most during my first strolls around Covent Garden. Looking at the professionalism and creativity of every performer, it has never occurred to me to consider any possibilities of potentially busking around Central London.
If you’ve read some of my blogs, you would have probably heard me rave about my experiences being involved with Imperial A Cappella society. After a series of lockdowns and preparation for competitions, we finally got the chance to spare a weekend to head out to busk at Covent Garden!
Most people choose which degree they want to study in sixth form and then don’t need to think about another one until they graduate. Medicine at Imperial is a little bit different. One, in my opinion, asset of the medical programme at Imperial is that it gives us the opportunity to undertake an intercalated BSc. This basically means that our fourth year at university is spent studying another subject within which we then receive a BSc (Hons) degree. Seems like a pretty good deal for just one extra year of work.
However, I’m discovering one problem with studying for an MBBS (BSc) programme.
Written by Calyste Revel, MSc Investment and Wealth Management, Imperial LGBTQ+ Officer
[Sidenote: LGBTQ+ means Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender-Queer/Questioning, and the + is for all individuals that do not identify with the previous categories]
Letting go and finding yourself
What I found very peculiar in my transition to university was the fact I suddenly could be totally myself. I come from a small village in France and my sexuality, although not something I was ashamed of, had never been something people were willing to discuss back home. So, arriving in London, where the opportunities to express my identity and be recognised for it suddenly felt unlimited, was truly overwhelming at first.
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.