With exam season creeping around the corner once again, I was reminded of the situation we were in this time last year. When the national lockdown was implemented in March, I had to pack my bags and return home abruptly a week before the Easter break was due to start. Rather naively, at that point in time I expected the situation to blow over soon enough and that we’d be back at the end of April to sit our exams. Obviously, I was horrifically wrong but thankfully the college had better foresight. Within a week or so we were emailed to say that all of our exams would be conducted remotely, on an online platform, and were to be open book.
Yea, it hurts
I’m fairly confident that we’ve all been there at some point during our lives.
You check your exam grades on Blackboard (the virtual learning environment that Imperial uses) or finally got your graded coursework back from your lecturer, and it’s right there – a grade that is way below your standard of excellence.
You reflect on the time you’ve spent working or preparing for this. It was clear – you’ve poured in your heart and soul. An immediate sadness follows suit, and your mind gets clouded with a similar train of thoughts – wait, how? How did all of this go so wrong?
I mentioned in a previous blog post that I am currently studying French which I am doing through the Horizons program. It is going well, I think, my grades from my coursework are good and I’m starting to revise for the end of year exam. Speaking in front of other people in French still makes me nervous. It has been years since I’ve studied French at GCSE and having language classes every week had me thinking a lot about identity.
In my spare time, I also have been gradually learning sign language which is a bit harder in terms of finding resources and revising when you cannot really write any of it down to refer to, it is all in my head.
If you search up ‘Subtle Asian Traits’ on Facebook, the top result you will find is a group with over 1.8 million members inside. Culture and identity is a key definition of a person’s character and that what makes travelling so special. Some people seek the adventure of immersing into a different culture and lifestyle to be able to see the world in a different perspective. As I have grown up in Malaysia and primarily only interacted with Malaysians for the past 19 years of my life, settling into a new country was fascinating as I learned to adapt to this new culture.
As we are in our third lockdown here in the UK, most of us have been accustomed to the new virtual life and have found many ways to keep ourselves occupied and productive during these long hours at home. Adapting has not been the easiest for me and even though I am pretty much an introvert, I am not capable of changing my lifestyle in a blink of an eye. That is also the reason why it took me much longer than others to finally decide to return back to Malaysia last academic year, as I needed time to accept that the rest of the academic year would be conducted virtually.
As you go from primary to secondary school, and then GCSEs to A-Levels, the academic expectations keep changing. In response, your study habits also evolve slightly. Going from sixth form to university is no different. In this post I’ll share a few of the study-specific differences I noticed when I made the transition to Imperial.
1. You don’t have textbooks at university When I was doing my GCSEs and A-Levels the exam board specified textbook formed the cornerstone of my study routine. I took great solace from the fact that everything I needed to know for my exams was contained within its covers.
With Lockdown 3.0 in action, clubs and societies are still not allowed to have activities or events anywhere on campus. Just like how lectures and seminars have all adapted to the new norm and shifted to online learnings, clubs and societies are also finding creative ways to power through these restrictions and thinking of creative ways to deliver the same value to all their members. As seen from my bio, I am actively involved in the A Cappella Society and also the Malaysian Society in my years in Imperial, so today I will be sharing with you how is it possible for rehearsals and events to be held online.
My banking app has a new feature called money manager which highlights income and expenses and make little pie charts and bar charts. I had a look at the last three months of account history for last year and I honestly did not realise how much I had been spending. As the title suggests, my entire October paycheck went towards a new laptop after my old one that just reached its 7th birthday officially gave up on me. This was very shocking because I know budgets are tight for nearly everyone during the pandemic and so part of my 2021 resolutions include getting my finances in order and so far, I have hit my January and February savings goals and already on my way to March.
Hi everyone! In my last blog, I have started to share some tips for living on a budget in London. I have realised it’s too much for a single post so here is part two of my post! Head over to the first part if you would like to read a bit about accommodation. In this part, I will talk about transport, food and groceries, household equipment, free time and potential part time jobs with the university.
Coming to the transport around London, I personally believe the tube is quite expensive. I can’t remember when I last used the tube, it must have been very long before COVID-19 appeared here.
To be honest, I have been reluctant to apply for undergraduate studies for any of the universities in London. There were multiple reasons for it – I didn’t feel like living in a bigger city than Prague where I come from. But another large reason was fear about financial matters. London is known to be expensive and my parents were already very worried about me taking a student loan as that is not common in my home country (as we don’t pay tuition fees). As an EU student, I wasn’t allowed to take a loan for living expenses either.
I can never know whether it would have been fine for undergraduate studies as I didn’t study in London but I came here for my PhD.