Prior to coming to Imperial, I’m sure most of us were at the top of the class, top of the school or even top in the state. We were always constantly verified on our capabilities because things came easily for all of us. Likewise, I excelled in my GCSEs and had no worries balancing my academics with my hobbies and social life. The mindset I was in can best be described by being a big fish in a small pond. I had limited knowledge about things happening outside of my school, much less my country and was living my best life in my sheltered bubble.
I’m the kind of person who occasionally needs to have a break from the hustle and bustle of the large metropolis that I study in. And if you happen to be that kind of person as well, I will definitely recommend you to visit Hyde Park whenever you find yourself studying or just simply visiting London. In other words, just go if you ever get the chance!
But before doing that, I’ll have to warn you – if you are not careful, a quick and casual walk in the park could very accidentally become a three-hour afternoon stroll! In fact, this might even be an understatement.
Communication is something most people take for granted. It just comes naturally, doesn’t it? Therefore, it comes as a surprise to a lot of incoming Freshers to see that a fair amount of their timetable is allocated to ‘Communication Skills’ (or Comms for short). Sometimes in straight three-hour chunks. This sense of shock isn’t unreasonable- after all most medical students studied Science or Maths for the majority of the time at A-Level so having classes dedicated to a social skill seems alien. If I’m being completely honest, I too was a little sceptical by the concept of having to study Comms- surely I didn’t need to be taught how to communicate?
Has anyone else been in a studying slump lately? I have been finding it hard to motivate myself to do revision or even to attend lectures and make notes. Time to reset to work out what study techniques are working for you. I did not change the way I studied until I got to university. I used to just look over my class notes, highlight important parts and attempt practice questions. After I got into medicine, I quickly realised those methods would not serve me as well as they did in high school.
Here is a list of some tangible tips I been trying over the past year (with links to apps and resources):
Stop spending more time planning studying and study!
One of the biggest concerns I had after coming to London was to find a good bubble tea shop. My worries were, fortunately, unnecessary as it turned out that people in the UK are pretty crazy about bubble tea, too.
So without further ado, let me introduce some of the bubble tea shops you can find around London! They are not listed in any particular order, and I recommend you visit all of them once lockdown ends to see which one(s) suit you the most.
This was the first bubble tea shop I visited in London. Since I lived in Woodward in first year, the quick trip down to Westfield made visiting T4 very convenient.
Living in London is no cheap feat; your expenses will rack up very quickly when you pay for rent, travel fees, groceries, takeaways, shopping sprees, etc. We’ve all had that little adrenaline rush as we check our bank accounts at the end of each month.
On top of managing your budget, you might want to consider getting a part-time job or two to support yourself throughout the academic year. Yet, between Imperial’s workload and your society engagements, you might be hesitant about jamming yet another commitment in your already-packed schedule.
After talking to my friends and peers, I have come up with a list of part-time work that Imperial students can definitely check out!
During this pandemic specifically I think it’s important we all recognise a certain practice we can do to free up our mind when we become too emotional or overwhelmed. That practice will work differently between people but to have something to take you very much out of a stressful situation is so important – for anyone. If we consider some ideas, some of my friends like reading, working out, watching Netflix, going on Instagram (careful here haha), dancing, prayer… for me, it’s to make art.
Making art does several things for me. To start with, it’s physically a very soothing practice when I’m overthinking a situation.
I am currently in my third year of medical school and the road has definitely been up and down in terms of enthusiasm for the course. In all honesty I at times envy those who seem to have this consistent and unbreakable passion for Medicine and its extracurriculars. There have been times I’m in love with it; I see this being what I need to do. I meet patients and I just can’t imagine doing anything else with my days from the conversations had and the gratitude received. The way we navigate conversations with individuals opening a side many people maybe rarely ever see.
Studying at a place like Imperial can definitely challenge you mentally.
You would most probably meet some of the brightest and smartest people who have never received anything below a First-Class grade and/or have been awarded the Dean’s list every single year without fail. Alternatively, you may have come across young company founders who are basically entrepreneurial geniuses. Or perhaps, the person who is sitting next to you during lectures could be the President of a large student society or someone holding multiple job offers from prestigious firms.
And the list goes on.
My best guess is that you would have most likely heard about the importance of not comparing yourself with others.
Since the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020, forcing the country to a standstill, remote working has become a feature of my degree to varying extents. My third term of first year was purely online (including what should have been my first hospital placement) which I undertook from my family home. Since the start of second year, the college has adopted a ‘multi-mode’ learning strategy encompassing elements of remote and face to face learning. Needless to say, it looks likely that remote learning will be here to stay for the foreseeable future so I thought I’d share a few of my reflections in this blog post.