I have gotten a lot of questions from friends and younger students at my sixth form about work experience for applying to medicine. I found it very difficult getting work experience when applying and a lot of the time I was just too awkward or nervous to take opportunities to learn. My advice is just taking initiative and reach out to people. Obviously, due to COVID-19, chances of getting work experience in clinical settings like GPs and hospitals or even care homes is slim to none. This is your opportunity to get creative.
Do you know a neighbour that needs help collecting prescription medicine?
Moving to university can be overwhelming. Usually, by the time you’ve reached year 13, your position in the fabric of the school is quite well established. You probably have a reputation, a core group of friends and you may even have started being on first name terms with some of your teachers. Then, all of a sudden, you get parachuted out of that familiar environment into Imperial- one of the best universities in the world, in a city like London, with thousands of new faces. Nobody knows who you are. It’s a clean slate. For some of you this may feel liberating, but for others it can be disorientating.
Not going to lie, the whole idea of going back to (virtual) university after spending a couple of weeks doing close to absolutely nothing gives me a fair bit of anxiety.
Maybe it’s the fact that I’ll need to return to an intense work routine with looming deadlines almost every week. Or it could be because we’ll be assigned to a completely new team for our group projects, so we don’t exactly have a comfort zone to fall back onto (shout out to my previous team if you happen to be reading this!
For prospective undergraduates, you might have come across an opportunity for you to get a taste of non-science-related topics such as humanities, social sciences, or languages. In essence, this programme is called Imperial Horizons, and I would like to dedicate this article to talking about one of the Horizons courses that I’ve taken and the unexpected enjoyment that I had from it.
A crash course on psychology
To begin with, I had to take a Horizons course back when I was in my second year of university as it just so happened to be counted towards my degree credits (they are usually taken for extra credits).
During this pandemic, we’ve very explicitly seen the impact of COVID-19 on our entire population – whether that’s through contracting the virus itself to having our freedom of movement and choice restricted by things involving lockdown and border control. I write this to say that through the past year, we’ve all been affected. In line with this logic, our actions also affect one another, to a great extent. There’s not been more of a plain example in my mind whereby we can help human kind through our own actions. Basic respect of social distancing, masks on and adhering to social gathering restrictions will create massive impact in collective efforts.
One of the most common concerns first year University students have is about finding an accommodation for subsequent years. In Imperial, most halls are reserved for first year students, to ease their transition into University life. I was fortunate to be staying in student dorms located 5 minutes away from my department during my first year, but I knew that I would eventually have to get out of my comfort zone to find a new flat before the end of the year too. In this blog, I will be summarizing my experiences searching for a new accommodation in London and some tips to get your ideal flat!
The biggest concern I had before coming to London was that I would not fit in. The drastic cultural differences between London and South-East Asia can be noticed easily from the food we eat, the way we speak and sometimes even the way we dress. People in London are phenomenal and I always find myself being able to dive into deep conversations about various topics. The experiences and ideologies that we grew up with are so different that it amazes me every time and allows me to constantly learn new materials from every conversation. However, there comes a point in every international student’s time abroad that we will miss home more than usual.
I joined book society during freshers week of my first year and I love it. A book is selected for that month by voting from a group of five and we can discuss it at the meeting a few weeks later. I love to read so this is the first society that jumped out at me. Growing up, my Dad took me and my siblings to the library on the weekends and I would bring an empty bag for the books I would borrow. I still remember back when heelys were a thing I would skate around the long corridors to find books I had not read yet.
The transition from 2020 to 2021 has been a quiet one. Although I did spend it with my flatmates, there were sadly no fireworks by the Thames, no countdown at Trafalgar square, no free bus/tube rides at 2 AM, no meeting up with friends who live far away… It almost doesn’t feel real that a whole year has passed since the pandemic began.
And what a year it has been. The sudden social-distancing rules, the ever-changing lockdown tiers, the closing of national and international borders, the fear of viral infection and the overload on NHS services have all taken a toll on everyone.
It’s that time of year again; we’ve officially kissed 2020 goodbye and have hailed in 2021. For some people, approaching the end of a calendar year calls for a moment of self-reflection to figure out how they can better themselves during the next one. They toss the last Quality Street box in the bin and vow never to eat a chocolate again. Or they dig out their trainers and pledge to start exercising more. They may even take a pass on the Winter sales and resolve to start saving more money. At least these are the more common resolutions made.
However, statistics condemn that most (90%) of these resolutions will be broken long before 31st December 2021.