London is exciting at any time of year but there’s always a little extra magic as Christmas approaches. Here are four (student-budget friendly!) activities to do in London
1. Oxford/Regent Street Lights
Journey Time: a 20 minute journey by tube (from South Kensington)
Christmas light displays take over every high street in Britain as December begins, and the central London displays are no exception. The stunning light displays provide the perfect backdrop for a shopping (or window-shopping) trip, are free to see, and adorn a lot of the main shopping districts. Similar lighting can be found at Regent Street, Covent Garden and even Kensington High Street.
If you were to walk through the iconic Queen’s Lawn of Imperial College London while appreciating the magnificent structure of the Queen’s Tower, you might have also walked past the Mechanical Engineering Student Training Workshop in Skempton Building, where you would have most probably seen a bunch of students with their red boiler suits and safety goggles. The Student Training Workshop is one of the most prominent features that makes Mechanical Engineering stand out in Imperial College compared to other universities. It is also the class that students are always most excited about seeing in their timetables, always craving for the next session.
If you have read several previous blog posts from students from Imperial College, you might be familiar with what a Horizons course is. In a nutshell, Imperial Horizons is a wide range of modules to stimulate one’s personal, professional and intellectual growth. I really appreciate these courses offered, as they allow students to pursue and develop passions beyond their primary courses. Some examples of Horizons courses offered in Imperial include Creative Writing, Languages and Global Politics. As someone who has a deep appreciation for the arts, composing and arranging my own music has always been something that I want to learn.
It’s that time of year again, everyone is trying to move into the new year with resolutions and goals to achieve to get closer to their ideal selves. Whether it is academic, financial or personal, here are my five tips that I have found useful for goal setting.
- Breaking down long term goals into smaller daily manageable actions makes it easier to stay consistent in working towards your goals. If you want to pass upcoming exams, breaking that goal down into a plan to have smaller study sessions every day builds a sustainable system to easily integrate into your life. For a lot of goals that aren’t achieved, the intimidation of starting a goal that seems like you can’t succeed puts people off from even starting.
This is the third academic year of my degree but I am more nervous than when I first started. This year is a lot more clinical than the previous years. Lecture halls have been replaced with hospital wards, practicing taking histories by simulation on my peers has been replaced with actual patients with real illnesses and instead of just learning about management of conditions I am seeing it play out in imaging, surgical theatres and in outpatient departments. I am just coming to the end of my surgical attachment at Charing Cross Hospital where I rotated through several specialties including acute gastrointestinal/general surgery, anaesthetics, breast and urology.
In this term, one of the assignments we had was to create a Quality Improvement Project on a subject of our choice to present to our clinical fellows. This includes identifying a problem that we notice on the wards or in surgical theatres and designing a research to find out more about the problem and an intervention to implement to improve this problem. My team were stumped for quite a while on what to choose before we settled on continuity of care. Every day we came to our surgical placement and it was difficult to keep track of who was in and remember all the doctors, so how difficult must that be for patients that may be uncomfortable, in pain or confused?
Although the MechEng course is pretty intense, it is a good idea to be involved in at least one extra-curricular activity. Personally, I found unlike school, studying all the time at university tends to be counter-productive- you end up spending more time making less progress than if you had just taken a break and come back to working. Especially if you are moving away from home, it is incredibly important to have some sort of extra-curricular unrelated to your degree to keep you sane.
One way you could do this is by taking a ‘Horizons’ course. For MechEng, in ME1 & ME2 (first and second year) any Horizons course you take will be for extra credit, though in ME3/4 (third and fourth year), it can count towards your degree.
At 18 during my interview for Mechanical Engineering I quite confidently stated that I intended to pursue a career in consultancy engineering and eventually become a Chartered Engineer. And the basis for this? About 2 weeks shadowing at a consultancy company and thinking that it might be what the interviewer wanted to hear.
Ultimately, the reality is that when you are applying to university, or even during your degree, you may not have a concrete idea on what career path to pursue. There probably is that one person who knows exactly what they were going to be at 5 years old and is on it from Day 1, but rest assured you have time and resources to decide your vocation.
Having gone through more than a year of online learning, I’m sure all of us are tired of staring intently into our computer screens in our dingy little rooms, and all crave for a new atmosphere or environment to work in. However, with everyone flocking back into campus as it reopens, it can be difficult to find study spaces in the library too during the day. I find that my mood is significantly dependant on the atmosphere around me, and have thus been going around searching for study spaces around the vicinity. I thought that this could be useful for some of you reading this as well, especially for days when you just crave for a short adventure/trip.
A couple of weeks ago, a family friend asked if I could look over their medical personal statement. This made me realise that it has been three years since I submitted my own UCAS application. Three years feels like a pretty long time. Hence, I thought now would be a fitting time to refresh my memory on my application experience as it was ultimately what led me to Imperial. Seeing as the UCAS deadline has been and gone and any prospective students will have already sat the BMAT, I’ll focus this post on the interview and see if I can give you a few tips or tricks which might make the experience feel a little less daunting.