It would be reasonable to say that I had a… last minute approach when it came to my UCAS application. I put off writing a personal statement until the night before applications closed because I had four possible paths to choose from and I couldn’t for the life of me decide. They were; philosophy, creative writing, english literature or biochemistry. Not your average selection but I am sure that you can understand my indecision. It felt as though choosing any one option would close off the others for good.
I chose biochem. I chose science because I felt that while I could imaginably keep up my english and philosophy through reading, biochemistry required a more serious application No insult intended to the arts, but I struggled to see myself sneaking into laboratories in my own time to learn about the intricacies of enzyme catalysis.
Sometimes it catches you, a book, an author, his or her view of various things.
I love books that enrich my perspective or increase my level of understanding. The more you learn, read and think your way into different topics, the more you realize how little you actually know. Furthermore there are books on almost every topic, its incredible!
From the application of algorithms to the philosophy of a virtuous life, how to short stocks on the financial markets, how to eat properly according to your blood group, there are dozens of sometimes contradictory treatises on everything. But exactly in this contradiction emerges the germ for one’s own thinking, for the explorative discovery of one’s interests, for the expansion of one’s own horizon, for picking out the right piece of the puzzle fitting into YOUR life.
Summer term’s just around the corner, and what does that mean? That’s right! Endless episodes of exams. Over the years as a student at the RWTH Aachen, I have collected various tips on how to survive the intensive studying phases – all without jungle hair and mental suffering.
First, schedule your free time
Even if you plan to study 8 hours a day, I always take the time to plan my private things first in my weekly schedule. Fitness and relaxation times are a must, and there are even studies that recommend such a planning. In the critical phase time naturally gets a bit tight and sometimes your exercise suffers, but one should always strive for a balance.
When I first found out I’d be based at the St Mary’s campus instead of the main Imperial College stamping ground of South Kensington, I was apprehensive.
“I’m going to miss out on college life.” was my first thought.
“Does this mean they only serve hospital food?” was the other.
After a term here, I can happily say that I have not had any cause for FOMO, nor had to eat from any hospital canteens. I am also a bit better qualified to give you an insider’s look at life at St Mary’s. If you’re going to be starting a term here soon, this is your jam.