Monday, 23 December 2013

Hostage Situation

I have never been held as a hostage and hopefully never will be, but I can’t say the same for some of my belongings. One of the washing machines (the first one when you enter the laundry room) recently took my clothes hostage. I had heard rumours of a washing machine that was holding hostages and that was returning clothes in a much worse state, then they had been in when the owners had initially, care freely and unknowingly put their clothes in.

 I have used the machines that are located in the laundry room in question, a number of times and experienced nothing of the sort so, in the same care free manner I proceeded to do my laundry. Here’s the step by step, in case you were wondering: put my cloths in the washing machine, added detergent, put the money in, pressed the button, set the timer on my phone and walked back to my room (and went straight onto YouTube).

47 minutes later I go back to our buildings laundry room only to find the machine has stopped (at 43 minutes), the door won’t open, the buttons won’t work and my clothes were in the washing machine and had no way of getting out!

At first I was gentle, careful and kind but after 30 minutes of no support, no help from the company and the machine refusing to do anything but sit there glaring at me with pompous arrogance, I stabbed the ‘coloured clothes 40◦’ button! And it worked!  That’s right! That machine churned! And it did not stop until it finished the complete washing cycle!

Here’s a picture of the culprit:


It’s even specific with regards to what coins it accepts! 

Monday, 25 November 2013

Mission “must not get ill” has commenced

Have any of your ever suffered from an internal fever? Along with your whole body hurting; your head in particular, blocked nose, dry coughs, sinuses acting up and experiencing the occurrence of an intermittent temperature? When you go out your layers of cloths and flesh no longer help to act as a barrier and the wind is able to rattle your bones?

Yeah, that's happening and I don't have time for any of this! So, mission stop getting any more ill and kick this illness to the curb has commenced! I've stocked up on everything Google thinks will help-I can't go to my GP because they have  a one problem one appointment policy ( I promise to take a picture of the sign that states this if and when I next go to grace my GP with my presence ;) ).

I’ve been taking the day and night nurse religiously and have made sure I’m constantly sipping hot drinks. Coats and scarfs have become second skin and I’ve been trying not to go out too much, in case I catch anything new. Don’t want to risk anything while my immune system is weak and busy fighting off this annoying trespasser.


I have had to finish and hand in an essay as well as complete a set of online MCQs in this state. Not my finest work. However, I am hoping that my efforts to fight this and stay positive will help me get through this quickly. 


Wednesday, 20 November 2013

November

This month I have to submit a case study, an essay on atherosclerosis, complete a literature review on a cancer paper, complete 2 sets of MCQs for microbiology, START my final year project, prepare to do a presentation regarding my final year project and get up to date on all my lectures. 

So, (I’m starting this month on Monday the 4th) I have about 4 weeks-27 days- 648 hours! After factoring out sleep and lectures I am left with 376 hours. That doesn't sound that bad when I break it up like that. But I still think it’s not going to be easy.

By the time you read this, I would have handed in my essay & case study and completed one set of MCQs.   

The reason why I’m trying to stay up-to-date with everything is because; for the first time we have January exams. This was not the case during my first and second year. I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about it because sometimes I think it’s good to be tested on these subjects when they are still fresh in our mind instead of in May but then I also think it’s very important to actually get to spend our Christmas break, taking a ‘break’. It helps us to recuperate and reorganise ourselves for the second term. Now because of the January exams, our Christmas holidays are going to be spent revising for our exams (hopefully) and for same strange reason I am fretting about this in November and not December.

As this post has been quite a random one, I will end with some facts about November.
The name ‘November’ comes from the Latin for nine (novem), as it was the ninth month of the Roman calendar.

There is no mention of the month of November in any of Shakespeare's plays or sonnets.

November has been designated National Novel Writing Month and National Blog Posting Month.

November of 1986 was when the speed limit for horseless carriages in Britain was raised from 4 mph to 14 mph.


The 4th of November use to be called Mischief night. This was the night when all sorts of approved naughty things were done. The main idea was to put things in the wrong place. Apparently Germany still celebrates Mischief night but on the 1st of May.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Career Options

How many of us know what we want to do once we leave university? Half of my year has just finished sending off their applications for medicine, a quarter of them are preparing for the 2015 entry into medicine and the handful of us left, have varying interests. 

And then there’s me, I have no idea what I want to do. 


     Last year I did a two week hospital placement at The Medway Hospital; which was absolutely amazing! I met some amazing Consultants, Biomedical Scientists and Medical Lab Assistants and got to see the inner workings of a hospital lab. I learnt a great deal and one of the main things I took from this experience was that I did not want to become a Biomedical Scientist!!  Personally, I found the job to be quite mundane. It was only exciting and fun because of the individuals that work there. 


Currently, the government wants to close down all hospital laboratory’s and create two main laboratories that will be located at opposite ends of the UK. They hope to keep ‘satellite labs’ in hospitals that will only require one person to man. The individuals I worked with explained that all of them did not know if they were going to continue working because none of their jobs were safe. I am not entirely sure how long it is going to take the government to achieve this; however, they have already started working towards this. This isn't the reason why I don’t want to be a Biomedical Scientists, it’s something I learnt while I was working and wanted to share with you all. 

   My search continued I was then drawn to becoming an MP for science! I loved the sound of this! Consulting the government on science related topics, being able to have a say when important decisions were to be made, that sounded so amazing! I started to look into what I needed to do and found out I needed to get in touch with my party of interest in my local area, stay up to date with current affairs, etc… As I live out during the academic year, this started to become very difficult and by the end of the academic year, I had forgotten about it completely! 


  During the summer I was supposed to ‘confirm’ my chosen career path and look at possible routes and vacancies. I was not able to do this properly but I have come up with three plans. Plan A is to get a job (what exactly, I’m still unsure), Plan B is to do a Masters (possible topic areas are Biotechnology or anything technology related) and Plan C is to do a PhD (in neuroscience). 


  Those of you who are unsure about what career path to take, try prospects, they list all job types and generate suitable jobs for your ‘personality type’. Also read up about where science degrees can take you-that’s what I did and found to be quite useful.  Go to career fairs and talk to people about what they do and why they do it. Ask questions and don’t give up. 



Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Break Down of Years 1, 2 & 3 in Biomedical Science

Hi everyone, hope you're all well. I thought I would give you a breakdown of what the three years of Biomedical Science consist of. I will give you an idea of my time in each year and a way for me to share some tips/advice. The first paragraph is a basic introduction to University and after that each paragraph is about each year. 

During your induction week most of the lecturers try to drum in to you the fact that, anyone one and everyone can work towards getting a first class honours degree. The key is hard work! If you put in the time and effort you can get 70+ in your assignments and exams. It's not about spending three hours in front of a book and the saying, I studied three hours! You need to make sure you understand your lectures! And if you don't, find someone or something (books, online resources, tutorials, etc...) to help you! Those of you who like doing things last minute, we'll yes, it might be possible to do assignments a few days before they are due, but now that you know it's possible, why don't you try to see if it's possible for you to start your assignments the day it's handed to you! Try testing that out! It's a lot harder than being a lastminute.com/student.

Year 1: As I hope you’re aware, the first year of Biomedical Science does not count, that does not mean you don't have to try to make an effort! It merely means your lecturers are giving you an opportunity to get used to university life and self-study! It is possible to do well in this year, alongside partying and going out as long as you balance things! So only allow yourself to go out when you don't have any coursework due and you are up-to-date on all your lectures (you understand all you lectures and can give a brief summary of them if need be). But do enjoy yourself in your first year! It’s the perfect time to make new friends and experience new things.
 The first term is aimed at getting everyone on the same level. Those of you from the biology, chemistry backgrounds will find it slightly easier as most of the terms and the content will be familiar, of course you will still need to read up as you will be introduced to in-depth information.

The second year, it's not easy. Not trying to scare all you second years but this year you have to knuckle down. Last minute work is not going to help you this year! You need to up your game. This Involves making sure you know what's happening in your lectures, you need to be studying! Especially when you have pathobiology in the second term! Trust me that subject requires a lot of learning and reading and memorising and there is no living way you can do this overnight! I am not challenging any of you by saying this! I'm trying to give you a head start so you’re able to cope! The second year is a lot more intense then the first and those of you aiming for a first will find you’re not going out as much as you did in the first year, but that's fine. You can always go out after your exams! Those of you doing research and professional skills, stay calm! It's not as hard as you think! Read each lecture very very carefully! Pay attention to every slide and when you’re in the computer labs, don't hesitate to ask for help! It is possible to get 100% in this! I don't know anyone who did but all my friends and I got high 90s in this! You just need to pay attention! Those of you, who don't like statistics might find it a bit dry, just be persistent! 

As for third year! We'll I don't know about the rest of you but wow we have our work cut out for us. In the third year, we have a final year project that is 30 credits. Final year projects can be laboratory based or literature based. Laboratory based projects involve you doing your own experiments. So, you need to make sure you have lab time booked, you have all the equipment you need and you have to sort this all out yourself. Literature based projects are based on other scientists lab work, so you have to critically analyse other peoples work. This is an on-going debate about which one is harder and honestly, who cares which one is harder! What matters is, you picking the one that suits you. We picked our projects in June. We had three options and then before we started university we were told which option we got. I am doing a literature based project which was my second choice. I honestly thought I would be getting my first choice which was a lab based project, so did not prepare for this at all. Then when I found out about my project allocation I was in denial, so still did no research (which is quite essential as it's a literature project). My subject area is neuroscience and neuropharmacology; those of you who have read my blog know that I had originally applied to university to study neuroscience. Will this help me now, I'm not sure, but I will update you all on what my topic and title is, as soon as I know. I am quite lucky, in that, my supervisor has said I can write about whatever I like.

I hope you all found this useful. 


I came across this picture and thought it was funny, so decided to share it with you all J

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Halls of Residence

This is my third year in halls of residence!! Three years in the same building, same flat and same room!
I bet your thinking first year, fair enough it makes sense to live in halls but second and third year?! Yeah that was my reaction in second year! I could not believe I was in halls for a second year! 


My friends and I tried to get a house! We really did, but every time we found a house that we liked, that was not too far from campus, we would call the owner only to be told: this house is no longer available! Someone just signed the contract! This happened EVERY TIME! We kept looking, during the summer after first year-we were still looking and when Second year was about to start we started panicking! We had nowhere to live! So we all applied for halls, again! -.- 


I called Medway’s accommodation office and they were lovely! They gave me a room! But it was on the top floor! The thought of carrying my entire luggage to the third floor! Oh no! I’m out of breath just by the thought!  So I asked for another room that was not on the ground floor or the top floor and lo and behold I got the same room I had in my first year.


The University offer a system whereby you are able to put down the names of friends you would like to live with, my friend and I took advantage of this and put one another’s names down. During the second year all of us flat mates got along so well, we decided to live together in halls for another year! So we all have the same rooms and the same flat. I know this may seem quite absurd to most of you, but it works for us. We are all quite lazy and if we lived far from Campus, we wouldn't come in, a risk none of us were willing to take in our third year. Also, the Medway campus offered a new facility during exam time-the library stayed open till 3am!

I’m actually quite happy with regards to my living arrangements this year. I get to live with some of my really close friends
J

2012

2013


Third Year

Third year has officially started! :o I don’t know where the 92 days of my 2013 summer went let alone the first two years of University! 

We have been allocated supervisors and been told what Final Year projects we are to complete.
When picking your final year project you get three choices. I got my Second choice (I’m not sure what’s going on with me missing out on my first choices, first University and now final year projects. At least I got my second choice) which was Neuroscience and Neuropharmacology. My first choice was Cancer Biology. 


There is quite difference between them (looking past the obvious-nerves/CNS and cancer). Cancer Biology is a Laboratory based Project while Neuroscience is a literature based project. There is a huge and on-going debate about which one is harder, however, in my opinion anything in life is hard, so that’s not my concern. I am worried about employment though. I have ‘heard’ emphasis on the ‘heard’ that some employers prefer Laboratory based projects (I hope I don’t apply to any of them).  


I’m still not sure what area in neuroscience I am going to write about but I’m starting to get quite excited. I hope it is excitement I’m feeling. I get to write 10 thousand words on a particular neurodegenerative disease, I get to read and critically evaluate other people, I mean scientists experiments. I get to write everything in my own words because if I plagiarise it’s an instant fail. And once I have bound and handed in my project I get to present my work in the form of a poster in front of an academic who grades me! 

Yeah, I’m pretty excited. 




Monday, 23 September 2013

Moving out

In 2011 I started University; I moved out of our family home and came to live on campus. Shopping for University supplies was by far the most tedious task I have ever carried out. I tried to be efficient and think of everything I would need. I made lists, so for Bedroom, I listed all the things my room would need, then the same for kitchen and bathroom and a completely separate list for stationary (my stationary is that privileged). I also came armed with disinfectant and Dettol wipes. 

On moving day my mum and brother accompanied me. I had to drag my brother along because I knew I would need help carrying things. After cleaning my room and unpacking, I was actually quite pleased with myself. I had packed everything, forgotten nothing and everything was in order. My family and I went to have dinner and then we said our goodbyes and I went to my room to try to set up the internet (which did not work for 8 days! As the system had crashed).

I’m not an outgoing, chatty person, so saying Hi to others wasn't easy during the induction week, but I gave it my best. I met a lot of people and also made some really close friends. However, my point of writing this is to tell you about what happened during the induction week. 

A friend of mine and I decided to make wraps, I had all the ingredients and we thought it would be nice to have for lunch. When we got to my kitchen, I got all the supplies out and was about to start cooking, only when I realised, I HAD FORGOTTEN THE OIL! I remembered the bath mat but forgot the oil! Oil-a key ingredient for anything you may want to cook and I didn't even think of it. 

The point is you won’t remember everything, none of us do. But what you should remember is you’re at University! You've finally finished and left school; some of you may even move out and leave your home town. This is a new chapter in your lives. Make the most of every moment and every opportunity! Not everyone gets an opportunity like this! We get to party, study and learn how to stand on our own two feet. We are creating our futures! Let’s enjoy ourselves in the process. 

Good Luck :D