Welcome to the inside of my head.

Posts tagged ‘student’

161. Working Life: The Sucky Truth.

So in that last post where I said I hoped to still keep up with my blog- yeah that didn’t happen. I can only apologise. I’m guilty. I chose sleep over blogging. Disgraceful.

So what the hell have I been doing? The daily grind covers it- the getting up, going to work, commuting home and collapsing in bed routine.

People ask me all the time how my job is going and I smile and say it’s good and that I’m being kept busy.

But here is what I really want to say.

I have caught myself questioning working life a hundred times over the past month.

The first, and it makes me sad to say this is, is this it? Is this what my life is going to be… 40 years of a daily 9-5  (let’s be honest 8.30-6) and catching up on sleep on the weekend. There’s got to be more, surely.

Then there’s WHAT I’m doing. I like that I’m being given responsibility and I’m doing something ‘real’ but I’m basically a glorified Excel person. Spreadsheets and Outlook are my two sidekicks.

Sometimes I feel like such a sellout. I picked such a ‘safe’, ‘stable’ career. I’ve been so busy being realistic about the future that I never sat down to actually ask myself what I wanted to do. I stumbled into this with my eyes closed and my fingers crossed and a mantra that it’ll work out. And you know what, it probably will. I just need to adjust and grab any opportunity to do non-standard stuff. But for now I’m going to moan because I bloody well want to.

I also worry about my time, more specifically the lack of it. What’s the point of earning money if you don’t have time to use it?  I am quickly beginning to realise that there are not enough hours in the day for me to do all the things I want, and this makes me feel bitter. I want to see my family, chat to my friends, keep up to date with all my tv shows, listen to all the new music and spend hours exploring YouTube and WordPress. But I can’t. And I think it sucks.

And the bit that shocks me is that I’m lucky. I can come home and my parents take such good care of me. How do people living alone function? When do they find the time to go food shopping or cook? How do parents drum up the energy to entertain their kids and keep up to date?

The way I see it…if you let it, work will suck you in and take over your life. I need to prioritise what is really important and do enough things in my personal life so that I don’t lose my identity.

I need to remind myself that I am so much more than just an employee.

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160. First Day of Work!

I’m at one of those funny stages in life where I KNOW that my life is going to completely change. No more can I be a scruffy student attending lectures and agonizing over maths problems… Nope now I’ve got to be a classy sociable consultant (such a fancy term for basically chatting to people). And there’s nothing quite like your first day at work for that to hit home. A part of me is very sad to leave the security and tight knit friendships formed at Imperial but another part of me is equal parts excited and scared out of my mind about what’s to come.

Considering I’d done an internship last Summer with the company I’m joining I should have been more relaxed, but there was so much I’d forgotten and so many new people to meet. We literally had information overload today and we have so many administrative to complete and pre-reading before our training next week. Day one and busy already! On a positive note however lots of people remembered me so that was nice!

The emails feel overwhelming. I remember feeling like this at the start of the internship. Every time I thought I had my inbox in control, I’d receive another bucket load of messages. However I got used to it. I’m hoping I’ll get used to it again…sooner rather than later. It’s weird having to balance so much stuff simultaneously when I’ve spent the last year completely focused on two or three modules. It looks like Outlook’s calender and task panel is going to be my new best friend.

But hey I survived my first day! Let’s see what tomorrow brings! It can only get better right?

What do you guys think of my new glasses?

What do you guys think of my new glasses?

Me and Shakira at reception!

Me and Shakira at reception!

On a semi related note, with work starting I’m not sure how much time I’ll have to dedicate to this blog. However I have every intention of keeping it going even if it means writing posts on the tube like I am right now!

Over and Out!

158. It’s Showtime!

For those of you who have been following my blog for a while, perhaps you’ll recall that I wished for two things this year. The first was to obtain a First in my degree which I did (huzzah!) and the second was go on holiday with my friends. Well guess what, it’s happening! We are due to fly to Italy tomorrow and I am so excited!

We’re mainly going to be based in Florence (which looks gorgeous!) though we plan to make a day trip to Rome and Pisa. Seeing as none of us have started working yet, we’re trying to be resourceful when it comes to spending. For example we rented a house for the week instead of booking a hotel. I actually prefer that because there’s more privacy, we can be loud and it’s just more suitable for a group. 

I have been such an eager beaver about this trip. I went to the library and took out two travel books which I have pretty much read cover to cover and I had far too much fun researching our itinerary, which incidentally is a spreadsheet. What do you expect from five mathematicians?!

So yeah, I’ll be back in a week! Laters!

Over and Out!

156. SET Awards

I thought I was done with my project; in fact I took great joy in destroying anything mildly related to it after I got my results. But then quite out of the blue, my supervisor suggested I enter it in the SET (Science, Engineering and Technology) competition. The fact that she even thought it was worth entering is a huge compliment for me. However it’s a European wide competition and getting to the next round is a complete long-shot.

For my entry I had to write a 2000 word synopsis of my project and really sell it. I’m not sure I’ve ever given the details of what I did here on my blog, but to summarise I analysed multiple choice questions and compared differences in performance between the males and females. I liked that it was about education and psychology and not just Mathematics. However condensing 60 pages of work into 2000 words in a coherent way whilst including all the main points was a real challenge. I thought I’d be able to copy and paste huge chunks but I ended up re-writing a lot of it to make it flow better.

It took me HOURS. And it took even longer to convince myself to get my head down and actually do it. I’m getting too used to lazing around.

My supervisor also has to write a supporting reference explaining how fantastic I am and how dedicated I was to my project and what a fabulous ambassador I am for my subject. lol, just lol.

  Over and Out!

152. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

GUYS Guys guys! I got a FIRST! I GOT A FRIGGIN’ FIRST!

During these holidays I employed an avoidance tactic when it came to results. Of course that didn’t stop it popping into my head and making my stomach drop, but each time it did I made a quiet a prayer and pushed it out my mind. I refused to be that person sitting by their computer hitting refresh a hundred times. 

So where was I when I got my results? Tesco. My phone started blowing up. People were posting their results on Facebook and I was just standing in the vegetables aisle gripped by anxiety. I was with my parents at the time but I made a decision not to tell them in case they crashed the car on the way home in their haste. So I played it cool and wandered around the store for the next twenty minutes looking at toothpaste and pasta sauce. 

When I eventually made it home, I trudged up the stairs, turned on my computer and found my hands shaking. Why was I so nervous? Well last year, I was kinda disappointed by my results. I didn’t do as well as I wanted to so I worked my butt off this year to compensate for it. I just wasn’t sure whether I’d done enough. 

I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT when I saw that it said ‘First Class Honours’ next to the degree classification. I think I blinked several times just to check I wasn’t imagining it. I even asked Shakira if that meant a First because I seemed to have lost my handle on the English language.  

Even better I saw that I got a First in every module except one which was off by two marks. On top of that I got a First in my project/ dissertation which blew my mind. Hands down the best set of marks I have ever obtained at university. 

So basically I was standing in my room kinda overwhelmed and on the verge of tears (but I managed to hold it it together). The fun part was telling my parents. I crept downstairs and calmly announced my results. The next thing I know I’m being squished to a within an inch of my life by my mum and we were jumping up and down like crazy people. My dad was much more subdued though I’d say equally pleased. 

So yeh I am pretty darn happy right now and this grin I’m wearing ain’t going nowhere for a while. 

Over and Out!

149. Done and Dusted.

I am officially exam free- can I get a HELL YEAH?! Do I have my life back yet though? HELL NO.

Basicallyy I still have my fourth year project to finish off which is kinda like a dissertation but with maths instead of words. This project (and an accompanying presentation on said project) is worth quarter of the year which is A LOT. Additionally if you’re borderline between degree classes like I am, they look at your project marks to help decide which side of the boundary you should be on.

Now I’ve been working on this project on and off from November so I’ve done a fair bit. However I’m not sure if it’s utter bollocks or actually relevant. Mine’s not the most ‘mathematical’ of projects either; it’s more statistical analysis focused. Before you start thinking oooh analysis, let me clarify that it’s more like ‘errrm this mean is higher…oh look low variance’ and other mindless insights rather than meaningful inference.  I kinda feel sorry for my supervisor who has to read this drivel.

As for the exams… I did six of them which is two less than what I did in 1st and 2nd year but it still felt overwhelming. Must be the insane content. How did they go?

The Mastery Paper

This bastard of a paper is reserved for us lucky fourth years to try and distinguish us from the third years. They made us sit an exam where we were given one question from each of the modules we took. Note that even though I study maths which is ‘one subject’, individual modules are vastly different. It was like a five in one exam or more accurately THE MOTHER OF ALL EXAMS. Even worse it was the very first exam. I had zero hope that it would go well- I just wanted to not fail. In the end I had one very good question, two average questions and one piss poor one so I’d say it all averages out to meh.

Algebraic Combinatorics

This is a pure Maths module and by definition, that makes it HARD. You’ve actually got to think in the exam *shock* *horror*. I was terrified going into it because the past papers from the last few years were foul and there were bits of the course that I just didn’t get. However it turned out better than expected. That’s not to say I smacked it. I just had low expectations and it exceeded those.

Time Series

Preparing for this exam felt like preparing for an A-Level Mathematics exam ie. you hit the past papers and you do as many practice questions as possible rather than examine the lecture notes. I had a terrible journey getting into uni that day and although I wasn’t late, it messed up my mental preparation. I was all over the place at the beginning of the exam but luckily I managed to pull myself together and I hope I salvaged it. I *hope*.

Applied Probability

I really liked this course mainly because I really like the lecturer but my god was this module a bitch to revise for. You have to know the lecture notes INSIDE OUT. Every minute detail is examinable and there are so many proofs and methods which you’re expected to know. I felt like I understood the content but I wasn’t sure I could convert that into a good exam mark. Before the exam I did a quick revision session with a dude from my course and I explained some stuff to him and he explained some stuff to me. Both things came up. I could have hugged him.

Statistical Theory

The name of this course is Statistical theory but we knew the exam was all about applying the theory. Due to my timetable I sort of only had 6 days to revise for it properly. The lecture notes were waffle so I just did the papers and hoped for the best. I even learnt definitions on the train on the exam day. It was all very last minute dot com. The exam itself was HARD but I honestly tried so I’m not disappointed. I did everything I could.

Stochastic Simulation

We all got royally screwed over. It was nothing like the past papers. I can’t say it was ‘unfair’ but it was just weird and I didn’t feel like the questions were direct. I could see everyone’s faces in the hall as they flicked through the questions all unanimously thinking ‘what the hell is this?’. It was a pretty bad exam to end on. My only consolation is that I think everyone found it bad so hopefully they’ll sort out the boundaries…

But yeah. That’s that. All done and dusted. I thought I’d have some closure after this or feel like a great burden had been lifted off my shoulders. Instead I felt..nothing and my attention immediately switched to my project. Maybe I’ll feel like celebrating when that’s done?

At least I hope so.

Over and Out!

 

144. Basically the entire student population right now.

*sweeps away books*

*rips up notes*

*runs out into the sun arms outstretched*