Welcome to the inside of my head.

Posts tagged ‘uni’

162. Graduation

I did it- I graduated! I survived four years of attending lectures, frying my brain over mathematical theory and stressing over exams and you know what, I’m damn proud. Some people think a degree is just a glorified piece of paper and whilst that statement is not completely inaccurate, for me it feels like something I earned.

Graduation has felt like something a long time coming. Imperial really make you wait; I was done in June but the ceremony was in October. What’s weirder is that I’m working now and don’t feel like a student any more. Going back to uni felt like walking into a previous life, like I was retracing old footsteps and reliving memories. It just goes to show how quickly we move on. But it was totally worth it. The venue, the Royal Albert Hall (a stone’s throw from Imperial), is just spectacular. How many people can boast of such a fine graduation setting?! And it was lovely to see everyone again and hear what they’ve all been up to #reunion.

The day itself was pretty manic- a mad dash from one place to another. Get to uni. Get the gown. Get some informal pictures. Get some official pictures. Attend the ceremony. Attend the reception. Keep track of my family members at all times (very difficult btw when one person needs the loo, someone else wants to wander around the campus and someone else wants to get food). I’m so glad I bought a change of shoes because I really was running around like a headless chicken.

As for who attended; my proud parents of course (who were literally beaming all day), my cousin Mele whose graduation I attended a few months ago and my aunty who came especially from France. It really felt like a family affair which is exactly how I wanted it to be.

Because I was super eager I bought my dress months in advance which turned out to be a very good decision because I seriously don’t have time to shop these days. I found the dress online (from Next) and I think I fell in love with it on sight. It is ivory colour (shutup that’s not the same as white) with embroidery on it and it’s just so well made and a very flattering shape. Better yet it was friggin 65% off. Hell yeah.

But enough chit chat, here are some photos.

 

And if you’re really interested, here’s a video. Skip to 52:20 . Notice my stupid wave to the camera, immortalised forever on YouTube. But hey at least I didn’t stack it.

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!

153. Ten Things You Really Shouldn’t Say To Me After I’ve Just Completed My Degree

1. Oh- I didn’t even know you were at university.
What did you think I was doing for the last four years?

2. Mathematics- Isn’t that a boy-subject? What can you do with Maths?
1) Maths isn’t gender specific. 2) Plenty.

3. You got a First?! *surprised* I thought you didn’t specify because you only passed and were embarrassed.
-_-

4. Yes it’s all very well you can do this Maths-shaths but how are your rotis?
Edible.

5. Acha good, uni finished. When you getting married?
*sigh*

6. You know this degree paper means nothing till you find a good boy and settle down. Life isn’t complete without shaadi.
*sigh*

7. Did you meet anyone at uni? *suggestive look* You can tell me, I’m your Aunty.
*sigh*

8. Oh you’ve finished your degree. My daughter got married this year and she’s pregnant. She has a family.
Good to know.

9. Oh you have a job. Will you leave when you have children?
I haven’t even started my job yet. Gimme a chance.

10. Look at the girls these days. They all want to do the job-shob but can they run a home? No.
Thanks for the vote of confidence.

I am sad to say there is no embellishment in this post. In fact most of them are quoted directly. Aren’t people sensitive?

Ahh the plight of a brown girl!

 

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!

151. The End of an Era

It been a few weeks since I finished uni for good, finished my full time education for good. Last year I wasn’t ready to leave. This year I am. I have loved Imperial College London. I have never been worked so hard, never had my brain fried so thoroughly, never taken such terrifying exams. At the same time, I have never been so proud of what I’ve achieved or learnt so much so quickly or loved the people around me so fiercely. These four years have been really special.

Despite still living at home, I have experienced independence in a way I had previously not known. My oyster card has been my gateway to London, with which I have mastered the underground. I could sleepwalk my way to Gloucester Road; in fact I probably have…9am lectures are rough.

Anyway I don’t want to gush. The pictures say it better than I could ever describe. *gets out tissues*

 

 

I made a video montage with many more pics which can be viewed here, if you wish to experience the full journey.

Over and Out!

150. Just me, being an idiot.

Edit: I got a call back which led to a marathon Skype session. It was perfectly fine once I got past ‘hi’.  Shouldn’t have worried.

So now that I’m totally and utterly free from uni (post about that in the works) I’ve had an alarmingly large amount of time to just think. One of the things that has been particularly bothering me is that I’ve been a pretty poor friend to my friends outside of uni. Enduring your final year at Imperial doesn’t leave much stress-free time but I still feel like it’s my fault.  Anyway the reason I’m writing this post is because I tried to rectify that today. I thought I’d call a friend who I haven’t spoken to in ages so I did; I unlocked my phone, went to the address book, found his name and then sat paralyzed in fear for about 20 minutes. I have rarely felt so pathetic.

I was actually scared. What if he doesn’t want to talk to me? How do I even start the conversation? It got to the point where I was practicing variations of  ‘hello’ and considering writing down an opening line. And the overwhelming feeling accompanying this was guilt. Guilt that I hadn’t stayed in touch. Guilt that I hadn’t called. And fear that I might lose a friend because I couldn’t get over my own god damn pride and press a button on my phone.

Anyway after convincing myself that backing out meant I was a scaredycat, I hit the ‘call’ button and listened to it ring, and ring.

Yeah it went to voicemail. Didn’t leave a message. Now I have to make sure I don’t mess things up when/if I get a call back.

Moral of the story: I need to man the eff up.

 

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!