Sunday, 30 September 2007

A Week into uni ~

Been back at uni for a week now, not exactly finding things easy, but things aren't too bad either. Current timetable means i have 5 day a week days most ending at 4pm, though to be accurate i only have 4 days of lectures, wednesday i ahve to go in and "improve my technique" for my lab project...
in regards to that.. i have yet to do a succesful western blot...gosh are they bloody hard to do well!!

Free Radicals in health and disease on mondays
...not too bad, quite intersting so far.. but seems to be a lot of cycles involved..which isn't good .. as i hate learning cycles!

Biology of Cancer A on tuesdays
...really intersting so far!! ..but a lot of new terms for me.. especially since i havn't studied a anatomy/physiology based module since year 1 ! Overall i think i'll enjoy the course, though i know it won't be easy to do well...

Lab on wednesdays
...boring.. repetitive... hope to be a western blotting pro.. but perhaps only in my dreams.. i am yet to make one work well!

Protein structure and design on thursday
..this should be renamed protein engineering... and i quote the lecturer on that. haven't really learnt much yet.. as the lecturer handed out a very familiar looking lecture note booklet on the day.. on closer inspection.. its exactly the same one he gave out to me in year 1 when we had a module on basic proteins in biochemistry.... that goes to show how lazy some of these lecturers are!

Bioinformatics on friday
...ok it is not easy.. theres a lot of work involved in terms of learning how to search online for sequences .. and theres just tooo many sites out there.. i find it difficult to catch up with the workshop as he speeds through the 4 hours session in 2.5 hours .. making it too fast paced.

...saturday and sundays.... being a sad-o writing up my notes at home and generally watching a lot of tv...
i watched X Factor today... im usually not a fan of these sort of reality music shows.. as i find most people end up voting for those they like rather than those who i believe deserved to win..but then i am a bias bum who always want the ones with a "sad" story to tell to win..

anyways.... terms of ucas.. well thats been sent to my tutor now for a week and hes not touched it ..the big bum!

...and in terms of brother-sister competition i have to at least get a 2.1 and hopefully a 1.1 as i don't want to "lose" to my brother ......

im immature. i know i shouldn't see studying as competition.
though in reality its not really competition at all.. more like i admire how well he does, and only wish i could have done so well.... and in fact it motivates me to work as i look up to him and hope i can just do as well as him.

This is perhaps the first time in my life i feel studying is actually really important, and that wanting to be a medical student/1st class student is one thing...
..............become a medical student or 1st class student is something completely different..

wanting doesn't equate to getting...

working my butt off and taking things seriously will get me nearer to it.. but nothing is for certain in life, and i just ought to work harder than i ever have in the past!

Sunday, 23 September 2007



After some time i think i've chosen between those universities for this years application cycle.. but on a realistic side.. i really don't feel too positive about my chances this year round...
Will have to wait and see how everything goes..
i would have loved to apply for more london universities.. but sadly i know im not cut out for IC or GKT medicine.. studying biochemistry at kcl is fine.. but medicine here is definately out of my league..

i am in no way saying any other medical schools are inferior to GKT or IC, just i would have quite liked to have studied medicine there, GKT as im a current student there studying biochemistry.. and i quite like the atmosphere here, and would love to continue on here; and IC because my brother studied there, i use to visit him, and he only had nice things to say about it, and after going to an open day.. i loved it..
............. but i barely meet their entrance requirements, and GKT have already said no through the GSS.......i don't want to sit the gamsat for St.Georges... so my choices rest with UCL and BARTS.

UCL ..its only 5 tube stops away from home!!!! so relatively close to home, and i like the uni itself, its location, and its atmosphere! .. i spent 9 months voluntarying at their hospitals during a-levels, and i seriously regret rejecting my offer to study pharmacology there now..(nothing wrong with kcl biochemistry.. but i realised how much i liked pharmacology after first year at kcl...)

BARTS..gave me my first and only offer for medicine when i applied during alevels, and i feel almost attatched to the institution though ive never really studied there. I would love to go to barts and continue my dream from a-levels, when it was my first choice on my application form...

Manchester.. well i can't imagine life without a tescos near by and easy transport, i like walking in the countryside now and then..but living there is a different story, i don't think i can cope spending 5 years away from home in a remote area, hence i chose a nice city, manchester.

BSMS ... i love the campus, its really pretty, and a big bonus.... its near(ish) london! so i can easily commute home on the weekend, and well it has a seafront!

---Lectures start MONDAY ~ EEEEK!
can finally start to call myself a FINAL YEAR STUDENT!

Friday, 21 September 2007

Been doing my research project for some time now, and its starting to become quite enjoyable..

Also had course advising today and got to finally confirm my modules next year, and im ready for my first lecture on monday morning ^.^
To prepare myself for the year, went and bought the student accessories... 3 huge A4 folders (2 for 3 offer) and a big narrow ruled pad... and....... thats it! (.. as im quite broke recently!)

Saw my tutor on wednesday and have my reference almost ready well.. he needs me to tell him about my "team-work" and "leadership" skills, and need him to give me some feedback on my personal statement...then im ready to send off my ucas and play the "waiting game" ......

Friday, 7 September 2007

Research project


Unexpected keen-ness from my supervisor means he insists i start early ..infact 2 weeks before uni even starts to get some practical work done..... hmm.. perhaps i should have went to find him at a later date.. its pretty much everyday until uni starts, oh and two days off that for two days work as a student ambassador..yay paid work!!

asked what i should bring on monday.. and the only item he asked me to bring was...................................... a mug for coffee/tea breaks haha ^.^ sounds like fun already !!

though during our conversation as with most conversations with scientists, they always seem to end up asking me:

"so what do you want to do career wise? will you be applying for medicine?"

...then comes an uncomfortable silence as i try to think through if its wise to tell them that i want to apply for medicine or not.. some scientists are quite anti-medics, whilst some just expect all undergrads to want to go into medicine.. so its an uncomfortable question i feel.

BMAT revision begins

Revision for the BMAT begins today as the guide book for it arrived in the post today.. with my copy of "cook yourself thin" cookbook which is absolutely amazing.. never knew there are so many healthy alternatives, it definately puts me in the mood to do some grocery shopping tomorrow after seeing my tutor and printing off the forms etc and go home to cook something out the book for dinner, and have a cosy night in before i go out to visit my friend for the weekend whose currently doing a year in industry at GSK stevenage at the mo, where the fields and hills are haha.

Back to revision..well im surprised how much physics i have forgotten since gcse... i know almost NO physics what-so-ever unless we're talking about forces which i can still remember the concepts to..but no calulcations or anything electrical eeeek.....! im surprised with the biology too.. some questions are quiet easy (well the biochem degree does help with the bio and chem..ahem!) but some questions completely throws me out my comfort zone.. ive not touched some areas of biology for all those questions based on genetics are fine.. but hopefully nothing in depth about reproduction please!!

i've finally cut my list of places to apply by a big chunk, currently will be applying to UCL and BL (5 years) for definate, and its a hard choice between:

BSMS , Warwick GEP, Soton GEP, and Durham

I want to stay near london .. i love london .. a LOT and can't imagine leaving it..but when it boils down to staying in london or studying medicine..well thats a hard choice ... as wussy as it sounds.. its going to 4/5 years away from home, and from what i've heard no place is comparable to london in terms of atmosphere... so ... its a hard choice..

i quite like durham, its a beautiful town.. nice area .. but very quiet.. and very far.. but it would almost be dream like to study there and pop into the town centre where the beatiful spires are...but 100 of miles away from home.

Warwick would be nice as its not too far and its a course designed for graduates in the life sciences which will make fitting in not a big issue, and warwick isn't too far from london so i can almost drive/train it home to london on the weekends if i felt homesick.

Soton and BSMS are by the sea! and both around 1 hour from london which makes them close to london, which fits my criteria, and also very nice areas. Havn't seen soton yet but bsms was a very nice uni, it had a very nice feel to the campus, and the fact that it was a campus based uni made it feel extra special..

so there are my thoughts so far.. i still have time to decide where to apply..but its just a hard decision.. and the worst thing is at the end of april i may be rejected from all 4 which would be a really big kick.

anyhoots will be seeing my tutor in 7 hours or so.. should sleep now!

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Reality of final year

Got my UKCAT score.. and well im not too pleased with it.. and all to my stupidiy of not working on the abstract reasoning part.. ekk.. i did okish in the two sections i practiced, and the other 2 well.. they weren't as good .. and i've got the very average score of 602.5 ...

hmm.. well BMAT registration form i'll get sorted this friday, and only for UCL. As a london-er i'd really like to stay in london for mbbs too, but all other london unis seem to select via ukcat ... so all rests on a good bmat score over 19 now.. However, knowing that its almost impossible and only a small handfull of students actually achieve higher than this score.. im not going to put too much hope on it, and just hope theres an element of luck on the day...

Another reason to get the bmat registration form sorted on friday is due to the fact that my 7 year old printer at home has decided to run out of ink when i needed it, and as im too lazy to buy ink, im just going to wait until friday when i go into uni to meet my research project supervisor to print out the application form on the uni comps. Oooooh my supervisor's interest is "biochemistry of alzheimer's disease" which is PERFECT! i loved studying AD last year, fascinating stuff.... honest!

Friday seems to soon, and summer seems to have almost drawn to an end now, uni work starts again soon enough, and i, still pretty clueless about neuroscience..which isn't good as i really ought to show i have done my reading before i meet my supervisor...

....................... I KID YOU NOT!!
i am soooo clueless to what i am expected to do in the coming year.... i just hope i find out soon.. as im the type that likes to prepare for things way in advance...

Course advising is on the 21st im sort of tempted to switch my parasitology in tropical disease module to the biology of aging module, but im not too sure yet, the latter seems "easier" as elements of it overlap with another module which equates to less work, but the former module sounds more interesting, and i have a genuine interest in it.. so its a tough choice!

Before course advising i've got some student ambassador work on the 11 and 12th on the University of london open days, so i may have a quick peek whilst im there what other london med schools may be looking for.. though my bright red kcl tshirt i will have to wear to work on the day may make me look a bit silly..

Well here comes the reality part of the post... its finally here, final year.....

1 months till i apply to mbbs again and sit bmat
2 months till bmat results
3 months till i start applying for masters
4 months till i start hearing from unis if i havn't already been rejected
5 months till i hear back from all unis whether its good or bad news
6 months till final year exams
7 months till i have an anxious wait for exam results
8 months till i graduate [luck inserted here] !