Student bloggers

Life as a student in Bath

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First year reflections

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First year is officially drawing to a close, with only one seminar and one lecture remaining for me. This doesn’t mean I’m finished though, as I’m rudely reminded by the list of deadlines on the wall in front of me, but there are just 4 pieces of coursework and an exam between me and a four month summer! It’s very strange in the sense that Freshers' Week feels like it was just the other day, but I also feel like I’ve known my friends here for years, so I can’t really tell if this year has flown by or felt crazily long..

It’s very strange though that knowing that I’ve almost done a quarter of my degree (and I’m doing a placement year, so for those who aren’t they’ve done a third!). I’ve got involved with a lot of stuff this semester and I’m really glad, as, although it’s not good to overcommit yourself to stuff and end up stressed, I definitely feel like you get more out of uni if you put more in. I only realise this now after my mum nagged at me for years in secondary school to get involved with stuff and I could never be bothered… oops! Never too late I guess.

Deadlines- almost there!

Deadlines- almost there!

There are some good things about first year being over. I know that the course next year will be more interesting, as a lot of second years have said that. I’ve still really enjoyed this year, but it’s a fairly broad overview to psychology, and I’m looking forward to focusing in on more interesting aspects and learning about more things which I haven’t studied before. I’ll also get to leave behind the flatmates who never quite learned that the kitchen sink is specifically there for washing up… a concept some clearly struggled with. Ah, I can’t wait to have a tidy kitchen!! And I’ll get to live in a nice, big house with a bath! And a tv!

Halls is like living with your friends and I do love my flatmates, but it is going to be great having our own house and kitchen and being able to sit in the garden and have a local pub.. can you tell I’m excited?? But I also know a lot more about the uni now. I haven’t got the apprehension that came with starting last year about making friends or getting lost. I’m now in societies and do volunteering and just kind of feel like I know what I’m doing which is definitely a nice feeling!

I will miss my room in Norwood

I will miss my room in Norwood

Obviously, there are a few downsides, too. Like, er, the grades counting towards the final degree. I would love to know how many times this year I’ve said ‘it’s fiiiiine, it’s first year; doesn’t count’ when someone’s stressing over work. It’s the go-to phrase in moments of doubt. You just need 40% to get to second year, and while a 2:1 or first is preferable if you’re doing a placement, it’s very easy to forget that when trying to convince someone to come on a night out. I’m also a little bit gutted to leave behind Norwood House. Halls are the epitome of convenience; when again will I ever live above both a night club, a supermarket, a starbucks, etc. etc. etc. And being able to crawl out of bed 10 minutes before a lecture and make it there on time?! I have essentially been living the dream. While there are lots of perks to having a house, halls have been pretty great. And I don’t get to have freshers week again! My friends are reliving it by being freshers crew, where they’ll be allocated a flat and take them to activities and drop them off at different events during the week, but I’ll be working at home so didn’t want to commit. I’m quite jealous though as I’m sure the events will be great again, and I’m still not over missing Russell Howard this year… maybe they can sneak me in..

One of the definite highlights of first year has been making so many great friends

One of the definite highlights of first year has been making so many great friends

First year has been so, so good, and involved all kinds of things, from late night hide and seek in the library, sitting with cider on sunny days by the lake, trying ballet lessons for the first time, nights out in Bath and Bristol, late night work sessions in the library, countless trips to Fresh (the on-campus supermarket), flat walks around the golf course, gym classes, lots and lots of coffee before 9.15s, many, many trips to the various fast food places in town open after the clubs shut… and that’s just naming a few. While it will be nice to go home for summer and have the luxuries of a washing machine and not having to do things like remembering to buy food, uni has been great and I’m already excited to come back for next year!

Laura x

Bath is sooo pretty

Bath is sooo pretty

 

Exploring “The Edge” at Roche Continents ‘16

  

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Agnes Wong, one of our MPharm students, has just returned from taking part in this year’s Roche Continents project in Salzburg, Austria.

The project aims to bring together 100 top students from across Europe to give them the opportunity to explore sources of inspiration at the intersection of science and art, as well as the creative processes that drive innovation. 

Agnes has written a short blog about her experience


The journey did not start in Salzburg, nor at W.A. Mozart Airport, nor at Stansted airport… It all started with the application form.

The Roche Continents program was a pivotal moment in my three years as an undergraduate pharmacy student. After being nominated to attend the event, I was directed to the application site where I was to put on a different thinking cap after a long time since studying Theory of Knowledge during my IB days. “What does ‘The Edge’ mean to you?” This question was not an easy one to tackle but it definitely set off my personal expectation for Roche Continents 2016 – it was going to be an exceptional experience.

Roche Continents ’16 group photo. Photo credit: Roche

Roche Continents ’16 group photo. Photo credit: Roche

This year’s theme was “The Edge” and broadly speaking, we were meant to challenge the boundaries of our thoughts across the arts and sciences – two subjects at both ends of the area of knowledge continuum. Throughout the week, we had the privilege to listen to talks by renowned speakers on various topics such as astrophysics, evolution, cancer and genome sequencing as well as musicologists and Salzburg artists on the evening concerts we were to attend. Another brilliant experience I had was when we were given a task to present an artistic concept representing “a billion” which had a mix of science and art students. This was definitely an eye-opener for me as I had the opportunity to explore the mind works of scientists and artists.

Me outside the Mozarteum where the works of Cerha, Schwetsik and Gruber were performed.

Me outside the Mozarteum where the works of Cerha, Schwetsik and Gruber were performed.

Intriguing talks, evening concerts, sumptuous food (yes, we had waffles for breakfast) etc, but personally my best bit of Roche Continents was the opportunity to listen to the stories from my fellow friends from across 29 nations. During the week, I met some of the most inspiring personalities and creative characters who are courageously pursuing their passion in different fields, some of which I have never heard of such as theoretical chemistry. The individuals I encountered were bubbling with so much enthusiasm when they spoke of the work that they do, be it producing compositions using African polyrhythms, doing a PhD in Wallerian degeneration or even organizing Roche Continents for the nth time; these special people have certainly helped deepen my understanding on what it means to be Passionate about something. Over the course of six and a half days at Salzburg, this group of strangers became a group of friends whom I seemed to have known for six and a half years.

The Roche Continents experience has taught me a lot about passion, to never lose the willingness to explore the unknown and last but not least, to continuously push my “Edge”.  It has been a pleasure to have been part of the journey. Thank you, Roche Continents and thank you, DPP!