Physics and Astronomy

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

I did it!

I made it through another gruelling semester of exams. They were extremely stressful, but they only come around once a year, so we should embrace them! Because now that they’re all over, I’ve got so much to look forward too!

Long evenings spent relaxing in the park with your friends, exploring beautiful cities for their historic wealth, days where you can open the window and smell the morning air without your whole room becoming a freezer. I love summer.

Although I’m probably one of the worst people when it comes to receiving results, because I can’t think of anything but think about what my results might be! Which is silly, because no matter how hard I think about my results, they won’t get any better (I wish they would).
So this time, I’m going to try and spend more time doing the things I love as opposed to waiting for nothing to change.

These results are as big as my last year of college, because once again, they will determine whether or not I get into another university, but this time, it’s in Miami.
A 2:1 with no fails guarantees my place at the university. And to be honest, anything less than 2:1 will be disappointing because I know that I’ve done better than that!

I hope everyone gets what they’re wishing for this summer. If you don’t, learn from it and come back stronger. It took me three years to pick the right A-levels for university, but once I picked the right ones, I soared.

Wading Through the Mud

We’re in the thick of it.

Long nights at the twenty four hour library, ramming so much knowledge into one ear you think it’s about to come out of the other, enough energy drinks to actually give you wings and the daily countdown to each exam.

These times are tough, but they’re made possible with enough drive, ambition and friendship. I honestly don’t think I would’ve got through my exams last year without my friends helping me out along the way, with those group study sessions and huge Facebook group chats.

Ever since I got my offer to study at Miami, it really feels like I’ve got something huge to work towards, sadly, it will mean I leave a lot of people behind, friends and loved ones. But opportunities like this only come around once in a life time, and I’ll be back in London to do my masters next year!

Yes, exams are hard, and there are plenty of them in physics. Yes, these exams are stressful, and some don’t understand why we carry on studying if we complain about it so much. But there’s a much bigger picture behind all of this.

Obviously I don’t enjoy trading out my lie ins for more time in the library. But I know that I’d enjoy receiving an email saying I got a first this year, as opposed to the 69.5% mark I got last year (0.5% away from a first).

The little inches you need to be great are all around you, so go get them.

Unleash the exam timetables!

“Unleash the exam timetables!” said the head of department, and so it was done.

The Exam Timetable

My exam timetable this year has been more forgiving than my previous timetables. But with seven exams spread out over four weeks, it’s still safe to say that it’ll be hard work! Especially because I’ve found the content much harder to comprehend this year. But I’ve almost finished all of my coursework just in time to start revision about a month ahead of the first exam.

These last few weeks before Easter have also been crowded with a heap of job applications, which means writing and re-writing a lot of cover letters. Although it’s starting to pay through as I’ve already managed to land myself an interview with BAE Systems for a job in augmented reality! Where I’d get to work with exciting new technologies such as the Oculus Rift. It’d be the perfect summer plan before jetting off to Miami!

The Oculus Rift

Since I’ve only got what feels like a very short time to enjoy London right now. I’m trying to make the most out of it! Tonight I’m suiting up and going to the end of year sports ball at Queen Mary’s Great Hall, I’ll be arriving with my swimming team, who I’ve loved training with this year. I really came for the swimming, and stayed for the people.

Last night I had an evening in Soho with a couple of my flatmates as well, the prices in central London reminded us why most students stick to the east of London!

The Boys

It’s important to find the balance between work and fun, it’s probably the biggest lesson I’ve learnt this year.

The World is Yours

Hard work pays off.

A couple of weeks ago I got an email which let me know that I’d been selected for Queen Mary’s International Exchange programme, which means that, assuming I can get a 2:1 again, I’ll be in Miami in about six months studying for my third year of physics!

Miami acceptance

As well as this, it simultaneously means that if I go to Miami, I’ll be studying at Queen Mary in my fourth year for my Master’s Degree in Physics! This is an incredibly exciting prospect!

And whilst Miami might sound just like a yearlong holiday, I’ll still be doing a third year in physics, the only difference is I’ll be doing my revision in my boardies on a beach!

The theme of this month is definitely ‘Preparation’. On top of loads of paper work to get myself into Miami, I’ve got a lab report to write and midterms to revise for!

Last time I had midterms, I was in the midst of trying to get my business off the ground, now that everything has settled a bit more, the revision should be much easier to get done. And as for the lab report, I actually enjoy writing long pieces of coursework, there’s an immense amount of satisfaction getting a good mark for a paper you’ve worked on for hours on end.
It’s just a matter of putting asides enough time to get all of the work done!

So now that the dream is real, all I’ve got to do is prepare, and show Miami why I deserve to be there!

The Real Rewards of Studying in London

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My whole life I was told to just get that little bit further with education. I’d always hear; “Just get your GCSE’s and it’ll be fine”, followed by; “After A-Levels, you can stop” and finally; “I swear university is the last step”. And as far as a formal education goes, it probably is the last stepping stone for most. And as far as educational institutes go, for me, it’s been the most enjoyable by a long shot.

Flat Party on top of London

If you’re looking for the traditional university experience, London is NOT for you. Because London doesn’t offer the traditional university experience, it offers something far greater than that. When you’ve finished your coursework for the week, where do you want to go? You local pub or the student union down the road? How about into one of the best cities in the world?

A city where the night is exactly what you make of it.

Spontaneous Night in Paris

Spontaneous Night in Paris

Last Saturday I committed to a small social experiment. If you’ve ever seen “Yes Man”, it followed the same concept, it’s a simple one.
Say Yes to everything.

Meeting celebrities mikill pane)

Meeting Celebrities (Mikill Pane)

Now to do that forever is difficult and impractical (I tried). But for one night, it was so much fun! We started at a Jazz Club in Dalston, before going through Shoreditch, Brick Lane and Whitechapel. We did the whole East End in one night!

I could talk about the spontaneous adventures I’ve had in London forever, but I think I’d labour my point.

In summary, London is a completely unique experience, it could be argued that it’s the best city in the world. Why wouldn’t you want to spend your prime years there?

I want to.

Thames Boat Party

Thames Boat Party

The Labyrinth

Last week I moved into my first ever apartment with four friends in south east London that we’ve dubbed ‘The Labyrinth’, due to it’s maze like features. I’d been spending the summer in between Exeter and London since moving out of Queen Mary’s Albert Stern in June. My new room is more spacious than last year and one of my walls is pretty much made out of windows!

Deep

Getting our apartment was no easy endeavour. Working through property searches and the abundance of emails from estate agents was an arduous task. Not to mention relying on four other people to do exactly the same thing as you on time! But now that we’ve got the keys, I couldn’t be happier with the place, I may not have the best view; I think my flatmate Sam wins that award with his view of Canary Wharf.
Of course, we had the mandatory debate over who gets which room. Whilst Sam realised he’s 6″6 all over again and had to take the room with the biggest bed, our flatmate James was happy with the smaller room as he’s planning on spending most of his time outside of the flat.

JamesThe Wharf
FIFA
Of course, as with any student flat with four boys, there was FIFA.

I think that this year I’m going to learn a lot more about myself all over again. Living with four friends and having to negotiate situations where everyone is happy can be tough. But when you get through it, I think that everyone comes out stronger, as themselves and as a group.

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