Eleanor’s final year blog: Second Semester

Hi guys,

So last time I posted I had just finished exams, I’d spent the weekend celebrating and was in the middle of enjoying a hangover, pizza and Netflix filled weekend, it was absolute bliss. However, as a third year my freedom was short lived, and a few days later I found myself out of bed and back in lectures. I’m not complaining about the lectures themselves, all of my lectures are really interesting (this semester I’m doing bioethics and advanced parasitology, both top notch), It’s the 9AM slots I’m not too keen about….

When I’m not in lectures, I’m working on my project. Final year projects are a pretty big deal as they make up a huge percentage of your final grade. They also are a lot of work, which means that a pretty high percentage of the laboratories, libraries and study spaces on campus are currently packed with life sciences students. Not that anyone should complain about that.

My project focuses on gut bacteria and the various health benefits bacteria bring to the human body. My project followed on from my Literature review that focused on the connection between gut bacteria and obesity, so I was already pretty clued up on the area. I chose to do a science communication project, which involves writing articles for different audiences, like Biological Sciences Review, New Scientist as well as analysing why science communication is important in modern day culture.

For the creative part of my project, I decided to create a short video about E.coli, which would be useful for second year microbiology students. I spent last week in the library putting together badly drawn cartoons for a basic storyboard, I’ve come to realise I’m not the artist I thought I was, but then again, I’ve not had much practice since GCSEs. I’m beginning to gain a huge amount of respect for Youtubers.

I’m not going to lie, the third year project is a lot of work, and it is very time-consuming. But, even though there is a lot to do, it’s also really enjoyable. You work on a topic that interests you in an area that interests you, whether that be researching in the lab, looking at bioinformatics on the computer, or focusing on education and science communication (like me!). Doing a topic I enjoy makes it easier, it feels less like work, and more like a hobby. You’ve still got to put the hours in though.

Outside of uni, the last few weeks have been pretty busy. First I went up to Edinburgh with 40 other people for a Friends 21st/Ceilidh Scottish bender. Five hours in a coach was well worth the party at the end of it. I don’t have a great dance ability anyway, but it was non-existent when alcohol, haggis balls and organised Scottish dancing were mixed. My legs still haven’t recovered from the bruises.

Phil's scottish 21st

Wine + Scotland = Good times

The weekend after that was Valentines, and I went down to London to spend the weekend with my boyfriend, and had a wonderful time. This weekend, I’m not travelling. Instead, I think I’m going to have to put some hours in at the learning commons and wish I was a first year student again. In between all that I has been non-stop, sharing my time between work, netball, job interviews (fingers crossed) and trying to forget the fact my exam results come out next week (double fingers crossed), wish me luck!

Until next time,


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