Greetings from the blogosphere!
It feels like summer is officially beginning to hit Manchester, and those end-of-the-year vibes are washing over us all. I’ve personally identified two surefire indicators where you can see the symptoms of the May exam season approaching.
First of all, the lovely grass patch outside the Alan Gilbert Learning Commons is packed with students, which incidentally makes for a top notch lunch spot. Nothing better than catching a bit of sun with some friends and food to stave off that cabin fever. On that note, indicator number two you don’t have to go much further to see. Simply walk on over to the Main Library, where you will see rows upon rows of students hunched over their desks, each one corralled in their own half circle of furiously annotated lecture slide printouts and empty cans of dubious-looking energy drinks.
I guess I simply picked out these two things because my life has essentially been revolving around these two places lately. Sometimes I even combine the two, with revision in the sun, just to mix things up. Wild, I know (screen glare be damned). So things are not all doom and gloom, and there’s time for a bit of other activities as well.
I went with a few friends to the Peer Support Celebration Evening at the Midland Hotel, which is held annually for everyone across the University involved in the Peer Assisted Study Scheme (PASS) and mentoring. It was a great event (with free food, need I say more), and there was even a special prize or two in store for some PASS Leaders in the FLS! Go us! Aerospace Engineering won the prize for best visual showcase though, which was well deserved seeing as they essentially made a trailer that one-upped Interstellar’s. And there were also helium balloons involved, so the evening may or may not have concluded with a bunch of us going full Smurf Choir on the way out to Oxford Road before we hit XOLO to keep the rest of the evening going with glued-on mustaches and valiant attempts at salsa dancing.
Beside the prospect of exams, some of the stress inherent in this whole life planning thing has been somewhat reduced after I was offered an industrial placement at GlaxoSmithKline. Yay! Admittedly towards the end the waiting period was somewhat nerve-wracking. I had only applied for two positions, which was mostly to do with the fact that I had more or less decided against a lab-based placement and otherwise had quite a strong preference for the area I wanted to work in. I’ve always been quite interested in infectious disease and public health, and so I was very keen on the position I ended up getting, which will involve working with global clinical trials for candidate drugs against diseases like influenza, HIV and malaria. Very stoked about it, even though it inevitably means uprooting my now comfortably settled-in life in Manchester for a move to Uxbridge in Greater London. I imagine the logistics of that operation should be interesting, which may involve me sitting on the train with a microwave in one hand and a hoover in the other.
Either way, I’m really excited about the prospect of changing things up a bit before going back to uni again — it should provide a much-needed breather, with time and space for new experiences, which is always good.
So, dear reader, I suppose I will round off by wishing you an excellent exam season, and an equally excellent summer!