Monthly Archives: May 2015

Kai’s second year blog: End-of-year vibes

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.

A faithful depiction of my reaction to scoring an industrial placement.

A faithful depiction of my reaction to scoring an industrial placement.

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!


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Ellen’s First Year Blog; Making the most of the end of First Year

Hello lovely readers, It’s crunch time. Exams are looming ever closer now. It will be a miracle if I manage to learn all that I need to for my 6 exams. WHAT A HIDEOUS NUMBER, HEY?! Revision has been put to one side recently as I’ve had to submit a lab report worth 50% of my overall laboratory science module, so that made me and my friends recluses over the past week or so. Everyone is equally stressed out and wishing time wasn’t flying so fast. This all sounds rather fun doesn’t it? Okay, I’ll lighten up, and tell you instead about some of the cool things I’ve done over the rest of the month. Remember when Manchester had blue skies and sun ‘fo days’?

Alas, rain and clouds have come back to reclaim their dominant presence over Fallowfield… but I did manage to get out and about in the sun (and in fact burn! Irish paleness for you!). I took full advantage of Platt Fields Park in all its beauty. I went to the fun fair with Ru, where we went on a ride (see picture below) that gave us awesome views across the whole of Plattfields – not that he could concentrate on that, he screamed the whole time, fearing for his life, and came off the ride fairly green. On another occasion I called up my friend Meg and demanded we catch the gorgeous sun set – so we ended up sprinting across Owen’s Park in our Pyjamas – we were near death and sweating profusely when we got to Plattfields but it was worth it. One of the best spontaneous days of my time at university so far was when myself and a couple of my mates took full advantage of the ferris wheel by Uni Place (that had been set up to raise awareness of the need to register to vote), had a gloriously cheap yet tasty meal at Pub Zoo for lunch and finished with ice cream on those awkward-to-walk-up steps of the Stopford building.

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