StARs, eternal life in the laboratory and the cute puppies

The beginning of the second semester at UCL started very ‘gently’ experiencing my first strike of London Underground, and the entire day spent in the lab. I became a part of mass of people numbering several millions that seemed to forget the deficit of public transport, and at the last minute tried to get to their destination by car, bus or even on foot.

Chemical laboratories during these past few weeks became something like my second, respectively third home. Initial and very much confused following the instructions passed to a more sophisticated and educated steps-editing, to streamline the experiment and build a better functioning apparatus. With the help of demonstrators, most of these practical exercises went adequately well, and lead to quite a successful completion. In this case, it meant collecting millions of data tables, which then had to wait for their analysis (often using a collective strength) during the regular night tea parties in the Research Library, and submitting the entire report before the deadline.

As a magical formula to regain the will to continue reading recommended literature, sketch the graphs, or calculate the necessary errors connected with measured values, was collectively concluded regular searching of the cute puppies on the internet, and counting the traditional tourist destinations in London on our lists that we have not yet had the opportunity to visit. The sweetest reward for our efforts was receiving positive reviews with the promise of going a full circle once again next week.

Obviously, I also found myself riding the endless carousel of lectures, tutorials and of course exams. Yes, exams welcomed me back after Christmas right in the first academic week in January. We also shared a wonderful encounter at the beginning of February. And finally, we said our provisional goodbyes few days ago, during the so-called reading week.

As a typical evening program on Fridays, lectures on thermodynamics, differential calculus and mathematical analysis were scheduled for me as a part of the physical module, in which I decided to continue in addition to physical and inorganic chemistry. Increased specialization has allowed me to study my favorite disciplines in depth and explore the different phenomena from several angles.

Although the study itself is often challenging and exhausting, especially if I add my desire for perfectionism, it is important to have at one’s disposal so much needed skill such as time management, and find time for my hobbies, family, and friends.

Also thanks to them, I have been elected as one of three student academic representatives (StARs) for the rest of the first and next academic year. It has given me an opportunity to defend the interests of my friends and fellow students of Natural Sciences within the Student Union, and cooperate with the leadership of the faculty/university to achieve a consensus from which both sides - students and UCL itself – could benefit.

I did not even realize and suddenly the end of the second term is just within the month away. They say that time flies when one is having a good time. And I am! I enjoy my newly acquired responsibilities, attend training session on leadership and naturally study as much as possible – I am trying to take advantage of all the opportunities that may present themselves, and fulfill my dreams.

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