Monday, 17 December 2012

Christmas

Christmas is right around the corner now and I’m counting down the days until our holidays begin!

I did hear from a lot of people studying at the university that second year is pretty difficult and requires a lot more work….which is how I imagined it to be….but I never realised just how much work they would give us to complete in such a short space of time until now! December has been all about finishing off coursework and handing them in on time. The Immunology Practical Case Study report was the one piece of work I was dreading, but once I had completed my practical on it and done some research around the topic itself, I really did begin to enjoy it! (Strange it may seem…but it’s true!) I really got into the swing of finding the differential diagnosis for each patient based on their clinical history and the lab results obtained from my practical work. It also gave me an opportunity to better familiarise myself with medical terminology and the various clinical aspects involved in diagnosing a patient which I know will help me in the future for sure! The other pieces of coursework set were also based on case studies but weren’t as long as the first one (* she sighs with relief*). I have a statistics project to hand in later today....leaving me with one more coursework to complete for next week  before the Immunology exam next Thursday. (And after that… I promise I will not talk about coursework, exams and deadlines in my blogs for a while!)

Uni finishes next Friday and I just can’t wait for the holidays to begin!Last Wednesday, my friends and I organised a Christmas party over at my friend’s flat. It was really nice to catch up with everyone and have some time to just relax and have fun. The food was great and the music was great! Everyone had a fantastic time (I know I certainly did) and we partied away for most of the night (luckily we all had a day off the next day so we didn’t have to worry about waking up early in the morning)! We also thought it would be really nice to do Secret Santa this year! Ever since we picked out a name from a hat a few weeks ago…we had all been speculating who our Secret Santa would be… and it was all finally revealed at the Christmas party! My Secret Santa was one of my good friends Shelly! She got me a beautiful bracelet (which I absolutely loved) and a portable iPhone charger…something I really needed!

So what’s my plan for the holidays? Well… I’m hoping to relax for a couple of days, watch some great movies being shown on tele, celebrate Christmas and New Year with the family and revise all the work covered this term. And let’s just hope that at least Christmas 2012 will be a white Christmas… the freezing temperature we’ve been experiencing lately certainly gives us hope!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

CHRIS HEMSWORTH In Greenwich!

Hey guys!
I’m sure you will all be glad to know that I’m fully recovered and back to my normal happy self again (phew)! Now all I have to do is catch up with all the work I’ve missed,  finish off the various assignments that are due shortly and prepare for my exam at the end of December (something I’m not looking so forward to that’s for sure).
And I’m also sure all of you who study on the Greenwich campus are aware that CHRIS HEMSWORTH, Yes CHRIS HEMSWORTH, and the rest of the crew from Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World, directed by Alan Taylor, have been filming various scenes for the film in the very centre of OUR campus recently (sounds unbelievable I know but it’s true!) As I am permanently based on the Medway campus, I wasn’t able to follow the filming on campus on a regular basis.  However last Friday I was lucky enough to visit the set whilst on my journey home for the weekend! Although I didn’t get a chance to see Chris Hemsworth himself ( L), I did manage to see three takes of his stunt double in action (better than nothing I guess)! There was a lot of standing around in the cold and the actual filming of the scene was over in no time….but it was well worth the wait! Now I’m just looking forward to seeing the movie complete! It is expected to release in cinemas on the 8th of November next year… I just can’t wait!
Now about uni work. Labs this year have been totally different to last year. As I mentioned before, we have a lot less labs this year… so far it’s only been based on Immunology and Physiology… however the practical’s we’ve had to do have been much more challenging! Last week, I had my first ever physiology lab for this year. Although the experiment we did on that particular day was not as challenging as usual, it was really embarrassing as it touched on a subject which usually raises people’s insecurities- Measuring Body Size and Estimating Body Composition!  It involved measuring our height and weight in order to calculate our BMI and then measuring various locations of skinfold on our body such as the sub-scapula, supra iliac, triceps, biceps, Mid-auxiliary, abdomen, thigh and calf to calculate our body density and the percentage of our body fat.  Today’s physiology practical was a continuation of last week’s practical but one which was a lot less embarrassing! We were investigating the effect of body composition on blood pressure and lung volume by measuring our blood pressure using a sphygmomanometer and our tidal volume, vital capacity and forced vital capacity using a spirometer. I found this particular practical very interesting as I was given the opportunity to gain some valuable information about my health and use equipment which I had never used before. Next week’s practical schedule is about the effect of exercise on heart rate and involves using the Electrocardiogram. 
Anyway, I better get back to my work now… I’m planning to go to the library and stay until midnight to get as much done as possible. Wish me luck! J

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Second year is going fast!

The last couple of days have been the worst few days I've experienced in a long time! I've officially been struck with some sort of virus which has made me throw up constantly and has forced me to stay in bed with a high temperature and a really bad headache. Apparently a few of my flatmates were also ill last week... and I've heard from a few others that they too experienced something similar so I guess it's been going around...I just hope you guys don't catch it too...
Second year is going just as fast as the first year, if not faster! I can't believe that there are only a few weeks left before the end of the first term and the beginning of the Christmas holidays! Then before you know it the second term will have also been over and the summer term full of exams would have begun! So far this year, I am finding the content covered in the lectures much more interesting than those covered in the first year mainly because they are either topics we have never covered before or topics that we have previously studied but in much more depth. We have a lot less labs to get through this year too but the amount of coursework we have been given is a lot more. Last Friday was the last of my immunology labs, which I thought was great because I would have Fridays off again to study all the lectures covered that week and complete my lecture notes...but the downside was the fact I now needed to do a long lab report discussing and drawing conclusions on the results I had obtained in the lab.
Labs and lectures aside, something new that we have been recently focussing on is clinical based case studies. This involves reading a brief report about a patient, trying to find out what is wrong with them based on their previous medical history and the symptoms they have reported, thinking about how we can investigate the problem further and identifying any treatment we could possibly offer them. Although I did find the problem solving side of things quite difficult at first mainly because I had not looked at any case studies like these before, after learning how to tackle such questions in the lecture and doing a few practice questions by myself and then discussing it as a group, I now feel a lot more confident working through them. I would strongly recommend all you Biomed students who are working on clinical based case studies like I am  to have a good look through the following book : Understanding Clinical Investigations: A Quick Reference Manual by Susan Ski. It is such an amazing book...I've lost count of the number of times I must have renewed it from the library!
Anyway, I better go and rest now. I hope you all take care of yourselves and wrap up warm. If anyone has any suggestions on good books that will keep me occupied whilst I'm recovering please do let me know...I'll be most grateful!

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Happy Halloween!

Hey Everyone! : )
Happy Halloweeeeeen! I hope everyone had an awesome Halloween and celebrated in style... I know I did! October was a month of double celebrations for me because I also celebrated my 21st birthday which was absolutely amazing! Thank you to all the lovely people who made my birthday one to remember! I had a great day!
So following on from my last blog (which I admit was some time ago so I apologise for that), I thought I could give you an idea of all the sports you could get involved in at the University of Greenwich, so you can really keep the spirit of the London 2012 Olympics alive! There are a wide range of societies running on all three of our campuses... all you need to do is find the right one!
The Universities at Medway Student Association (UMSA) are responsible for organising all the societies on the Medway campus and provide a great opportunity for students from our university to interact and socialise with others from The university of Kent, Medway School of Pharmacy and Canterbury Christ Church University who are also based at the Medway Campus. The sports societies currently running at Medway include: Athletics, Men's and Women's football, Cricket, Badminton, Hockey, Netball, Mayhem Basketball, Tennis, Table Tennis, Men's Rugby, Volleyball, Carting, Rowing and Swimming (well...I think that's about it so I apologise if I missed any out). Although I do admit I'm not much of a sporty person  myself, I AM a member of the Badminton Society and love playing badminton with my friends and all the other members of the society in the sports hall every Wednesday and Thursday afternoons ( which just shows that there is something for everyone...so no excuses!)
The Student's Union at the University of Greenwich (SUUG) are responsible for organising societies on the Greenwich and Avery Hill campuses and offer an equally impressive range of sports you can take part in. These include: Men's and Women's football, American Football, Men's and Women's Basketball, Men's and Women's Hockey as well as mixed Hockey, Badminton, Netball, Cricket, Men's Rugby, Cheerleading and Snow sports ( I apologise once again if I forgot to mention any others there may be).
Membership for all the societies mentioned above are valid from 1st of September to the 31st of August each year (you can join at any time during the year). Some do require you to pay a small fee towards your membership but there are a few which are completely free to join. And for those of you who are worried that you'll end up paying for a society you might end up hating soooooo much you will stop attending the society for the rest of the year (which I must admit is rare), there are usually a few taster sessions you can attend for free to try out the sport before you actually join! For the sports fanatics amongst us all who are interested in joining a sports society not just for fun, fitness purposes or want something to mention in the extra-curricular section of their CVS/ portfolio, but also want to play on a competitive level, you will all be pleased to know that most of these societies give you the opportunity to try out for the university teams who have matches against other universities on a regular basis.
So what are you waiting for? Visit the UMSA/ SUUG office or website straight away  and join a society today! If you can't quite find the society you are looking for, why not set up a brand new society of your own? The choice is yours! 

Monday, 8 October 2012

Hello again


Hi Everyone!

Hope you're all well and have slowly got back into the daily routine of rolling out of bed early in the morning and preparing yourselves for a long day ahead of you. ( I know I have what with all the 9am lectures and late afternoon lab sessions I've been blessed with this year!)

Summer 2012 was one of the best summers I have ever experienced! Although the weather was not exactly as predicted (then again how can we EVER predict the British weather?) and there was a great deal of speculation in the air about whether London could live up to the high expectations of the events set to take place during the summer,  the city proved to be one of the greatest cities in the world and made us Londoners feel proud of where we live!

It all started off with the Queen's historic Diamond Jubilee Celebrations which took place over an extended weekend between the 2nd-5th of June.  The celebrations included the Queen attending the Epsom Derby, communities enjoying the big jubilee lunch, The Thames Diamond Jubilee pageant, The BBC concert in front of Buckingham Palace where a network of 2012 beacons were lit throughout the UK, a service at St Paul's Cathedral, a carriage procession to Buckingham Palace and a flypast to mark the end of the celebrations.  But the celebrations didn't end there...

It was not so later that the summer of sport was officially underway! The annual tennis tournament, Wimbledon, held between the 25th of June- 8th of July  did not disappoint one bit! Though Andy Murray didn't quite manage to clench the gold medal in his epic final against Rodger Federer, we were thrilled that he  was the first British male player to reach the Wimbledon finals for 74 years and that he is now on point to become one of Britain's greatest champions ever! And then it was time for the long and eagerly awaited Olympic games (27th July- 12th August) and Paralympic games ( 29th August -9th September)! With people from all over Britain coming together to work/ volunteer in the games or just enjoy the games with their family and friends, as well as thousands of tourists coming to London to watch the games, the city was thriving like never before! Great Britain came a respectable third place in the Olympic tables with 29 gold medals and amazing talent being displayed across all the sports, including Jessica Enis (hepthalalon gold medallist), Mo Farah (5000m & 10,000m double gold medalist , Andy Murray (Tennis gold Medalist  and Chris Hoy ( Cyclist gold medallist). Great Britain were equally successful in the Paralympics, securing third place again in the tables, winning 34 gold medals in total. Ellie Simonds ( swimming gold medalist , Jonnie Peacock (gold medalist in the men's 100m - T44 Final), David Weir ( 4x gold medalist) and Sarah Storey ( 4x gold medalist) were just a few of the incredible athletes who inspired us all!

And now that it's all over...should we forget about it all and carry on with our daily lives as if it never happened? I truly believe that this year's summer of sport is one never to be forgotten and one which will continue to inspire us for many years to come! 

Monday, 1 October 2012

My First Blog!


Hi Everyone!

Having never really done blogging before, I thought this could be one of the new challenges I set for myself this new academic year... so here goes... my first official blog...hope you all enjoy reading it!

I thought I'd start my first blog by just sharing my experience of my first year at the university and giving you newbies some tips on how you can have an amazing first year too! First year at UNIVERSITY may seem quite daunting for some of you...I know I certainly felt that way when I first started, but I can promise that you will certainly find yourself at ease and enjoying every moment of your university life in no time at all! Just remember that all the other first year students are in the same boat as you are and all of the older students in their second, third, fourth ( you get the idea) years, who may seem a little intimidating, are actually really lovely down to earth people, who have all been through the first year too. There are so many people around the university who are more than willing to help, be it your lecturers, student ambassadors, the student support team, or just anyone around on campus... so don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it!

A great way to make friends is to attend the Fresher events that will be running throughout the first two weeks of term. There will be a range of activities and events that will be advertised on the GET website as well as around the university so keep a look out for them! There will also be a chance to sign up for societies at the Freshers Fair, which I thoroughly recommend you do! Last year I signed up for a few, including St John's First Aid Training and Badminton, which was a great way to meet new people and relax after a long day of lectures. Living in halls is also a great way to meet new people and get a real feel for campus life! I was very lucky to have had great flatmates last year and I'm sure you will love halls just as much as I did!

Now time to get serious! Learning at university is totally different to learning at sixth form/colleges and it does require you to work more independently and manage your own time well. Make sure that you stay on top of your work throughout the year. Attend induction week because that's when you will get the all important pieces of information about your course. Make sure you attend all lectures and complete the online tutorials on time. Don't leave bits of coursework until the last minute and most importantly don't be afraid to ask your lecturers for help when you need it. ( Hope I didn't scare you all too much!)

Good Luck!