Well this is it. You’ve finally made it!
You can now look back on all those days of meticulously looking over your personal statement, training up for that dreaded UKCAT and BMAT and memorising CGP books word-for-word…
Now it’s time to focus on an entirely new and exciting chapter of your life!
However you’re feeling about joining Imperial, be it excited, anxious, electrified, or some weird conglomerate of emotions, our amazing Muslim Medics committee have collated our top tips to helping you adjust to University life!
1. Don’t believe the hype
We’ve all been there before – about to take the infamous ‘jump’.
Whether it’s the jump from primary school to secondary school, or the concern at the jump in difficulty from GCSEs to AS, or now from A-Level to University, if you haven’t realised yet, it’s always so overhyped.
University is just the next natural step! So take it in your stride and like all the previous ‘jumps’ you’ve taken and ultimately succeeded at, embrace it as an exciting opportunity to make a new start, make some new friends, and live the dream in one of the top universities in the country!
Don’t Talk to strangers
The first few weeks will present with ample opportunities to mingle and get to know the people you’ll be spending the next 6 years with!
So relax, don’t go head-first into a revision hole and use these opportunities to get to know everyone early and create your new friendship groups! Don’t be afraid of sitting next to different people and starting up conversations-everyone’s in the exact same position as you.
And make sure to be on the look out for our Muslim Medics mingle to meet our MM family and get some great tips from our older years!
3. Make the most of uni life (#Freedom)!
We can’t stress to you enough how these first few years of uni are some of the most enjoyable of your life! University is so different to school in the sense that you have the freedom to do whatever you want (within reason), so definitely take full advantage. Make university just the way you want it to be by starting with a positive outlook and doing the things you like most.
If you were too scared to do an activity before uni, do it now! There’s over 375 different clubs and societies to join, with 60 dedicated just to medics, and you’ll have Wednesday afternoons free to get involved! So join clubs and societies, go to talks that you find interesting, go sky diving or learn a martial art. London is an amazing city, there’s no excuse for getting bored!!!
Life doesn’t start and end with Medicine!
4. Stay true to yourself
Uni is the perfect time to reinvent yourself. Perhaps you’ve made compromises with your boundaries in life that you haven’t been happy with.
Now is a great time to reestablish and express what these boundaries are. Try new things, explore beyond your comfort zone, but don’t lose yourself in the process!
5. Don’t be afraid to say NO
Sometimes there can be a lot of pressure when it comes to Freshers’ Fortnight. If you’re feeling tired one day or don’t want to go out one evening to an event you may be uncomfortable with, or are feeling pressured to drink, remember that you have every right to say no and not feel guilty for doing so!
6. The perks of being a student
Once you’ve joined, your college ID cards will be useful for many things, but arguably none better than all the discounts it comes with.
Always be on the lookout for shops and sites offering exclusive deals and money off your purchases, and make sure to download apps like UNiDAYS and Studentbeans (promise we’re not sponsored) to take full advantage of your new student status-it all adds up in the end!
7. Know your surroundings
Don’t be afraid to get a little adventurous and get to know your surroundings. If you’re in halls, when you first move in, have a good look around and make sure you know where everything is-from your common room and kitchen to your laundry room and, perhaps most importantly, how to get to your bedroom. Then explore the local area-look at what shops are available and make a mental note of where you’re going to do your weekly food shop, how you’re going to get to lectures, what facilities are nearby…
On the first day of lectures, have a wander around campus and see what’s around, and familiarise yourself with the location of all the various rooms-there’s nothing worse than running late to your first ever tutorial and not knowing where to go…
And of course, whilst doing all this exploring make sure you keep your room key on you at all times so you don’t get locked out of your room and have to make an embarrassing call to your warden.
8. Sadly, money doesn’t grow on trees
University is a time where you will develop a lot of great life skills and independence. Indeed for some, it may even be the first time living away from home.
One of the skills you’ll pick up sooner or later is the art of budgeting. Make sure you keep track of how much you’re spending, plan wisely and make sure you don’t overspend! You really don’t want to blow your student loan/parent’s money during the first fortnight and have to live off pot noodles and granola bars for the rest of the term.
Other such life skills you’ll learn range from doing your own laundry, ironing, and learning to cook.
Of course, why wait till move-in weekend? It’s never too early to start practicing over Summer under the sheltered eyes of your parents and in the safety of your own home!
9. International – Cultural Societies
If you’re an international student, moving to a different country can bring lots of different emotions.
Imperial is one of the most diverse universities in the UK (dare we say, the world!) – with an abundance of students from different backgrounds, and cultural societies from every country imaginable, you’ll be sure to find a group of people that bring you back home! It also gives you a chance to link up before uni starts if you want any help with things like packing, food, and general advice!
10. International Pre-Departure Stress
If you’re an international student, the thought of having to deal with visas, immigration, new bank accounts, CAS numbers…the list doesn’t end!
The preparation pre-departure and upon arrival in the UK may seems super stressful, so be sure to start early so you have ample time! Make use of the many resources from Imperial, and get in touch with other students who have gone through the process.
And if you really can’t get enough advice, make sure to check out our preclinical survival guide for some pro revision tips if you haven’t seen it already!
We’ll see you soon!
Your Muslim Medics Committee 2019-20