Year 2 Day 13 - The One With The Indian Party (22/09/2018)

I can hear my bank account screaming in the distance - I’ve had a very expensive day, having bought a used freezer for the house so we can bulk cook and meal prep (admittedly a shared cost), a bike to ride to uni (£70 from the Cycle Recycler - big recommend) and perhaps most exciting of all, a new camera.

My Canon EOS 600D is reaching its limitations at this point and I’ve been ready to move on for a little while, it’s just been a case of waiting for the right price. That’s all sorted now and at some point next week I’ll be upgrading to the Panasonic Lumix GH4 - a videography-centred DSLR that supports 4K shooting and smartphone image previewing. So very lovely. Basically you’ll be able to see my various flaws, of both personality and physical form, in high detail.

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We also headed to my coursemate’s birthday party, Indian-themed as per her family. While I was part of the group that was lacking in the Indian dress department, some went very all out in rather extravagant gear (an example would be the authentic wedding suit that had been borrowed for the occasion). Very wholesome and a great chance to catch up with some people who I haven’t really spoken to since the offer holders day over a year ago.

Tom's Birthday Party (7/07/2018)

This isn't going to be a long entry but enough people have emailed me about meeting Tom that he's become a character in this little narrative we've got going. We threw him a surprise birthday party and it was exactly as wholesome as you'd expect, ending with a trip to A&E (because what good party doesn't end in a trip to A&E).

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We were able to make the most of the good weather and have a barbecue!

So wholesome

So wholesome

It's so funny now to look through the video I made at our offer holders' day a year ago and see how many faces we now recognise between us - three of us in this photo all met at our interviews and have been good friends since!

Day 98 - 17 going on 18 (31/12/2017)

The big NYE is here. I feel like lots of areas have their own little traditions - Scotland has Hogmanay, in Russia it’s the biggest event of the year (although I don’t know if it’s of the outgoing or incoming year in that case). In my small hometown however, that tradition is gathering on the roundabout in the centre, miserably realising that it’s mostly just clearly underage drinkers you don’t recognise and going home.

Drawing stomachs on the train

Drawing stomachs on the train

This year however, things were very different. It’s taken twenty years to change, but tonight I made my way up to Edinburgh to visit my friend Tom, who studies at the university. I managed to upgrade my standard train ticket to first class for the princely sum of 75p, which I suppose made the ‘free’ drink and sandwich a bargain.

The journey was sadly marred by some unfortunate soul having apparently thrown themselves in front of a train north of Newcastle. My train was stuck outside Newcastle for a little while, and then the service subsequently cancelled once we got onto the platform. I wasn’t sure initially that I’d be able to make it further north, but thankfully one line was opened and I got there eventually.

There was actually a large cohort of my schoolfriends there, a pleasant surprise. We each contributed a Tesco’s finest frozen pizza, resulting in way too much food for six or seven people, then made our way to a house party to while away the night. I got involved with the drinking games (bad move) and very quickly wound up with both pink hair spray and glitter all over my head. Not my best look, it must be said.

When midnight approached, we made our way through the central meadow towards Princess Street, reaching it just in time for the first fireworks. It was a marvellous display, and made the trip very much worth it - offered to take a picture for a couple stood nearby which came out rather spectacularly if I do say so myself (which I do).

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Afterwards we made our way to Hive, a rather grimy nightclub which very much reminded me of my nights in Newcastle. Several regrettable drinks and hours later, we made it home, having relegated one particularly drunk member of our cohort to the other group to look after. ‘Particularly’ in this case doesn’t really indicate the magnitude at play here, but such are the limitations of my vocabulary. I should point out that I myself was sober and had been babysitting him for much of the night, but at least it was funny.

Thank You cards

Yesterday and today I've been delivering some cards around to people that have helped me progress and learn significantly during my time at Newcastle - I think it's important to not only recognise when someone has done this but also to tell them. There's a small element of embarrassment potentially sure, particularly if it's face to face, but I think it does make a difference and it demonstrates to them that you've considered them.

I quite like how the design came out in the end, it uses some choice snapshots taken over the three years, a few from the iGEM competition, with The Courier, and generally with friends.

It's done up like a standard issue of The Courier too, which I think ultimately has been my highlight of this degree if I had to pick one thing. Once again a very special thanks to everyone from the team during both years.

It's just a shame I couldn't fit more onto the card really - there's so, so much more to talk about but I'm sure it'll happen eventually, and now that I've got this blog there's ample room for further reflection at another time.

My degree is over!

And with that, my undergraduate degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology has come to a close. Since arriving in September 2014, a phenomenal amount seems to have happened and it's gone by in a heartbeat. While I'm certainly incredibly excited to begin a medical degree and get another step closer to the pipedream of becoming a doctor, I still have the nagging forlorn feeling in the back of my mind that I don't want to leave.

Post-exams Creams visit, featuring my deliriously tired self and a bevy of friends

Post-exams Creams visit, featuring my deliriously tired self and a bevy of friends

I'm writing the day after, having slept for a period approaching fourteen hours after getting home - probably a combination of chronic sleep deprivation and three cans of Monster wearing off.

So this is it, yesterday's exam marked the end of my degree. We'll get our results in a few weeks (the 27th I think? - not sure) and then graduate in early July. I'm going to be staying in Newcastle until the end of my tenancy and then heading home, using the time to begin the preparations for the website you're currently visiting and churning out media content like a madman for other projects.

I keep having my eye caught by summer research opportunities and PhD applications - I tend to jump on things like that as a general principle, but I know that ultimately I need some rest. I took part in the iGEM competition last summer, and while it was an amazing experience it was very strenuous and there are other things I want to do.

I'm going for a run this evening, down towards the Quayside (best place to run in Newcastle!), will eat enough to replace all the skipped meals from the last few weeks and then probably sleep again. But it's nice knowing there's no exam tomorrow.