My year in great detail.
About a year ago, I got my A level results. They were pleasing. I got better than what my university asked of me.
(some very hatty men. Me, Khoi and Lee)
In September, I enrolled in the University of Nottingham for the Bsc Hons Neuroscience w. Biochemistry.
(University of Nottingham, Trent Building)
I also got a new phone and my first phone contract.
Also, around the time I started university, my nephew Umar was born! =D
(Talking to Umar)
My first year of university was great. I confess, I’m a nerd, and kind of an outcast - though I get along with people. I practically lived in the Medical School library this year. I don’t mind. I like it there. I just don’t fit in with most other students who tend to party alot and get drunk. I suppose it’s just not really my cup of tea.
I did a heck of a lot of studying, especially seeing as it was only first year, but I had something to prove. I chose to move away for university, and I had to justify my decision to my parents in order to prove that moving away was a good idea. I studied as hard as I could, indulging in sleepless nights and caffeine highs. It paid off, and I came out with a First Class overall for my first year. I must say, it wasn’t an easy year. The work was definitely challenging. Physiology/Pharmacology II was a particular annoyance and I got my lowest score in its exam. The material was fascinating, but alas the sheer volume of work and the hard exam got the better of me, and despite my best efforts I missed out on the first class in that particular module by 2%. Ruined what would have been a clean sweep of first classes for my first year. Right, I’m getting a bit full of myself here.
I learned a heck of a lot from my first year, and I enjoyed all of modules.
My modules were:
Fundamental of Physiology and Pharmacology I
Fundamentals of Neuroscience
Cell Structure and Metabolism (theory)
Cell Structure and Metabolism (laboratory)
Fundamentals of Physiology and Pharmacology II
Genes and Cellular Control (theory)
Genes and Cellular Control (laboratory)
Fundamentals of Biochemistry
Immunity, Parasites and Control of Parasitic Infections
These modules were demanding, and tested everything from written work, mathematics, chemistry, biology, presentation skills, laboratory skills and so on. But demanding as they were, I was fascinated by the subject material and would ramble on about what I had learned to my family whenever I rang home. I’m sure they got very bored very quickly.
(Trent Building at Dawn, with the sun rising over the other side of the hill)
But aside from academic education, I learned about living independently. I lived in a student residence for my first year, so I had my own room and bathroom, and shared a kitchen. So I had to learn about shopping wisely, conserving money, how to cook, how to clean and so on. I also learned handy little thing such as; Food keeps for longer than its use by date. Especially bread. Bread will last for a few days past its use by date, if stored in the correct conditions. BUT milk never lasts longer than its use by date. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
(Some potatoes I forgot about)
I also began to learn how to interact with new people. In the past, making friends was never easy, but there was always someone there for me, to help out if I needed it. When I started college in 2007, I had my best friend Joshua with me to help me make friends, and just generally help with my confidence. University offered no such luxury, and I had to make friends on my own. I must say, my flat mate Andy was amazing, and was really kind to me in my first few days (and throughout the year, for that matter), and I am really grateful for that. Thank you.
But before university, I wasn’t very confident when meeting new people. I’m still a bit hesitant, and I really need to push myself to interact with new people. There’s a brainstorm going inside my head when I’m with new people. ‘say something cool! say this! say that! I’ll just wait a minute, now isn’t the right time. errrm now? no. give it a minute. Bugger, my chance has gone.’ and so on. I’ve also learned that I don’t make eye contact when I shake peoples’ hands. I kind of look to the side, or look to the floor, or else I’m focussing on our hands so as to get the handshake right. And women. Do we shake their hands? I don’t think I have done that with any females I’ve met this year, but it doesn’t seem right. Why isn’t it right? It seems awkward.
(Me, Vishal and Jaeho)
I made some great new friends this year. Of particular prominence are Vishal, Boris, Nani, Jaeho, Francisco, David, Rawia, Ralph and Andy. Andy is a law student, who lived in the room next to mine, and I consider him to be my first friend of university life. Vishal was the first person I met on our course, we accidentaly met as we were lost and late for our very first day of University. Nani and Boris happened to be in my tutor group along with Vishal, and they also happened to be from Birmingham! Wunderbar! Francisco is a crazy international student from Spain who is simply impossible to describe. So I won’t. David is the well spoken, composed one - who seems to know just about everything. He’s like a young, skinny Steven Fry. Jaeho is a Korean International student who is rather bizarre to say the least. Rawia is from the Middle East, and is a rather zany lass. Jaeho calls her Panda. Well, Jaeho has names for all of us. It’s almost creepy. And Ralph, who is actually a Biology student, who is from Luxembourg, but he’s also British and he has various other heritages. It’s confusing, but he’s also cool and scarily likes many of the same things as me… or I like the same things as him. In particular, science, nature, imagination and literature.
(David is a-firin’ his lazer)
Jaehos’ nicknames for us
Me - Mushroom (or Sailor moon (don’t ask))
Vishal - Peanut
Frank - Orange (because he’s Valenciano)
Rawia - Panda
Boris - Onion… i think
Ralph - Pear? Potato? Garlic? It varies
Why most of us are foodstuff, one can only imagine, but it does kind of remind me of Hannibal Lecter….
I voted in my first election, and learned about politics! That also happened over the past year! Huzzah! I feel sophisticated now. I can now say things like ‘This coalition goernment is not meeting expectations’ and not sound silly! I have a political opinion! And I have voiced it by voting!
Since this Summer began, I met up with my cool Cousin Haider, my good friend Shaz. I’ve missed all of my amazing college friends, Lee, Khoi, Ponmile, Shaz, Kieran, Mo, Kelly, Nima, Adam, Hirah, Lauren, James and the rest of the Biology people and so on. Errm, I visited my college one year after I left. It was a nice trip, and I conversed merrily with my old teachers and saw the state of the college now. The administration are still doing a mediocre job with the place and people aren’t all too happy. But it looks nice. I also went to Andrews birthday party. It was great to see my old secondary school friends Andrew and Joshua, again. We really were the best of friends, but alas, time and life events have taken their toll. Kieran was also there, which was great.
(Kieran, Me, Andrew and Joshua)
On top of that, I’ve been on many car rides with my older brother to random locations in Birmingham. It’s usually nice. We get to hang out, do some shopping and listen to great music whilst driving (I take some of my CD collection along hehe). Life has taken us to the point where we only see each other a couple of times a week - and that’s during holdays. During term time, with me being away in university and him working in other cities, we might see each other once a month if we’re lucky. And for two brothers close in age, who grew up close in each others company, that’s been… very odd for me to deal with.
(In Aston University, overlooking some of Birmingham city centre - and a handle sticking out of my head)
So! There you go. My year in GREAT DETAIL. It wasn’t easy, but I’ve given an overview of what I’ve learned in terms of friends, academia and just general living. It’s been a rather personal post, and probably not too interesting but oh well.
That’s life. And in particular - That’s my life.
(or at least some of it, anyway)