Student Life & Why You should Participate

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I believe I am paraphrasing Woody Allen when I am saying that 80 percent of life is just showing up.

Although I just had a discussion way too early in the morning in my kitchen regarding the exact extent to which this statement rings true, I am sure there is a lot of truth in it when you apply the sentiment to university life – especially the first few weeks!

The thought of studying in a big city can be daunting at times and I get that, possibly feeling lost in the anonymity of the crowds flooding the metropolis, and as strange as it might sound, the trick is to immerse yourself in it… the craze, the buzz, the pulse – hey, just dive right in. When you start your course you’re not all by yourself anyway! King’s in one way or another is an anchor, a community for you to make friends and even explore things outside of your field of study.

Find yourself in the heart of the city – make the most of your time at King’s!

King’s will throw a lot of event opportunities at you: department mixers, subject discussions, career workshops, sector insights talks, society events, you name it. Your social calendar (and I mean social in a very loose sense, after all social and academic / professional greatly overlap here) can be as full as you like and I really do encourage you to keep yourself busy! This is where Woody comes back in again: show up, that’s all I’m saying. Things will also calm down as term goes by, so it won’t always be as hectic as the first handful of weeks, but it’s a wonderful time window for you to meet lots and lots of new people and discover what uni life has to offer.

Even if socialising with people you have never met before isn’t your favourite thing to do, I still encourage you to give it a chance! Let’s say you attend a welcome drinks event hosted by your new department, these two scenarios are very likely to happen:

Option A: You are quite the extrovert and you spend the evening happily engaging with new peers, perfect!

Option B: You feel a bit alone in this unfamiliar situation, but guess what, you are definitely not the only person who feels this way, so spot your allies at the event. You can bond over mutual perceived awkwardness. Oh, and it’s always a smart move to congregate around the snacks table I’d say!

Keep an open mind and be curious!

Student societies in particular can be such a vital part of your time at King’s. I remember even going to a KCL Folk Society meet-up in my first year, which didn’t go that well, since I’m neither very familiar with lots of folk tunes, nor particularly good at side reading music. But hey, I found out that wasn’t the right fit for me. However, I had a fantastic time going to events organised by the Film Society, or the King’s Players Improv group. I even got to participate in open mic nights and other musical events organised by the King’s Record and those are genuinely some of my favourite memories! A lot of my friends also got to travel with the societies they’re in as well and not just sports based societies, as the Ukulele Society also went abroad too.

Bottom line line is, as time goes by you’ll find your people, you’ll figure out how you want to spend your time. But the best way to find out is to give it an honest shot. Like Woody said, 80 percent is just showing up, and that is really something very, very doable!

Musings of a Pharmacy Student

boey and mpharm students

Author: Yik Ming Boey

Often unfairly perceived by the general public as being mindless vending machines or more unflatteringly, “drug dealers”, pharmacists are in actuality an integral part of the healthcare system.

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Adapting to the British education system

Author: LeeAnn

Transitioning to a new school system is difficult, especially in a foreign country. Luckily, your tutors and induction program will give you all of the information you need about grading, assignments, exams, and anything else relevant to the education system here in England. Some of the major challenges I personally faced when I first arrived in the UK included: getting used to the different grading scale and the assignment timeline. While I’m able to understand my grades quite easily when I get back papers or exams now, I still need to check the actual grading scale sometimes since it’s so drastically different than what I’m used to from home. In many cases, an assignment may be returned to you with a grading scale on it that breaks down why you earned a certain score. This is extremely useful for understanding your score and for future improvements. Additionally, the way grading works here was foreign to me when I first arrived. Each assignment must be turned in at an academic centre and is then graded by multiple individuals who must agree on a mark. I find this system very fair, however it is quite slow and you must wait a few weeks before an assignment or exam is returned to you.

studying

Furthermore, it also took a bit of time to get used to the assignment timeline in the UK. Before arriving at KCL, I was used to having assignments for every class each week. However, in my experience in the UK, there are fewer assignments per class. This means a bit more self-motivation is necessary in order to get the most out of every course you take. This self-directed learning can be very rewarding because it allows you to explore the material interesting to you in the most depth, while still garnering an overview of the material. Some ways to motivate yourself include setting up meetings with your tutors to further discuss the material or forming study groups. I prefer study groups to revising alone anyway, because it promotes positive socialization and helps you to get a much more well-rounded view on the topic at hand. Sometimes the unique perspectives of your friends or peers can deepen your understanding of a course on an unexpected new level.

Overall, I haven’t found it to be too hard to acclimate to the British education system, it just took an open mind and little bit of adjustment! However, I come from an English-speaking country, which made it much easier for me to adapt. If you are coming from a country where the primary language is not English or you are finding it especially challenging to succeed in your modules due to the language, I would suggest finding a group of students who are in the same situation as you so that you can all support each other. Additionally, the more time you spend with students who natively speak English, the more you will improve. It also never hurts to ask your friends questions about the language or to help you review your work for spelling and grammar – most people won’t mind a bit. Finally, remember that London is a very diverse city and that everyone finds their place here!