By Hayley Wootton, Chemistry with Biomedicine, Department of Chemistry
It’s June 2014. I’m a year 12 student looking for the Franklin-Wilkins building on the Waterloo Campus, to attend the chemistry taster day. While I can barely remember the girl walking in, I can vividly remember how at ease I felt.
I chose to study at King’s as I was drawn to the chemistry department and the rapport between staff and students. I was intrigued by the chemistry with biomedicine degree, encouraging the application of the fundamental chemistry I was interested in, to solve every-day problems I could see and understand.
I was intrigued by the aim to develop the new degree, encouraging application of the fundamental chemistry I was interested in, to solving every-day problems I could see and understand. This idea just made sense to me. A couple of open days later, and I’d been surrounded by this relaxed, friendly atmosphere long enough to decide this was where I wanted to study, and this was the department I wanted to study in.
Skip to May 2019, and I’m in the final few weeks of my degree (becoming uncharacteristically nostalgic if you couldn’t tell!) recognising the impression I had is now my experience. There is a sense staff value the student experience, encouraging conversation to help continually develop the course. The support I’ve received is second to none; as I say to prospective students, if you’re engaged in your degree, staff are in it with you.
My course has encouraged me to study many different areas of chemistry in equal depth, such as organic, inorganic, physical, analytical, biological. By applying taught material to problems, not only is knowledge learned, but so too are the skills to solve problems where the textbooks might fall short. To me, it is this that distinguishes degree level study from A-Level study. While there are still ample fundamental concepts to be understood, a chemistry degree provides the new opportunity to use knowledge to solve problems and enable the transition from understanding chemistry, to using chemistry.
As a first generation university student who had always lived in the same quiet village in pretty much the middle of nowhere, I was nervous about how I was going to settle in at university, away from everything that I was used to. I really shouldn’t have worried. The diverse student demographic only fosters inclusivity; having students from a vast range of backgrounds and cultures, including all personalities, opinions and experiences, creates an environment where there really is no ‘normal’ at King’s. What I say extends across London. It’s a vibrant city, full of life and I only have the best things to say about it. I love the busy, fast paced environment where there is always something to do. Whether that be getting involved with student societies or enjoying everything the city has to offer, if you want to fill your spare time, you can. Simply, this feels like home now and I don’t want to leave.