Throughout secondary school, whilst the list of compulsory subjects slowly dwindles, your CV slowly grows with goal-orientated extra-curricular activities targeted at boosting your chances of getting into that one course that seems most ‘right’. It may seem daunting to leave behind all the ‘next best choices’ to pursue one subject, dedicating 3 or more years delving into the depths of each available cavern that was left unexplored by basic secondary school curriculum. However, to a certain extent, I have discovered that I was still able to have a choice to continue exploring my options whilst completing my course here at King’s.
For my course in particular, Medicine, students are offered a chance to primarily focus on a certain topic that may lie in the fringes between different disciplines, known as Student Selected Components (SSC). Under the guidance of leading researchers in their respective field, we are given an opportunity to explore a topic that particularly interests us.
In regards to science, I had been able to get to know more about the literature that exists regarding growing brain tissue from stem cells. Whilst working alongside fellow students to gain a better understanding of both the topic, how to write a review paper and create a scientific poster, it had been an eye-opening journey to the vast potential of scientific advancements, with specific regards to the topic of stem cells. My second year project had centered around an extensive research paper on Phantom Limb Pain, a topic that lies between the border of neurology, psychology, and medicine. With guidance from a knowledgeable supervisor, my journey exploring the science that underlies the ghostly phenomenon of feeling pain in the amputated limb.
In addition to subject-based modules unique to each degree, King’s also offers language course for students of all years and abilities. After a secondary school education worth of Spanish lessons, this two-hour-per-week module seemed to be my perfect match. We take 2 hours out of each Wednesday to interact with students from different departments, learning, practicing, and sharing Spanish. This option is also supported by an extensive collection of books media and resources available at the Modern Language Centre, and individual language practice opportunities with native speakers. The course encourages students to not only complete the course with textbooks and exams, but it pushes us to explore and discover resources that provide both knowledge and cultural understanding of the language. The workload is manageable on top of usual coursework and brings a bit of diversity to a weekly schedule. Plus, who wouldn’t want to be able to say that they read one of their childhood novels in more than one language? For me, I can check ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ off my list!