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Reflections: My first year on Biomedical Engineering

By Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, on 1 August 2022

A profile picture of Sirine standing in front of a podiumMy first year at UCL has officially come to an end and I can’t believe how fast these a-little-less-than-ten-months went by!

In the span of a few months, I went from being a wide-eyed 18-year-old to a young adult full of ambition. I have learnt a lot, met so many inspiring people, both teaching staff and students, and grown so much as a person.

MOVING TO LONDON : Making a home away from home

It feels like only yesterday I was in a plane in the direction of London, looking through the porthole and feeling both nervous and excited about this new adventure that was just about to start.

Moving away from my family and the country I had always lived in, adapting to a new city, meeting new people, and having to make a home away from home was not easy at first. At that time, I found the prospect of moving to London by myself and starting this new chapter of my life daunting and overwhelming and I had far too many apprehensions. But this is all part of growing up and as unsettling as that was, things got easier with time.

After my first few weeks at UCL, I had joined a society I really liked, met new friends, discovered my favourite study spaces, made peace with the 9am lectures and started a life-long friendship (although unstable in times of strikes) with the tube!

All these small experiences and achievements familiarised me with this new chapter and made me excited for it.

MY COURSE : Biomedical Engineering

University is undoubtedly very different from high-school and one key point of my first year was obviously my course.

After spending one year studying it, I could not be more reassured that I made the right choice. What I really like about Biomedical Engineering is that it offers an interdisciplinary approach that allows me to apply the knowledge I have acquired in Engineering, Physics and Maths to the medical field or, in other terms, to innovate in the clinical domain. It really is an interesting and exciting course where I am perpetually learning, expanding my horizons, and growing, both as an engineer and as a person.

I think the highlight of this first year were the Scenario Weeks during which we had to work in teams on exciting, hands-on projects which included developing a wearable device and designing a healthcare app.

This makes me very excited about the coming years and I am looking forward to all the exciting projects I will be working on.

SOCIETIES/CLUBS : A door to new experiences, friendships and opportunities

Finally, when it comes to my first year, I think that one last essential part of it were the clubs and/or societies. At the start of the year, after attending an online social event which I really enjoyed, I decided to join the UCL Women’s Engineering Society, and it was probably one of the best decisions I made.

Indeed, by doing so, I got the chance to meet and befriend so many students who have the same interests as me, to attend amazing socials and to become one of UCLWES’s executives which allowed me to further enhance various skills.

Next year, I will be the treasurer of UCLWES and I am really looking forward to this new role and to the great socials and activities that we will be organising.

So my advice to any first year reading this post would be: go to the welcome fair, try out the taster sessions, attend the socials, you never know, you may discover THE society/club that is made for you and make life-long friends.

As this blog post is drawing to an end, so does my reflection on my first year. I know that I will forever be thankful for this first year, and this is why I am both, a little sad at the idea of letting it go and excited about what is coming next!

There will be periods of homesickness and stress, but there will also be periods of joy and excitement. Life, certainly, does not come with a map and these ups and downs are what make it so special and full of lessons! 🙂

a collage of London landmarks and the UCL campus

This blog was written by Sirine, MEng Biomedical Engineering

Photo credits: All pictures supplied by Sirine

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