Chocolates, Chemistry and Christmas

The best McLeod tree yet

I am still madly in love with Christmas. I get excited about the lights being put up from probably about August. Unfortunately, at Christmas, this year, like all my years at school and like many on other courses, I had exams looming over me. However, I still made time to spend with my family, friends and of course, also at the gym. On coming home I was greeted by the hugs and smiles of my family and despite no longer being in York, I felt great about being in familiar surroundings and the support my family give me. The first thing we did as soon as my brothers finished school was put up the Christmas tree, even if in my eyes it seemed a little late! Presents then started trickling in from the first few hours it was up. There are a few things that set up Christmas for me – the traditional carol service at my brothers’ school and now, the Alcuin Winter Ball, which has recently become a tradition ever since my first year. There was a change of scenery this year to the National Railway Museum from the Royal York Hotel. It was a really lovely night accompanied by music, fairy lights and of course, my lovely housemates and friends in Alcuin. After these, I was keen and ready for the day itself and planned to eat as much turkey and pigs in blankets as physically possible.

London Eye feat. moody sky

At the start of the holiday, I felt I deserved a well needed break and visited a friend in London! He took me around to see a few sights – the Christmas Market by the London Eye (and of course the Eye itself!) and we saw the Norwegian-gifted Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square…the biggest spruce I’ve ever seen!

When I got back from the holidays on the 2nd January, I had done what felt like nowhere near enough revision. I was dreading exams. I think everyone goes through stages of work – first they absolutely dread even starting revision. Finally after starting with a nicer topic, they put it off and put it off until it ends up being trying to cram as much work into a single day as possible before the exam. Even saying this, it seems this is not really the case. Everyone I’ve spoken to about exams never feels very prepared for them and everyone dreads them – even though they will all have done absolutely loads of work over the holidays! This applies for all years I’ve been here. If you have done the work over the holidays in December (or over Easter), you don’t need be as worried as you are! The work has been put in and you always remember way more than you think you do and often the exam question is the only way you can recall stuff. This has been the case every exam season and was again, hopefully! Copious amounts of chocolate has helped me this time around; I would recommend this reward system to anyone.

You might remember in my last post that I was concerned about my final year. Over the winter period, there was an update on the status of this from the most unlikely source possible, this time in the MChem Industry stream. As it turns out, technology hates me and I had missed the initial call and didn’t hear the voicemail until nearly a month later- my phone went through an old age stage of not telling me when someone had tried to ring me. I left a voicemail explaining the situation and that was that, I thought I had missed the boat and would never hear from them. A week later, the company rang me back and offered me a phone interview; my first ever. They subsequently offered me a face-to-face interview, which I will be travelling to on Tuesday 12th January, ready for the real thing on the 13th at 1pm. Let’s hope everything goes well!

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Third year chemist at the University of York originally from Taunton, Somerset. Keen powerlifter. Looking forwards to my fourth year doing my MChem. I am a huge fan of really obscure teas and I love sitting in cafes and watching the world go round. I also really love cooking and consuming vast quantities of food.