Hello there! I’ve been writing these blog posts for a little while now but realised I’ve never actually introduced myself. So for those of you new to the site here’s a little a bit about me…
My route to get here:
My name is Emma! Home for me is a small town in Sussex. I’m a proper little southerner – who’s falling more and more in love with the North (to the despair of my parents)!
My journey to get here has been a little bit more roundabout than some of my friends. I studied Physics, Chemistry, History and Art at A-level, as I originally wanted to be a primary school teacher. I went through the whole rigmarole of securing places to study primary school teaching.
While I was doing my A-levels, I realised I’d become (more than slightly) fed up with academia and the pressure of taking exams. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved learning but I felt like taking a year out before getting stuck into a degree was going to be best for me, so I did!
I applied for, and (miraculously) got a job as a teaching assistant in an international school in Beijing. So not long after my A2 exams, I packed my bags and headed off to China! It was probably the toughest and most amazing year of my life so far. I had an incredible time. Working as a teaching assistant in a class of 4-5 year olds presented plenty of challenges but to my own surprise, I actually missed the harder, more academic stimulation of my A-levels and so I started looking at my options.
My first big hurdle was my lack of Maths A-level – which is why I ended up applying to foundation year courses. The most gut wrenching moment was cancelling my secured place for teaching so I could apply for Physics!
But despite all the extra work, Skype interviews and stress, there’s no doubt in my mind it was worth it. I am so glad I’ve ended up at York doing what I’m doing. Giving myself the chance to really push myself, and having all the extra opportunities that come along with being a student here, is awesome.
What I’m up to now:
I’m currently in my fourth year of study here at York – 3rd year of my MPhys, with another to go after this (I know 5 years altogether is a bit mad, but then I probably am a bit mad!).
I’m a member of Derwent college, the best college (definitely not biased…). Like a lot of third year students I now live off campus. I’m in a shared house of 9 people; 6 guys and 3 girls and a mix of 1st-3rd year students with a variety of subjects: Maths, Physics, History and Politics, Accounting, and Language and Linguistics. It’s quite a big house as far as student houses go, but we’re a very civilised little bunch. We all look out for each other, and have lots of weird and wonderful chats about everything from the 4th dimension to world politics, over tea and biscoff biscuits.
I’m also Secretary for Dance Society, and am a member of the advanced tap and intermediate jazz competition teams. It’s definitely the best thing I do outside my degree, so much fun! We’re coming up to a few big competitions now, so I’m really looking forward to doing them.
I’m a student ambassador for the department so if you end up coming for an interview with the Physics department here, you will probably meet me. Please do come say hi!! 🙂
I also volunteer for the department – I recently met astronaut Tim Peake, whilst volunteering at the Principia Schools Conference which was amazing!
In my (non-existent) spare time I love to bake. My housemates have decided I need to apply for Bake Off next year. I’m not convinced it’s because they actually think I’m good enough, more that they all want to be taste testers and get free cake.
What I want to do in the future:
Well this is the million pound question for me. The honest answer is that I haven’t 100% decided yet. After doing an internship in an atmospheric chemistry research lab last year, the world of research has opened up as another option for me. At the moment I’m having a look at various things, including the renewable energy/environmental science type sector and physicists in engineering settings. I’m currently applying for lots of different summer placements, so fingers crossed I’ll be getting up to something exciting next summer!
Ultimately I’d love to do some more travelling and hope to end up working in something that’s making a positive difference in the world in some way or another.
Over to you:
Please don’t worry about asking me questions about what I’m up to, how I got here and York more generally, I’m more than happy to answer them! I know choosing a uni can be really stressful! The best way to know if you’re going to like it somewhere is to try and get an idea what’s it’s like from current students – so fire away! 🙂