Hi there, I’m Jenny. Last time I told you about a day in my life. Today, I’ve got some of the highlights of being a Chemistry student.
Demonstrators are heroes in blue lab coats. They are PhD students who brief us before labs and help us if anything goes wrong. Most of them are just a few years older than us, so they can often relate to our struggles. They were in the same place a few years back!
I would be lying if I said labs always went smoothly, but you learn so much from your mistakes. When I don’t know how to use a certain piece of equipment, have trouble recrystallizing my product or just have no idea what I am doing, the demonstrators are always there to help. Even when it seems like the situation can’t be salvaged, they always seem to find a way out.
Even as a second year, I still find the demonstrators so helpful. They often save the day, giving tips on lab reports and quizzing us on the chemistry behind what we are doing.
This is one of the main reasons I chose York. From my very first contact with staff, I have always been met with kindness and helpful smiles.
My offer letter from the head of admissions referred to specific points I had made in my personal statement. He even recommended option modules that fit with my chemical interests, as well as societies that I could consider joining. It was small actions like these that made me realise that I would feel welcome at York.
The support from Chemistry staff has been ongoing. They are constantly asking for feedback to improve assessments methods, lectures and workload. Staff were more than happy to help with some personal issues I faced during my degree. It affected my academic work, but they were very understanding.
Links to research
It can be easy to sit in lectures and think ‘why are we learning this?’ or ‘will this ever be useful to me?’. Lecturers at York make an active effort to relate course material to their own important research.
There are so many links to make. First year kinetics is the basis of computational models of complex reactions. Second year materials chemistry can be used to develop drug delivery methods for cancer patients.
Our lecturers are often experts in their field. They teach the knowledge that they use on a daily basis, which gives significance to what we are learning. It gives you lots of different ideas about the research you could go on to do.