So you’re coming to study Physics at York? Brilliant! Here are just 3 things (out of many) to look forward to that make it so exciting!
The Physics Labs at York are amazing. Okay, maybe you’re not entirely convinced yet, but let it be known that this is coming from someone who came into university absolutely terrified of having to do lab work. (I know, a physics student who doesn’t like labs – sounds like some kind of paradox, right?) But now, I love every second of it!
So how come did I have such a change of heart about labs? Well, it was because I got to experience them!
The facilities are brilliant – from exploring the speed of light to using telescopes on the Astrocampus, the equipment and software that you get to use are incredibly sophisticated.
Along with this, the support in lab sessions is incredible. I was terrified of not knowing what to do in my labs, but the demonstrators are there to help, and help they do! Being able to investigate a problem and feel like you’re experimenting with a proper purpose, all whilst knowing there’s help available every step of the way, is such a confidence booster, and it makes labs super exciting!
Learning to code
Walking into university, I was set with all the coding skills of someone who had watched approximately 3 high-stakes action movies (where someone in a techy computer room tries to crack some code) and subsequently thought to themselves “yeah, I could probably do that.” That is to say: none.
My lack of coding skills wasn’t an issue at all though, as all of the Professional Skills Year 1 modules in Physics have a coding element in them. You learn how to code in Python, starting at the very basics, and build up your skills from there. Although it’s not quite hack-into-the-mainframe action movie levels of intensity, it is still really fun! There truly is no better feeling than getting your code to run perfectly. It’s a really great opportunity to learn the skills that can get you to that point.
On an academic level, this experience in coding is also massively important. It is super useful when it comes to things like analysing and visualising data, and can give you a much better understanding of what it all means.
PhysSoc (and other societies!)
If you’ve read any information about university life, you’ve probably stumbled across mentions of university societies at least once (or a thousand times). And for good reason! In terms of meeting people with similar interests as you, joining a society is the way to go.
PhysSoc is the university’s physics society; if you love physics this is the one for you. The society hosts frequent socials, so whether it’s a games night or a quiz, there’s always something to look forward to, including plenty of opportunities to meet new people who love physics!
As well as this, they also hold more academically-focused events, with guest speakers giving lectures on a wide variety of topics – so there really is something for everyone. Couple this with some brilliant opportunities to get involved in a Physics internship and some (healthy!) competition with other science-related societies, and you’ve got a pretty great group to be a part of!
To finish off…
And there you have it! I’ve just given three things here, but there are a whole bunch more amazing opportunities and experiences that come with studying Physics at York! My advice for once you get here? Remember that you’re surrounded by loads of other physics students. The community here is fantastic!
Oh, and it totally does help to pretend you’re a secret agent when you’re doing coding assignments…