Two weeks ago, I finished my first semester of my second year at University!
I completely underestimated how difficult it would be in comparison to my first year. I had some tough times – not with the workload, but rather understanding content of the some topics like crystal chemistry (inorganic) and Felkin-Anh models (organic).
Quantum and Organic chemistry were definitely the hardest modules this year. Quantum Mechanics courses are known to go into deeper linear algebra like Eigenvalues and Fourier transforms. My 1st year was all about Thermodynamics, Equilibria and Kinetics – Mostly simple concepts and easy maths problems. However, second year Quantum Mechanics does contain things that are quite tedious and difficult to process first time round but it definitely interests me. On the other hand, organic chemistry this year is just confusing me on a whole other level – university chemistry teaches you how to think like an Organic Chemist and apply mechanistic rationale to unseen problems rather than simply do the same mechanism again and again which is great but comes with practice. I’m working really hard to comprehend the information that I’ve learnt this year so I’m hoping I can do well this year in this module.
In addition to this, I have also applied to over 40 internships for both summer 2018 and a year in industry; not just limiting myself to chemistry careers but also in banking and government too. Some internships require you to do online tests and that’s certainly the most difficult bit for me as I don’t always proceed further into the process.
Overall, through my education of Chemistry at Queen Mary, I have progressed in the ability to learn and continue learning even the hardest of concepts; rather than showing me my weaknesses, university has actually showed me what I’m capable of.
I haven’t grasped the fact that my exams are 4-5 months away and I still don’t understand some of the things I have learnt. So, this year will definitely be a challenge, I am not going to let the attitude of ‘I can’t do it’ take me away from what I am passionate about.
Here’s to 2018 🙂
‘Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today’ – Malcolm X