My Week at Uni – Integration

Week two and I’ve really felt the impact of beginning a new journey. I’ve felt the impact of fitting additional hours of study into my life and I’ve felt the impact of using my brain in a completely different way.

This week I’ve definitely realised how much I need to work to adapt my schedule and life to fit in everything I need to, and want to, do now including uni study and travel. To read more on how I’ve been working on balance and what I think about it you can read my last blog post.

One of the biggest things I’ve noticed this week is how challenging it is learning something completely new. This should seem obvious but it wasn’t to me. I have completed study at Level 7 and am now studying at Level 3 so I figured this should be a breeze. My previous study has had nothing to do with science and this is not something I really had an interest in before so I’m having to use my brain in a completely new way looking at completely obscure information which I do not remember learning at school!!

It’s been a real lesson in humility and made me reassess my expectations of this course and, in particular, this year. It’s also made me realise, even more than last week, that I need to be patient in my learning and celebrate the small wins. I had been feeling frustrated with myself and the learning but it’s ok, this is all new and will take time.

Personal learning from this week: Be aware of how I’m feeling and be kind to myself, accepting my current capabilities and not expecting too much.

Interesting facts learnt this week:

  1. A goldfish has 52 pairs of chromosomes – In comparison to a human’s 23 pairs this seems like a lot of DNA; more complicated animals than I was aware of! Also, garlic has 8 pairs of chromosomes!
  2. Science can detect fraud in food and drink – All food and drink contains hydrogen and oxygen. Each climate has its own unique mix of heavy and light versions of these elements (these are called isotopes, the same elements with the same chemical structure and functions just containing more or less neutrons making them heavier or lighter). Because each climate has its own special environment made of these varying hydrogen and oxygen particles these can be found in food grown in these areas. Some companies have ‘diluted’ expensive foods with cheaper ones to get a better profit for food such as parma ham, scotch whisky etc and looking at the structure of the hydrogen and oxygen in these foods and drinks can help detect the true version from the imposters!
  3. There’s a whole world we can’t even see – A micrometre (μm) is a unit of measurement which describes a millionth of a millimetre! Even smaller than that, a nanometre (nm) is one thousand times smaller than a micrometre (μm). There are bacteria and organisms which are so small we aren’t even aware of their existence in our day to day life. Just like the millions of cells in our body which just work and do what they need to do without our conscious thought or interaction. This really is something we should think about more as its easy to forget about; it’s important to look after our bodies (feed it well, drink lots of water, exercise, sleep well) to make sure these cells can do their jobs correctly, look after us and keep us well!

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