Biochemistry undergraduate

Benjamin in a lab

I wanted to apply to Imperial because it’s such a renowned institution attracting bright minds from all over the world. It was a big aspiration for me – at the start of sixth form I never imagined I’d even go to university, let alone one of the best in the world.

My school was contacted by the Imperial Outreach team, inviting students to attend a Summer School. I successfully applied for a place and spent a week at Imperial during the holidays in the summer of year 12. I found it such an eye-opening experience and it helped me to make the decision to apply.

I remember so clearly the moment I found out I got my place. It was really early in the morning, and I had the email from UCAS Track.

That moment was so surreal and emotional. I hadn’t thought a year before that I would be in this position; I’d achieved my goal to study at Imperial.

Choosing biochemistry

Biochemistry is the study of living organisms and the processes that go on in cells and all living things. There are so many different skills used in biochemistry, I think it’s one of the most multidisciplinary degrees out there.

Adjusting to university life

Moving from somewhere so remote as the Isle of Wight to London was always going to be an adjustment. But it was unfortunate timing as my first year was right in the middle of the pandemic.

But then fast forward into second year, when the COVID-19 situation started to change, it gave me an opportunity to experience Imperial properly for the first time and it’s been amazing. It was so nice to be on campus, to see all my friends and properly talk to people.

Making the most of wellbeing support

While I was going through that difficult time in first year, Imperial was great with the support available. I had counselling in my first year and my counsellor was amazing. I would say to anyone that’s struggling, don’t be afraid to speak up and reach out for help. It can be daunting coming somewhere like Imperial, but the mental health support system is amazing.

I reached out to them and explained my situation. It was a really easy process and very accessible. I’d highly recommend it to other students.

London Southbank lit up in the lights of the LGBT+ flag

Horizons and I-Explore

Imperial Horizons gives you the opportunity to experience and learn about something that’s not related to your degree. It’s a chance to gain skills that you can use during your degree and even guide your future career. There are so many options: business, languages, humanities to just name a few.

I did mine in science communications; I’d always thought at the start of my degree I wanted to go into the communications side of science, so the Horizons module gave me the opportunity to give it a go and see what I thought of it. I absolutely loved it, and it was fundamental in my decision in wanting to study an MSc in Science Communication.

I think what’s really important about Horizons is that it gives you the chance to appreciate what’s outside your field of study.

Living in London

I always loved visiting London as a child and some of my family live just outside. Living in London, you get to meet people from so many backgrounds. I think it’s such an amazing thing that the city has so much to offer; how diverse and how accepting of absolutely everybody. For me, that’s one of the main things I love about London.

I love my own freedom and being able to do whatever I want. I’ve always been very independent, so moving from the Isle of Wight to London was something I was so excited about.

Part of an inclusive community

I’m a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community and before I came to Imperial, I was worried there wasn’t going to be anyone I could relate to. I was so wrong!

Imperial attracts everyone and I’m so glad about that. I want that diversity; it’s partly what attracted me to study in London.

When you study at Imperial you’re part of an incredible institution, so you really do feel like part of a community. While everyone’s journey is going to be different in getting to Imperial, everyone has a similar mindset. We can all relate to each other and it’s nice to connect to other students and ask: so, what’s your story?

I'm so glad Imperial is the way it is. It makes me very proud to be part of the Imperial community.