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“Are you looking forward to going back?”

“Are you looking forward to going back?”; a question I was asked multiple times before moving up to Sheffield to embark on my Masters. The immediate answer was often “Yes I am!”, however as moving day came closer, the realisation that I wasn’t going “back” anywhere soon started to dawn on me.

I had studied my Biochemistry undergraduate degree at Aberystwyth and had chosen Sheffield for my Masters in Translational Oncology. I was excited about moving, however, the all too familiar uneasiness associated with moving was higher than ever. Feeling like a Fresher, despite being in my fourth year of university, was definitely a feeling I never thought I’d experience, but I was 100% ready for what Sheffield had in store.

I chose to move to Sheffield a few weeks before the academic year started to allow myself a bit of time to get settled before the mayhem ensued and I honestly do not regret this decision one bit. This extra time in Sheffield allowed me to get acquainted with the city and university campus as I let myself get lost whilst exploring. 

Sheffield is a vastly different city compared to Aberystwyth, a small Welsh seaside town. Moving to such a big place after initially studying in such a small town felt incredibly strange, despite being from London! Sheffield has the buzz and excitement of a large city, like my home of London, however, it also has a strong sense of community, similarly to Aberystwyth, and this for me, made it that bit easier to settle.

After my few weeks of settling in, it was time for Intro Week. I had a few induction activities at the medical school, where my department is located. It wasn’t long before those all-too-familiar feelings of nerves started to kick in again; the very same kind as those I felt on my first day of my undergraduate degree. Looking around, it was clear that I was not the only one feeling this. It wasn’t before long that I found myself in a small group of my fellow course mates, and the “freshers” nerves soon dissipated.

Intro Week had gone smoothly, and I could not wait for the start of my course! It is without a doubt an incredible challenge compared to undergraduate level; my assessment week is over and done with (phew!) so my first two modules are finished, and the next two have begun. Despite this, I am taking all of it in my stride, balancing work from lectures with trying to involve myself in various extra-curricular activities, such as being course representative, whilst also applying for jobs and PhDs, as well as trying to cram in a social life, it is indeed as manic as it sounds! 

However, after my first 2 months in Sheffield, I can firmly say I am embracing it all. I was excited to start, and I can safely say I am excited to see where the rest of this whirlwind course will take me in this exciting city over the next few months. Let’s just hope I don’t blink and miss it!

Kamini Magon, MSc(Res) Translational Oncology
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