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Sky's Survival Journal (Mk.II) Watch

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    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    CastCuraga : I hate referencing a lot! Referencing software helps but is still a pain

    Sorry to hear about all the problems with having started at Cardiff :console: 11 Greggs stores sounds a bit much, even for me

    I hope things improve soon and that you can get to a place where you're happier and more comfortable with things :hugs:
    What referencing software do you guys have? We're being taught to do Harvard style manually (presumably for practise) - in a few years software that does it for you would be lovely though

    Thank you There's loads of places to eat and very little much else here for some reason

    That's definitely the aim for this, can only hope the same for you if you're not there right now :hugs:
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    (Original post by CastCuraga)
    What referencing software do you guys have? We're being taught to do Harvard style manually (presumably for practise) - in a few years software that does it for you would be lovely though

    Thank you There's loads of places to eat and very little much else here for some reason

    That's definitely the aim for this, can only hope the same for you if you're not there right now :hugs:
    I've been using Zotero (free Firefox referencing software) but my supervisor swears by Endnote so might have to try that at some point :ninja:

    Thanks. I'm not too bad atm. Been rather ill but getting back to a more steady place, slowly but surely :yes:
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    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    I've been using Zotero (free Firefox referencing software) but my supervisor swears by Endnote so might have to try that at some point :ninja:

    Thanks. I'm not too bad atm. Been rather ill but getting back to a more steady place, slowly but surely :yes:
    Ooh, if either of those work on Mac/Google I'll have to try them

    Slow and steady is always the best policy, am sure you'll get there soon :yep:
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    (Original post by CastCuraga)
    Which method do you guys have to use? if it's Harvard style I have a sweet guide to it I can send you scans of :yep:

    (We will liberate the North with memes alone! :wavingtheflag: )
    I use Havard, school policy

    (We will!)
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    (Original post by CastCuraga)
    Where/what are you studying? Psychology comes to mind for some reason...but eesh yeah i can imagine that kills the furryface :comfort: Am glad you're happy with things so far though
    Oh really, are others complaining about it too? And I think probably the essay, at least they tell you the 'answers' on how to reference :laugh:
    Yep psychology, with music! Keele thank you, and yep me and true, they have said they'll do referencing with us in a couple of weeks but still expect us to use it in the mean time but hey, we'll get there... How's your course going?
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    (Original post by furryface12)
    Yep psychology, with music! Keele thank you, and yep me and true, they have said they'll do referencing with us in a couple of weeks but still expect us to use it in the mean time but hey, we'll get there... How's your course going?
    Was actually looking at Keele today when I found they have a Natural Sciences course!! Eh I'm glad you're being taught it though, we got one piece of paper and told to get on with it

    Erm...does 'i've had ucas open a lot today' answer that question? :rofl:
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    DAY 2
    Road Once Travelled

    Despite saying UCAS and University searching isn't going to be a part of this blog, the universe really does like pushing that...in essence, the social aspect continues to grow worse due to things I can't actually control - i.e., these dormmates continue to be a major pain in the arse, separate, and friends I make in classes all have the same response to suggesting going out - "I can't because I have too much work / I'm so tired" etc. I don't blame them, but for as much as socialising and making friends was hyped up by literally everyone I'm kind of surprised to see it hasn't gone that way tbh.

    Resolution
    Aka the "deal with past" category. Moving away from that site where everything happened I've actually come to see some new perspective, refreshingly, but also a new fear. Living way over in Sussex, I might have missed everyone quite dearly, but I could still go back and see those places if I chose, pay some respects, and so forth. But being at least 200 miles away from everything really does sort of have a way of drawing you closer to what you have left, bizarrely.

    But, maybe that isn't such a bad thing. Sure, I might not be pleased with this environment, but it doesn't give me the opportunity to dwell using places quite so much either. I think the only worse part is that while back in Sussex people understood "hey, this is Skylar, he has a few past issues that affect him", suddenly you're now in a place with over 20,000 students and unless you feel like explaining to relative strangers, nobody knows what's gotten you to this point, or rather, what's affected you to become like this. I had the hardest time explaining to flatmates why I get panicky about knives without mentioning anything.

    And I guess it isn't really enough to say 'nobody's even bothered / nobody cares', because eventually it will crop up. I brought all of this up because to resolve anything, I have to understand why exactly things are still difficult even here, as well as the benefits.

    Direction
    This is where if I do talk about university, it'll be. As I just joked about to furryface...yeah, I've had UCAS open a lot today. I fully admit Cardiff was a poorly-thought choice and there's evidence in the first thread I didn't have a good experience in December 2016. In reality, I actually picked it because I sent an email asking about 2018 entry, and they said "no it's fine we'll let you into the Foundation now", and I missed Wales a lot. Which again, is something of direction - living in Wales isn't particularly the holy experience I was expecting from my childhood, but I don't regret that. It was necessary and helpful to have that illusion shattered.

    To look forward, I've spent a lot of time looking back. There's a particular period of my life, around 2013-14, where I really felt like myself and in control (helped partly by a relationship in the second half; I digress), and I haven't really understood why for the last few months. I think I do understand now, though; in 2013, I had a different aesthetic, I was desperately sad but fought every day through either school or work, and I had friends in school - not the best, and none of us kept contact after Year 11, but still - and pertaining to the last section of this, I still had passion for things. Most importantly - I realise that back then, I wasn't ashamed of my habits or traits. I enjoyed them and didn't give a chocobo's arse who cared. That has very much changed, I suspect due to my ex's derogatory ways.

    So, progress: I know what the difference is. I need to find an aesthetic that I feel comfortable in. I need to keep feeling like I'm fighting towards something that matters. I need friends - well, okay, I can't change that so much. But very importantly I need to get comfortable with liking what I do again.

    As for UCAS - nothing specifically to report. I need a uni that isn't too big but still reputable enough that I can be employable later - Chichester comes very, very close (5,000 or so students, compared to the 30,000+ at Cardiff!!) and a friend of mine has nothing but praise...but it isn't reputable. Does that matter, though? It's still STEM...

    Maturity
    I won't talk about every section if I don't have something to say, unlike last time. I do think it's a little hard to gauge maturity, so this is more of a self-help section on what I don't do right, or could do better. Aesthetic is probably the big one right now - I take very little care in how I look, probably leftover from being isolated for about a year; I also have a very terrible addiction to either caffeine or energy drinks due to a certain Nightmare Syndrome making me not want to go to sleep at night.

    The two are, amazingly, linked. The energy drinks have a shitload of sugar in them, and as such, it destroys my skin. Plus, long hair means grease tends to be a problem, even though I do wash normally and everything. It all adds to a tired, weak image that doesn't look appealing at all.

    New goal: #StayHydrated. Drink a lot more water and replace the energy drinks with water over time, getting the energy from other means. I don't think I can fix the sleeping quite so much but it's something to ask my therapist about when I next see her.

    Rediscovery
    This is specifically for the "finding passion in things again" section. In reality I know there are some things I do genuinely love - anyone on Facebook can probably attest to the lengths I'd go to for FF7 or FF9. And there are some things that have just been associated with me by people for years now, like my harp. Depression takes away that feeling and leaves it with a void, a blank feeling where you know you SHOULD be happy, but for some reason, you're just not.

    This could be a slow one, but it is a very important one too. I made a small list of things I know I like or care about in Mk I, but the fact I don't remember most of what was on it probably says volumes in and of itself. I probably didn't love them, I just knew that they elicited some positive response, foreign as it was.

    I remember feeling like this back in 2013, in the months before finding love. It was an intensely long winter where I went into a crisis about not being able to feel anything, finding being hugged a weird, unnecessary thing, and doing things just because I felt I should for 'entertainment', not because I enjoyed it. I didn't know what it was then, but four years on, I can tell clearly what it is.

    I don't honestly have any plan because the only reason that was fixed was by someone piercing through all that and dating me, which I'm not banking on. Speaking of, last time I drummed up quite the fuss about only being attracted to a certain type. You know the funny thing? There are insane amounts of that type in Cardiff and it doesn't even phase me. That's how I can tell this is a genuine thing.

    But, it's only Day 2. Classes start back up tomorrow and I could meet the most amazing people, or feel something new, or anything. If it's the only thing I have to get me through this, it's that it's still early enough for something unexpected to happen and change everything ^^;
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    (Original post by CastCuraga)
    Was actually looking at Keele today when I found they have a Natural Sciences course!! Eh I'm glad you're being taught it though, we got one piece of paper and told to get on with it

    Erm...does 'i've had ucas open a lot today' answer that question? :rofl:
    I really like it there's people doing all sorts of subject combinations and everyone's really friendly. That and it's small and it's green which are big things for me, and disability services. But yeah

    The friends thing, have you tried joining any societies at all? They can be really good for meeting people like you. Give the people around you time though, everyone's still settling in. You can always ask to move rooms if needs be but be aware the new ones might not be any better! You'll get there
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    (Original post by furryface12)
    I really like it there's people doing all sorts of subject combinations and everyone's really friendly. That and it's small and it's green which are big things for me, and disability services. But yeah

    The friends thing, have you tried joining any societies at all? They can be really good for meeting people like you. Give the people around you time though, everyone's still settling in. You can always ask to move rooms if needs be but be aware the new ones might not be any better! You'll get there
    I feel like we have pretty similiar priorities about university :laugh: Apparently there's only like 10,000 people there too, which sounds like a breath of fresh air looking at the 30,000+ here It sounds perfect for you, though :yep:

    I joined a few at the start, but honestly none of them peaked my interest that much (ie the games society only had war games, the music society only plays film music etc). And actually bc of how many people are at Cardiff I can't actually switch room either, they're all full! Still thank you, am sure I will....eventually ^^'
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    DAY 2.5
    Minor Report

    I don't plan on making a habit of .5's, but I want to chronicle advice one of the people in the house gave me - because amidst this chaos, it's actually worth noting. I spoke to him about the whole moving university thing, the way nobody seems to get on, and so on - and this is what came out of it.

    • Everyone has a 'comfort zone' in here, namely their own room. Nobody really bothers to leave it; if you want to see change you've gotta come downstairs sometimes, make the effort in conversation, and so on.
    • "Do something that scares you every day".
    • Stop thinking so much about the way others perceive you. It changes your behaviour in a way that isn't appealing to anyone and just highlights you aren't comfortable or secure. It's hard to do, but important.
    • A smaller university doesn't necessarily mean you'll make more friends. This dude went to Plymouth (20,000, compared to our 30,000+) and for seven months sat outside waiting lectures and nobody really talked to him. (Although 2 unis I was looking at are 6,000 and 15,000 - maybe it is true in smaller ones?)
    • He did confirm that people tend to stick in their own established groups, but that with enough persistence, you can join them.
    • Reaffirmed societies are important. I wonder if it's too late...
    • He left Plymouth because nothing felt right there to him and told me there's nothing wrong in doing that if it comes to it, especially if there are some aspects to it (so he moved to Cardiff bc his best friend was there, for example)
    • He told me to give it 2 more weeks before deciding anything, making full efforts to see change.

    Worth keeping in mind and re-reading in the weeks to come, I think. :yep:
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    (Original post by CastCuraga)
    I feel like we have pretty similiar priorities about university :laugh: Apparently there's only like 10,000 people there too, which sounds like a breath of fresh air looking at the 30,000+ here It sounds perfect for you, though :yep:

    I joined a few at the start, but honestly none of them peaked my interest that much (ie the games society only had war games, the music society only plays film music etc). And actually bc of how many people are at Cardiff I can't actually switch room either, they're all full! Still thank you, am sure I will....eventually ^^'
    Yep it feels like less than that tbh, guess because it's not in a city. Just depends on the uni.

    Ah okay :/ still worth a try but yeah. That's really not helpful! Sorry the advice in your post above sounds really good hope it helps!
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    (Original post by furryface12)
    Yep it feels like less than that tbh, guess because it's not in a city. Just depends on the uni.

    Ah okay :/ still worth a try but yeah. That's really not helpful! Sorry the advice in your post above sounds really good hope it helps!
    Not being in a city is a good start! Though I don't know, I've been to some 'city' universities and really liked them (Aberdeen springs to mind). Just don't think a place with upwards of 30,000 is :rofl:

    Hey, don't be! It is good advice, I'll have to keep looking and see if anything is about
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    (Original post by CastCuraga)
    Not being in a city is a good start! Though I don't know, I've been to some 'city' universities and really liked them (Aberdeen springs to mind). Just don't think a place with upwards of 30,000 is :rofl:

    Hey, don't be! It is good advice, I'll have to keep looking and see if anything is about
    That's true! I liked the look of Cardiff tbf but not sure as I could cope with living there. Sheffield I very nearly went to though and would have done if health allowed- it had a lovely feel to it.
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    (Original post by furryface12)
    That's true! I liked the look of Cardiff tbf but not sure as I could cope with living there. Sheffield I very nearly went to though and would have done if health allowed- it had a lovely feel to it.
    Cardiff is beautiful, and very student friendly - and excellent counselling services. The Psych department and buildings though....I think were built in the 1960s or something :laugh:

    I got rejected from Sheffield, I know what you mean! You're still close enough to it at Keele if you fancied going over though
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    DAY 3
    Polar Inquisitions

    Resolution
    Have to admit I haven't been doing so well in this category With the advent of extensive university searching, there's a consistent trend of being torn between a Biology subject and Physics, which sometimes tends to fall in Physics' favour because I know it would be kinda like "doing something for her". This isn't new and I know it will pass eventually, it's probably just moments of weakness.

    I think these "moments of weakness" always do happen closer to my birthday, though. Friends and family always like to hype it up as something to look forward to and I never really do. The key is that if I can't make resolute decisions, not to make them at all; a decision made in times of happiness or sadness can be foolish.

    Direction
    As before, I struggle to find a direct sense of one. At present, I feel like this is the wrong place for me, but I don't know how long I should be expected to wait to decide for real. For every person that says 'I just got that feeling immediately', there's another person swearing you should wait another week, and then another, and so on. There's no consensus at all about it! :burnout:

    Because of rather incompetent lecturers for Chemistry - the one part I struggle hard on - I'm left feeling perhaps this was a mistake. I can easily recall two, maybe three years ago, when I fully intended to make the most of my Arts A Levels, and had support from loved ones, family and everything - did I make a bad call by going to science and losing all of that support?

    Well...I don't know. But I can certainly say the academic lecturing so far hasn't made me that confident. If I am to pull the UCAS Trigger, would I try to go for a better university (ie Edinburgh, Durham etc)? Or one closer to home (Surrey, Chichester...Sussex...)? Or simply whatever it takes to do a certain course?

    These are probably questions I need to consider at some point, sooner rather than later. Once student loans come through maybe I can travel a bit more and scope some places out ^^;;

    Fighting Mentality
    Where I'll record any progress on mental things. In spite of the last two sections, this was actually positive! Some temporary peace has come from the house with the discovery of group running, and while they're all significantly better than me, I made the effort to go despite not wanting to, and ended up doing quit well. I think this might be worth keeping up, exercise definitely has cleared my mind a little bit at times :yep:

    Passions
    I decided to try and narrow things down to the basics before going crazy, and eventually settled on Music, Nature and Games. It's a bit rudimentary and probably obvious, but I think if I stick to a few things I know I care about, I can branch out later as opposed to starting with nothing. It's possible to get burned out with any of them, so it's not a full solution - just a good starting point.

    Hope you guys are doing well :yes:
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    Not exactly an update but my god, I had no idea Biology labs were this stressful - we did a Microscopy and Bacteria (Paramecium and Amoeba) thing and every step of it kept getting touted as "DON'T PUT MORE THAN ONE DROP IN" or something, like it would blow up the school!

    Are Physics experiments quite as high-octane as this? I doubt looking at stars is quite as life-threatening as making an amoeba eat a bacterium :rofl:
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    DAY 4
    Gates of Light

    Currently writing this from a hotel in Bangor, after a very sudden calling to go back. I'm not really sure what it is, but the feeling of homesickness that you'd expect to drive me back to Sussex has manifested into a calling for my home, and the times I spent there with my friends before as kids. I still haven't faced Llandudno yet and I don't really want to just yet - in my mind, it was a quiet and calm little place, but that was 16 years ago and part of me is afraid of that dream-like vision having faded by adulthood and, realistically, the fact it's a tourist destination nowadays. Bangor is close enough though, and with memories of its own to love. :yep:

    Resolution & Fighting Mentality
    In part, coming here has been a resolution. There are still a lot of memories I worked hard to try and remember, and I don't just want to bury them in the dirt after all that. The key going forward isn't to forget, or even to not look on it fondly - it's to not be trapped underneath it, never moving forward. Part of the reason I decided to go travelling is because I know this time of year depresses me, and I crave the feeling of moving forward - mentally, physically, anything.

    So I've found ways to balance it. I brought my beloved childhood NES with me, and I'm currently playing some of the games we grew up bonding around, and naming the characters after us, just like childhood. But I don't obsess over it anymore, either. I know those days are very far behind me, no matter how that makes me feel. Travelling, and moving about, in a time like this...it's my own way of fighting, I think. :fight:

    Direction
    Surprising absolutely nobody, I've made the decision to pull the UCAS trigger again. I think a month is sufficient time to figure out if a place is meant for you or not, and after a month, I can positively conclude that between the social attitudes, massive crowds, less-than-stellar course options and awful teaching for everything except one of my Biology modules, it's time to admit it's time to move forward.

    Not a TW, but a TL;DR - basically after strong depression currently I discovered the perfect course I didn't even know existed, and have found some unshakeable happiness from finding direction with my education. Only read if you're bored tbh, it's again just me detailing stuff for future reference so I can look back and be like 'oh hey, this is when that happened' etc. All about recording progress here at TSR.com :wavingtheflag:
    Spoiler:
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    As I said on Day 3, I wasn't sure what I was doing particularly. Part of me was beginning to doubt my own ability in Biology - the subject I love most - and the weaker part of me was considering Physics for Rebekah's sake. Of course, there's little you can do for a pile of ashes' sake that has direct meaning...and bizarrely, motivation and vision came to me during the end of a game called Tales of Zestiria, where the characters face an immensely powerful dragon that should have killed them outright, and although they can't harm it, something compels them to keep going. The lyrics that play during it particularly caught me - I guess it's a case of the right thing coming at the right time.


    "In the dark I see you, with hope and despair all around
    And I know that we're still fighting, with the fear of losing ground
    But among this terror, there's a light we can still see, saying
    "Don't give up".
    Even though the odds have left us,
    Feeling so small, but we can't stop now
    We are not defeated, we are not losing in these flames of uncertainty
    We are rising up."

    In a strange way, it just connected with me, as I guess things tend to when a massive problem is on your mind for long enough. Although amidst everyone in this foundation there is abject hope and terror in equal amounts, it's so easy to just stop trying. I certainly have felt like that with Biology - it's not just a case of things being harder than I thought. To get here, to be able to do Biology (Biomed) at university at all, I had to go through hell and back; getting strong A Levels amidst a horrific breakup, convincing multiple universities I was worth taking on with my awful science GCSEs, facing an entire year alone asides from the company of TSR, and so on.

    To go through all of that only to find that in this case the teaching has been terrible - it was genuinely disillusioning. But knowing that, hey, maybe this isn't the right place for me - that might be the case. But Cardiff isn't the only place in the world to teach Biology at all. And sure, this year might be difficult as all hell, but nothing ever worth fighting for is that easy. :moon:

    One thing I was absolutely unaware (or forgot) existed is a pure Genetics degree - instead of trying to bargain with courses about how many genetics modules were available, I discovered degrees that are literally all Genetics, with optional modules in things like Anatomy, and in some cases even Haematology. In a few days I will be 20 years old and I am desperate to dig my heels in and start doing something I love and never look back - and this discovery could not have come at a better time in my life than right now. :happy2:

    The interesting thing? These universities offering it aren't some niche, specialist ones - three of them are Scottish Ancient Universities. Edinburgh offers Biological Sciences (Genetics), which is essentially a mixture of both regular Biology with Genetics compulsory per year. Glasgow offers a degree in just Genetics, which tends to move into Anatomy sometimes (which is fine, they're linked). Aberdeen though, amazingly, offers a course that from start to finish fits every check you might need to work within genetic research or engineering, two things I was convinced I would have to do Biomed for (with all the icky molecular/cellular biology that comes with it).

    The best part is that, whereas with last time I was constantly concerned about balancing my family's concerns, this time I feel completely independent and in control to make my own decisions. I won't be tossing and turning for nearly a year about what to do, or leaving anything right up to the wire - if anything, I just need to figure out where I like best and which firm/insurance to pick. There's no guaranteeing even one will give me an offer - but that isn't the point. The point is that after so much time dealing with courses that are only slightly what I'm interested in, there's now a degree specifically for what I care about, and it's what I imagine a blind man feels like seeing for the first time. Okay, not that much - but it still feels pretty damn enlightening!

    I sat down for about a day and did all the data and decided on these universities, with reasons:
    • Aberdeen - Genetics MSci with Industrial Placement. Picked it bc the location is beautiful (I've been many times, because my friend Jade lived there) and it's by far the most full Genetics experience I can get. It's an Ancient University, which I hear is good for reputation as well?
    • Edinburgh - Biological Sciences (Genetics). Because everyone needs at least one university they know they'll never get into, but can dream anyway Did you guys have one? If so, what was it? ^^
    • Glasgow - Genetics. I went back in January when I prematurely thought I'd be there because of...well, doesn't matter. Point is it's a great university in a scenic location, and has some spicy graduate opportunities I saw [insert that emoji with a hand making a 6 symbol]
    • Bangor - Medical Biology. I can't leave this damn university alone. Have you ever seen the Menai Straits at night? That s*** is MAGICAL. Oh, and it has a lot of genetic and haematological stuff in it which I guess helps I don't think it's a very employable uni, but honestly I wouldn't mind doing postgrad there. :iiam:
    • Surrey - Biological Sciences. Because apparently Surrey is 5th out of 102 unis for Biology and I couldn't find a good 4th/5th university that does pure Genetics (that isn't Sussex, but ew. Brighton is a nono. )


    Which is basically a very long way of saying I finally have direction and a goal, which are two things educationally I've been lacking probably since...well, either the breakup or the start of A2, not sure which broke my spirit more :rofl: To be honest I might not get into a single one of these, but it's no excuse not to fight. Having a goal has already motivated me to work so much harder in my course, even if I don't like it or the place.


    This journal is far from over, though. Resolution will still take a lot of work, and I intend to work on that in the next couple of days while I'm in Bangor - least of all because it's a very realistic choice for me now. Edinburgh, Surrey and probably Glasgow will likely not take me, but even if Bangor ends up being my only choice, I'm not sad about it. :cube:


    "But in this closing darkness, among this terror there's a light we can see
    I know there's a light, the only shining in brave hearts."
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    Good to hear you haven't been obsessing over the past too much. I do hope this new pathway of applying for Genetics courses is the right one for you :yes:
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    This course sounds perfect for you I was talking to someone doing genetics as part of their biomed course the other day and thought of you! Hope it all works out as good as you hope, and happy birthday for this week! :party:

    Spoiler:
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    yeah, parties are overrated. But hey :lol:
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    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    Good to hear you haven't been obsessing over the past too much. I do hope this new pathway of applying for Genetics courses is the right one for you :yes:
    (Original post by furryface12)
    This course sounds perfect for you I was talking to someone doing genetics as part of their biomed course the other day and thought of you! Hope it all works out as good as you hope, and happy birthday for this week! :party:

    Spoiler:
    Show

    yeah, parties are overrated. But hey :lol:
    Thanks to you both Am just about to write it but wanted to specifically thank you both for the support, means a lot with something big like this :hugs:
 
 
 
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