Thursday, May 17, 2012

First Year at Heriot-Watt Finished!

I am now finished with my first year here at Heriot-Watt and its flown by! I can't believe its over already. Looking back though it has been a hard year, with quite a few ups and downs. That being said I am very happy I'm here and enjoying the course!

This year I took 8 modules. The 4 in the first semester were Principles of Chemistry, Process Industries A, EPS Maths 1, and Foundations of Engineering A (ie Physics). I have to say I was very glad first semester I had done the year in Boulder. The pace material was presented was quick and it took a few weeks to get used to the system. For example in maths who puts a . at the bottom of a number like a decimal point but actually mean multiplication and then in the middle of the number be a decimal! That messed with my head for a while before I worked out what was going on. Also some of the equations in physics had different variables then I was taught with. But first semester went well academically for the most part. In Process Industries we had a site visit to INEOS. It was exciting to be able to see right from the start how we could apply the things we were learning in the future.
The second semester consisted of a continuation of Chemistry, Process Industries B, EPS Maths 2, and Foundations of Engineering B (ie. Biology). Second semester involved a lot more new material but I had figured things out so that was fine. I struggled with understanding Organic Chemistry, but very glad to have helpful understanding course mates. I was able to then give back in Biology as I had really enjoyed my course in Colorado. The one here had the disadvantage of being the first year it was taught, and our professor liked to use the work "Ok", even in the middle of a sentence. The first year Chem Eng class became quite close in the past few weeks as we studied for our two 3 hr exams in Chemistry and Process Industries, and then two 2hr exams in Maths and Biology. Many hours were spent notes spread across the long tables in the canteen trying hard to memorize endless formulas and working through as many past papers as we could get our hands on.

I was able to have time this year for things other than academics as well which was nice. I joined Heriot-Watts Athletics club and met many people in higher years through that which was nice. Great to walk around the halls and have people randomly say hi to you. But the BEST part was to have people to train with! To be able to have people waiting for a training session on a Monday night and then a coach on Wednesday afternoons was wonderful. Almost like high school cross country. We are also a small club here. However hopefully I can help that to change as I have been elected as Vice President of the club for next year! A guy named Ross is our President and the two of us have big plans to improve the club. YOU WATT!!!!
I was also able to join Edinburgh University's Orienteering Club (EUOC) since Heriot-Watt doesn't have one. Its been such a change to live near so many maps and orienteers! I didn't train with the club as much as I would have liked or should have, but hopefully that will change next year. I was living on campus this year and was harder to get places being on the outskirts of the city. Next year however, I'm going to be living just out of the city center in a flat with my friend Ashleigh from athletics. I cannot wait! I cannot wait to live with Ashleigh and off campus, to be able to cook my own food, and most of all be closer to things in the city like EUOC training in the meadows.

Now though it is on to summer and all the fun events that I'm planning. First up Vennala!
(also please don't forget my chipin on the right. I'm trying to raise $750 to pay for my WUOC entry fees)

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