• Question: During your studdies what where some of the challenges you faced?

    Asked by HClO3. to Stewart, Miriam, Marton, Laura, Kathryn, David on 8 Nov 2018.
    • Photo: Miriam Hogg

      Miriam Hogg answered on 8 Nov 2018:


      I actually really struggle with maths. During my A-levels I had a tutor and extra lessons and I was still terrible at it. But I really wanted to study physics, galaxies specifically. So I put in lot of effort and eventually got the grade I needed to get onto a physics course (just).

      Most of the other students were naturally good at maths and breezed through the exams and assignments but I really had to put a lot of effort. I really thought that I wouldn’t be able to do well in the exams because I just couldn’t get my head around it and no-one else seemed to struggle even half as much as I did. But eventually I started understanding more and more, and I managed to pass exams and assignments and now i’m doing a PhD (which some of my school teachers would never have believed I could do, I really was that bad).

      I still really struggle with maths, the others in my office are much better at it and I think I will always struggle more than others. It doesn’t come naturally to me. But I didn’t let it stop me. I know its an issue for me so I take extra care to check equations and I even get my friends to check them over sometimes too just to make sure!

    • Photo: Marton Olbei

      Marton Olbei answered on 8 Nov 2018:


      I had issues with chemistry. I wasn’t very good at it before I started university, so I had to really work hard to get to the level others were on.

    • Photo: Stewart Martin-Haugh

      Stewart Martin-Haugh answered on 8 Nov 2018:


      I found physics quite hard! I ended up with a B at A-level, but I was convinced that it would be different at uni. Once I got there, it turned out it was broader than A-level physics, less memorisation and more about figuring stuff out from scratch.

      The great thing about working in research is working with people cleverer than you are, and learning from them. I get to do that every day.

    • Photo: Laura Kent

      Laura Kent answered on 9 Nov 2018:


      I always struggled with organic chemistry which is a part of chemistry that mainly looks at compounds made up of carbon! I found it difficult to understand mechanisms that my friends could understand so easily. Like Miriam, I kept working hard at it and whilst I wouldn’t say I was an organic chemistry expert, I did slowly get better at it!
      I also struggled when I was doing my A-levels with balancing my school work, my weekend job and having time for friends and family. It helps to prioritise though and to have deadlines for things!

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