Monday, 12 December 2011

End of Term!

Wow! It’s the end of term and I couldn’t be happier. Over the past 2 months, I have been extremely busy with coursework and project work. In fact, I have submitted my proposal last night. With only one week left till the end of term, most of my classes are dedicated to doing past paper exam questions. I think this is useful as it will help us, come the final exams. 

Submitting the proposal was kind of stressful as it contains guidelines and timelines of what work I will be carrying out over the next 4/5 months in order to complete my project of the highest standard. Considering our project (including the proposal) makes up half the total marks of my 30 credits: Research Methods course, it is essential that I keep up-to-date and on task to meet the targets which I have set up for myself. 

I am very much looking forward to working on my project. The title of my project is ‘Time Series Analysis for FTSE 100 and Forecasting’. Luckily I have gathered all my data which I wish to use to carry out my analysis. I will be using different software packages such as Microsoft Excel as well as Minitab (Statistical Package) to complete my work.  Having met up with my supervisor twice over the last month or so, I have gained valuable advice and knowledge on how to develop my project. One of the difficulties I did encounter when writing my proposal, was that I started off quite generally. The language I used wasn’t vague, however the way I was writing, meant that I was covering a wide area involving Finance. Learning to cut it down and make it more specific initially was quite difficult. However when my supervisor actual questioned me on exactly what I was going to do as part of my project. I was able to say it out loud. So I guess I was just having difficulty interpreting my thoughts onto paper. After doing that, I was able to successfully complete my proposal. I have to say, that I am quite pleased with the end result. My hard work paid off.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Starting Individual Project

I’ve finally submitted my group project YAY! I feel so relieved that it’s all done and out of the way. Now I have two more coursework’s to complete, 1 for statistics and 1 for finance.  Luckily the statistics one just got released today and I have four weeks to complete it. The finance coursework is due in a week before the Christmas holidays.  My aim is to complete as much of it as I can as early as possible.  Then closer to the deadline date, I can review it and fix any mistakes I may have made. 

I also have to think about writing my proposal for my individual project. I think that the individual project will be more stressful compared to the group project. This is because at least as a group, we could bounce ideas off each other and also provide helpful criticism, in order to improve the quality of the report. 

In my opinion, the best projects start off with a fairly large idea, which can then be divided into sub – topics. The best way to formulate ideas is to draw a brainstorm, so then it would be easy to group ideas together. It would also be easier to spot if we’ve written the same idea twice (it can happen). For this reason, drawing a brainstorm is much more creative and effective, compared to just writing a list diagonally down a piece of paper.

I haven’t decided my final project title, but I do know that it will be based on financial econometrics (one of the modules I am studying this term). This is a brilliant topic for me, personally, because I really enjoy my finance lectures, and I’ve got sound knowledge of finance in general, outside of University. I also think it would be quite relevant and useful to combine economics with it as well. Both finance and economics are closely linked with each other, especially when observing the financial markets and considering the economic climate and recession, in today’s modern world. 

Why do I have the feeling that I’ll be writing about my individual project, in my future blogs?

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Busy schedule

It’s been ages since I wrote a blog. I’ve been so busy for the last couple of weeks. It’s really weird; I’ve been back at university for 4 weeks now, and we’ve got so much work to do. This year is going to be the most difficult, because I’m going to be studying 7 modules in total, 3 in the first term and 3 in the second term. They are all 15 credit courses. The final module is 30 credits, which I will be studying for two terms.

At the same time, I am enjoying studying. I am currently doing a group project with some of my fellow 3rd year maths students. I am working with 4 other people. 3 of whom I’ve never spoken to till the group project. At the same time, we get along with each other. I like working in my group because everyone works together really well, and everyone is serious about studying. This is because it’s our final year and also because our group project counts as 30% of our final mark for that module. Working as part of a group teaches us many things, like getting along with different people.

One really interesting thing which I did this week is sign up for a SCONUL card. A SCONUL card gives me access to some other university libraries, so I can go to other universities and look at some books there. I think that’s very cool. One of the members of my group said that he got the card last year, but never used it. At least this way if I ever want to get some reading or revision done for my coursework and my exams, bur I don’t want to study at home, then I can study at other universities closer to home. The best thing about the SCONUL card is that they give a wider access to books and journals. This is brilliant, as Universities have different books, which makes it easier to do a project, whether group or individual as then we will have a wider range of resources.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Summer’s Gone!!

This year, the summer holidays have passed away within the blink of an eye. Throughout my entire life, I have never been as busy during my summer holidays compared to this summer holiday that has just passed. This is because I have been working in the Clearing Department on a full-time basis for the past 9 weeks or so. Time has flown by, and before I knew it, it’s September and I am due back to return to study next Monday. This means I am well on my way to completing the third year of my Mathematics honours degree.
Today is my year 3 induction. Some people may ask, why do 3rd year continuing students have inductions? The answer to this question is that in 3rd year, we have specific modules that we have to pick and the course tutors need to talk us through these modules and then we get to decide our final choice. Of course you can change course modules within the first two weeks of study, and you can do this by filling out some forms and passing it onto the school department. However, the mathematics department is very different in that aspect. The course tutors and programme leaders like to have face to face meetings/talks with those students concerning module or even programme changes, to discuss their options and how these options will reflect on their future career and job prospects. 
This is one of the many things that please me to study at this University. The personal tutors and programme leaders, and generally all the staff members of the University as a whole, really look at you individually and take time to get to know you as a person.  This shows how much respect and courtesy the University gives to its students and of course the students studying at the University should return the same respect and courtesy back to their tutors and staff members of the University.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Looking forward

It was a really nice surprise for my sister-in-law to call me yesterday afternoon. However when she did initially call me, I was busy doing something else (can’t remember for the life of me what that was). So when I finally did have the time to check my phone, I was quite surprised to receive a  miscall from her, and I was very excited to call her back, as we hadn’t seen each other for ages (like 8-10 months) even though she lives only 10 minutes (walk) away. This is because we all lead very busy lives and her and my cousin brother usually go weekend holidays together, very regularly, or otherwise she goes to her parents’ house for the weekend.
So I then called her back after a couple of hours, and she has kindly invited my family and I to go to her house for an Iftari party next Saturday. She also said that she’s thinking of getting some of our other cousins together, so that we can have a really good catch up. She is really considerate and kind. She was asking about my parents and how everyone is. She asked if my dad will be coming to her house next Saturday for the Iftari party. I told her I wasn’t sure, he might be working next Saturday evening. So then she replies that she understands and she even offered to pick us up with her car, which was really considerate and very sweet of her. She asked me to text her this Friday just so we can finalise our plans and confirm with her that we’re attending.  I am really close to her as because we have similar interests for example in both literature and sciences. She loves classic novels as well as Shakespeare, and yet she has a degree in Physics.  I’m really interested in novels too. My favourite authors are Charles Dickens and Jane Austen. The last Austen novels I’ve read were Emma and Pride and Prejudice. I have got a few more at home left to read, but I haven’t write managed it yet. One that I’m particularly keen to read is, Sense and Sensibility. I have watched the film, but I still want to read the book.
During the past week or so, I have also catched up on some literature reading. So far I have read Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, and now I am reading Hard Times by Charles Dickens. Comparatively I prefer to read Charles Dickens novels because I find the storyline really exciting and interesting. The book ‘Hard Times’ is is about facts versus fantasy. A teacher called Mr Gradgrind believes n facts and nothing but facts. Therefore he teaches his students only facts, believing that facts are all they need to know and nothing more. He only thinks that as long as something is factual and there is proof behind them then that’s the only knowledge worth having. He doesn’t believe in fantasy or imagination, and therefore never indulges in developing his student’s imagination. As you can guess the central theme of this novel is facts.
I have not yet finished reading this novel, what can I say? I am a slow reader. So far, I am really enjoying it and looking forward to completing it.
Other than that, I am looking forward to two days in particular, 18th August and 25th August. Yes, 18th August is A Level results day and I am really looking forward to it as my brothers AS results will be released on that day. He seems to be quite quiet for now, but I am very excited for him. He has assured me that he will text me when he receives his results and told me not to worry. Then, on 25th August my youngest brother will be receiving his GCSE results. He seems to be quite confident and self-assured regarding his grades and so I can only hope he gets the results he expects and deserves. All I can say is that the next few weeks will be very exciting for my family and I am really excited for both of them.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Summer Holiday

So the past weekend I have had a chance to catch up with my cousins once again. It has been a pretty long time since I saw them last. We are all so busy with our lives that we barely manage to text each other, and then only when it’s something really important like birthdays or passing on messages from one cousin to another. So on Saturday night, my dad took the whole family to his brother’s house. This was so that my brothers and I could wish my cousin well for achieving a 2:1 on his first year of Finance and Economics degree. My dad joked with my brothers about congratulating our cousin over the telephone and also dropping him a text, however my brothers were adamant that they should be able to congratulate our cousin face to face. Alas it was not to be, as half an hour before we arrived at their house, my cousin had left for work.

It was quite enjoyable for me as I could bond with my other really close cousin, who had just completed her GCSE’s this year. My youngest brother and she are the same age, with only 1 week difference. So, she was talking to me about what subject she feels she did well in, and also what she has decided to take onto A Level. She has decided to study; English Language and English Literature (this is one A Level by itself), Mathematics, Economics and Sociology. So in total she will be studying four subjects. My brother has also picked similar subjects: English Literature, Mathematics, Economics and History. Whilst I am a huge fan of English Language and Literature and of course Mathematics, having studied both of them up to A Level, and nearly close to completing my degree in Mathematics, I also studied both Biology at A Level and Chemistry at AS Level. I like the fact that my youngest brother has chosen some subjects different to mine as it shows he truly enjoys those subjects that he picked and doesn’t always follow what my other brother (Older than him, but younger than me) has picked. My other brother has completed his AS in Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and History, and is looking forward to completing all fours subjects at A Level.
Then on Sunday, my aunt (dad’s sister) and her family came to my house for dinner. It was quite enjoyable as we just chatted about random girly stuff. This cousin sister of mine is even more serious about studying, then my other cousin who is my brother’s age. Although this cousin is quite young in age, she will begin year 11 in September, she is really mature for her age. She has already picked out what A Levels she wants to study; Biology, Chemistry Mathematics and one other subject which she is undecided on. I suggested History or Sociology, seeing as she’s studied both at GCSE level. However she thinks she would like to study Psychology, as she wants to try something new. I was supportive of her and encouraged her that she should go for it, if that’s what makes her happy, but then again she is quite younger and still has one year left before she finalises her choices for college.
This past couple of days has made me realise how grown up my cousins and brothers are, how much they have matured and are more than ready for further study. I mean one of my brothers will be starting university is September 2012; this just makes me think where did all the time go? At the same time, I’m really happy for them and always wish that no matter what subjects they study, or what path they take in terms of university study or getting a job, that they are happy for themselves. One thing I did learn over the past couple of years is that if you’re happy with yourself, then others will be happy for you.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Busy weekend

This weekend has been quite interesting and exciting in its own way. On Saturday, after chilling at home in the morning, I went to one of my dad’s cousins house, because it was that cousin’s nieces mehndi party and her wedding was taking place on Sunday. That party was quite different as usually they have the party at a hall or restaurant, but this particular family did the pary at home. So it was for very close family. I suppose it was quite cosy. The one thing I would say is that there were a lot of kids, so it was pretty noisy.
On Sunday, we went to an engagement in Luton. We were from the groom’s side. The groom was my mum’s cousin. My aunt (mum’s sister) and her family also attended this party so it was good fun. My other aunt (mum’s cousin sister) also attending the party with her two little daughters. I suppose if you go to a wedding of a close relative then you would have a more enjoyable time compared to attending the wedding of someone you don’t know, or who isn’t so close to you in terms of family. My cousins and i sat together, and then all our parents at on a separate table. It was quite fun as we were just playing jokes and poking fun at each other. The good thing was that there were lots of us at the party so it was good to mix with different people.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Wedding plans and a surprise dinner invitation

I’m really looking forward to attending a wedding ceremony tomorrow taking place in Brighton. It’s going to be even more exciting as my aunt (mum’s sister), uncle and cousins have arrived from the US and are staying over at my house for the duration of their vacation. Also just I left this morning to come into work, my mum told me to come home quickly tonight, so i naturally asked her why. She said that we have a dinner invite for 9pm at one of my aunt’s house (her cousins’ house). She said that it will be fine as long as I get home around 7pm tonight.
I just hope that we come home from the dinner early enough so i can get a good night’s sleep before tomorrow.  Even though it’s going to be a long journey, i think we will still have lots of fun and time will fly by and before we know it, we will arrive at the venue. I know this because, yesterday, while my mum and I were working yesterday and so my aunt and her family went to Paddington to visit their other relatives (my uncle’s sister) and then they came back later that evening. So seeing as my mum and I haven’t seen them for 2 days, even though they are all staying at my house, catching up with them tonight after work and during the dinner party should be really fun.
Onto other news, my brother has completed his exams a few weeks ago and all he’s interested in doing now is watching TV and playing on his PS3. It seems like a boring life to me, just sitting around at home and watching TV all day, but there you go. My elder brother and i have encouraged him to go out with his friends and play in the park or go to the cinema and chill out, but he refuses to go.  I do find this a bit strange, as whilst he was revising for his GCSE’s,  all he could ever talk about was linking up with his mates and now when his exams are over and he’s got lots of free time, he doesn’t leave the house.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Looking forward to July

I am really very much looking forward to the start of the official summer holidays. Although I started my summer holidays at the end of the May, I am still looking forward to the end of July when both my brothers and all my cousins will be home for their summer holidays. My youngest brother should finish on the end of June right after his last GCSE exam so I am quite excited for him.

Another reason to look forward to July is that my relatives from New York City will be coming to stay at my house for a while. Although the house will be quite cramped for a while; my family and I make 5, which is perfect for us, as both my brothers and I have one bedroom each, housing another four will be quite a squeeze. My relatives are from my mum’s side of the family, my mum’s sister and her family. We haven’t seen each other since 2009, when my mum and I flew over to visit them after I completed my A-Level exams.

My mum’s sister and her family are thinking of staying at our house for 1 week and then going off to France for another week via Eurostar, and then coming back over to us for the remainder of their holidays, which should be for another 4/5 weeks. I know this because they called up my house and wanted to talk to me and do research for them about booking cheap flights and to find a nice hotel for them to reside in for the duration of their stay in Paris.

I am hoping that the weather in July will be much brighter and sunnier this year. I mean, the weather this June hasn’t been that great now has it? It’s been raining on the weekdays and raining on the weekends. It seems that there’s no end to the rain this month. I think the month of July should be bright and sunny with a cloudless sky. July should be a month about relaxing and lazing around with friends, watching movies or going to the beach and eating ice creams.

I am also planning to have one of my closest uni friends over at my house for a meals and a catch up. She has gone off to Morocco for a week or so and should be back at the end of this week. I think she said that she will be coming over this weekend, if not provably the next. I am quite keen to hear what she’s been up to whilst away on holiday and just chat about girly stuff in general.

At the moment nothing else seems to be going on in my life, but when it does I will let you know what I have been upto. I just can’t wait for the next two weeks to fly by as quickly as possible. Before I forget, my exam results will be coming out probably by the end of June or the beginning of June, but when I do get them then I will let you know. 

Friday, 3 June 2011

A relaxing week ahead

As the week draws to a close, i am just looking forward to chilling out at home.  Thankfully i don’t have any plans, so I’m just going to take each day as it comes, unless my parents have planned something already, something i may not be aware of.
So far in my holidays, I have been to two weddings and one mehndi party. If you remember reading my last blog titled, ‘Dusty Pink’ i wrote a lot about colour and dress codes. It turns out that what I predicted and assumed came true. The mehndi party was a ladies only event. However a lot of people wore different colours; red, orange, green, blue and even black. In one sense this was good as everyone looked really colourful and bright.
On to other news, my college friends have planned two trips as a sort of get together after not meeting up for about a year due to busy university schedules. They have planned a trip to Thorpe Park and also a surprise birthday party for one my close college friends.  I am really looking forward to both events. I am looking forward to the Thorpe Park trip because this is an event that us college mates to every summer since the first year of college.
So I have been in touch with my friends through facebook messages and phone calls. It does feel nice to catch up after such a long time. Although I am in touch with one of my friends, ‘The Birthday Girl’ through facebook, we don’t really talk very often over the phone, so it was a nice surprise when she called me on my house phone just to talk to me and catch up. She remarked, ‘It feels nice to hear your voice after such a long time.’ I wasn’t sure what to reply to that so I just laughed at her comment. During the years I spent at college I developed good friendships with a lot of the girls studying the same A levels as me, but she was one of my first friends in my biology class. We still do maintain a very good friendship; I mean we must do if we are still texting and calling each other in the evenings even if it has been two years after I have left college, right?
The birthday surprise is to meet up at Ilford Bowling centre and then go to Nando’s for lunch. This is quite convenient for me as the bowling centre is a short bus ride from my house. Thankfully they have organised it on a day when I am free. So I don’t have to change any of my personal plans just to accommodate my friend’s birthday party. I am actually looking forward to meeting my old college friends as it will be a good chance to meet up and catch up on all the goings on in our individual lives. Seeing as well have all finished our exams and coursework for this academic year,  am really forward to talking to my friends about things other than our studies.                                 

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Dusty Pink

So this is the final week of examinations taking place and then our summer holidays begin. I only have one exam left which I will be sitting on Thursday morning. My final exam, I think is the toughest exam I am going to sit so far out of all my exams. Thankfully I have achieved good coursework marks for this module so I am aiming for a high outcome from the exam and the module overall.
After my final exam I just plan on relaxing and chilling out. Some of the many things I do look forward to is one of my cousins hen night (mehndi party) which is taking place this Saturday evening. I am looking forward to it as it gives me a chance to relax and enjoy the company of my cousins and other relatives. I think this party will be quite interesting as the dress code colour is dusty pink. Traditionally colours such as greens, yellows and oranges are worn on the mehndi night, but obviously this bride and her family are quite unique having chosen a completely different colour.
For some us dusty pink is quite easy to get right, however it will be very interesting to see how the mature women get the colour wrong. Of course there some people who just wear whatever they want completely ignoring the dress code colour. I however think there is no excuse for this as the invitation card clearly states the precise colour so people should follow the instruction and just attend the function wearing the specified colour.
Unfortunately due to the wedding taking place the following Tuesday (why couldn’t they have picked Monday, I wonder?) I don’t think my mum or I will be attending the wedding ceremony, because we are both going to be working on that day. Even though the ceremony starts at 8pm, by the time I reach home from work it will be 7pm and I will be so tired from a long day (bearing in mind that I wake up at 6am), I don’t think I will be in the party mood and wanting to socialise with relatives. At least my brothers will go to the wedding with my dad, as they won’t be doing anything during the daytime due to them having the summer holidays. Although one of my brother’s already said to me that he wished that he had a summer job just so he can get out of attending the evening weddings. I told him, ‘What a reason to want a summer job?’ in my sarcastic voice. As my brother opened his mouth to give me a reply, I told him that it was a rhetorical question. He quietly nodded and went upstairs to his room. Ah well, that’s funny brothers for you.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Looking forward to the end of the month

This month is quite a busy time period for students as they have final pieces of coursework and/or dissertations to complete and exams to sit. So far I feel that I have done quite well. I do have 2 more exams left and then I will be free. I can’t wait to alternate my current lifestyle which just consists of studying and revising for my upcoming exams.
I do feel that I do have the hardest two exams to sit last, as the first two exams were quite straightforward and I didn’t have any major problems with them. The one thing I do hate about exams is that after completing an exam, regardless of the paper, my friends and I get together and always go over the answers. Some people just want to forget about and put it at the back of their minds, but some of my friends were quite persistent about going through the exam questions in detail and comparing answers. For some of the questions a group of us got one answer and a few of my friends got some different answers. Obviously this can be confusing and sometimes frustrating for some of us, but at the same time we do not know who is right.
Something else which I find quite funny about exams and revision is that even though at the beginning of the year, our lecturers do give us the time to actually go into their office during their specific hours in which students are allowed to ask the lecturers questions (for help) regarding the topic covered, hardly anyone goes during term time. As soon as we come back after Easter, all students are eager to arrange meetings and contact lecturers requesting help on particular questions. Why do students leave things at the last minute and not deal with them as soon as they arise?
Personally, I did go to some lecturers during the term to ask for help on certain tutorial questions, but even so I did find myself arranging to meet up with my lecturers to discuss some questions even after Easter.
One of the good things about revision, is that even though revising by myself can be helpful because of the peace and quiet, I do also like revising with my friends just to see how other people revise and it’s also wise to help friends with questions they may have trouble with and my friends also help me with any questions I do have trouble with.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Spring Time

Spring time is such a beautiful time of year with flowers blooming. This season makes me appreciate all the beautiful colours within our life. However this spring my time has been spent studying for my second year final exams which I am due to take next month.
Thankfully all my coursework is out of the way and I have handed everything in. I am just awaiting a couple of coursework marks so then I can work out my average and find out how many marks I need in my exam to do well overall for my second year. The second year of my studies counts towards 25% of my final degree, so even though I am not in my final year, my second year is personally important to me.
Even though I am currently on my Easter holidays, I feel like the days are just passing by too quickly for my liking, especially when I really want them to slow down. I can’t believe I’ve only got a week left before I have to go back to university for my final revision classes, before my exams.
Overall this academic year has flown by quite quickly. It has been great fun, no matter how busy it has been. I am just looking forward to completing my revision and exams and not having anything else to worry about and I can then enjoy my summer without worrying about my studies.
Apart from my studies I have managed to attend two weddings with family which was good fun. Although my family are not particularly close to the groom or bride, a lot of my cousins and uncles did attend the wedding so we did get to catch up. One of my cousins who I am particularly close to did also attended the wedding. I haven’t seen her in almost a year because she works abroad, so it was particularly interesting and exciting to get to spend some time together.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Easter holidays are here!

Wow! What a busy month it has been for me. I had to submit 4 pieces of coursework this month, each piece for different modules of my programme; mathematics.  The deadline for my final piece was last Saturday at 3am in the morning, needless to say that I was up till the early hours of Saturday morning finishing my coursework off. This coursework is quite important as it counts towards 30% of my final mark for one of my modules called numerical methods. I may have mentioned this in my previous blog. What a way to end the term.

As I submitted this coursework at the end of this term, I suppose it will be quite a while till I receive my marks. Hopefully I shall receive all my coursework marks at the beginning of next term, if not then at least before my exams. This term has been quite strenuous and busy, especially compared to the last. I just can’t wait till the exams are over and then I can enjoy my summer holiday peacefully with no revision or studying bugging me.

Although it is the beginning of the Easter holidays, I will be very busy as I have 4 exams to revise for and they are all very important in ensuring that I do well overall this year in my studies. I can’t believe that there is only 4 and a half weeks left till I sit my first exam left. Such a short amount of time and so much to do. Luckily I have made sure that all my notes are up to date and I have made some photocopies of some notes from my friends just to fill in any minor gaps in my folder. So hopefully, it’s just a case of reading trough my notes and answering past paper questions under time conditions. Luckily I do have two revision sessions for 2 of the modules left after the Easter break. So if I do have any questions, I can ask my lecturers then. First I just want to have a thorough read of my notes for myself just to find out what I do and don’t understand, and then I can go further from there.  

Aside from that, over the last few weeks I have been making frequent visits to the careers library to find out what’s going on in terms of job availability. Turns out not a lot. It’s quite tough to get a graduate job nowadays. There is a lot of competition and approximately 30 people are competing for just one vacancy. The number of vacancies available has decreased as the years go by and the job market is extremely competitive.  So I am now looking to do some postgraduate study after completing my degree. I’m not sure what kind of postgraduate degree I want to do at the moment; I’m just doing some research and looking at my options.

Anyways that’s enough for now. Hopefully I will be able to write again soon. Until then, take care.