• Question: What were you like in school and did you ever think you'd be a scientist ?

    Asked by potatochild on 12 Jun 2019.
    • Photo: Rebecca Moon

      Rebecca Moon answered on 12 Jun 2019:


      I was very studious and sensible. I really wanted to be a doctor, and was determined to get into medical school. I knew I needed to work hard to achieve that, so I did.

    • Photo: Shobhana Nagraj

      Shobhana Nagraj answered on 12 Jun 2019:


      I was pretty sporty at school and also really enjoyed studying – Art was my favourite subject, and I also really enjoyed biology and French. I didn’t really decide I wanted to be a doctor until after my GCSEs – when we were asked to start thinking about careers and chose our A-level subjects. I didn’t always think I’d be a scientist, I went to India over the summer holiday before I chose my A-levels, and when I returned, I somehow felt strongly that I would like to be a doctor! I’ve really enjoyed being a scientist since!

    • Photo: Rachel Hardy

      Rachel Hardy answered on 12 Jun 2019:


      I was always very keen and worked hard – I enjoyed a lot of different subjects like foreign languages and English literature as well as all of the sciences. I did over worry a bit about exam results – I’d always be convinced I had done badly and spend ages worrying about it. Then the results would always be really good in the end. So if I could go back I would try and tell myself not to waste time worrying over something until it’s happened. I considered a few different careers, such as becoming a lawyer, before I decided that I would like to pursue a career in science. I didn’t decide exactly what science career I would like to pursue until University though. While I was doing my GCSEs and A-levels, all I knew was that I found science so fascinating that I would like to follow some kind of career working in it

    • Photo: Deepak Chandrasekharan

      Deepak Chandrasekharan answered on 13 Jun 2019:


      Smaller than I am now! I was generally good but was easily distracted and also enjoyed playing pranks on my friends which meant I got into trouble now and then.

      However, I really enjoyed learning new things though as I was curious and so would work hard to find out things and learn new stuff – and so did well in assessments.

      Once I knew what I wanted to go to uni to study medicine, I worked really hard and did my best to try make it happen! You can’t control the outcome, but you can do your best and control the process!

    • Photo: Kaitlin Wade

      Kaitlin Wade answered on 13 Jun 2019:


      I was pretty good at school… sensible, studious and didn’t really get in trouble. Had a couple of detentions for being late but nothing much more than that. I didn’t know what I wanted to be or do until I was in A-level, looking at my options when I thought, “I like Biology and Mathematics so I’ll find somewhere that does both of them”. So I chose a University that did both and have just been continuing with whatever opportunities have arisen to get me where I am today.

    • Photo: Marianne King

      Marianne King answered on 13 Jun 2019:


      I was very good at school as I was so scared of getting into trouble! I worked very hard because I was a bit of a perfectionist and used to get very distressed if I felt I had done badly in something. Being a scientist was always the goal for me, even though I thought I wanted to do a lot of other things along the way! There was a time where I almost applied to do Art at university but ultimately science won. 🙂

    • Photo: Nina Rzechorzek

      Nina Rzechorzek answered on 13 Jun 2019:


      (Most) of the time I was diligent, well behaved, and very goal-driven. Science was challenging but fascinated me, so I knew it would somehow feature in my future career. I did however want to try ‘everything’ which meant cramming in a lot of things around school (I was very lucky to have parents that were prepared to transport me to all of these activities). I loved team sports, walking expeditions and amateur dramatics. For a number of years much of my holiday time was taken up with getting work experience for vet school – but these were some of the most fun adventures of all. There are still so many things I wish I could have tried when I was younger but there just weren’t enough hours in the day! Maybe that’s why I’ve ended up in circadian biology – I need to figure out how to make more time!

    • Photo: Matthew Bareford

      Matthew Bareford answered on 13 Jun 2019:


      I’m going to be brutally honest here…

      I was excluded from school on a few occasions and was also labelled as disruptive and a problem.

      For the most part, this was actually due to my Tourette’s (which I hadn’t had a diagnosis for and that wasn’t as commonly recognised then as it is now). But eventually I did just live up to that notion for a short period of time – hence the exclusions.

      Once I reached year 10 however which was when I started my GCSE’s, I stopped living up to what was being said, and although lots of teachers still saw me as being disruptive because of my tics, I made sure I didn’t get excluded and avoided any further trouble so that I could study harder and do well in my exams

    • Photo: David Wilson

      David Wilson answered on 13 Jun 2019:


      I think I was pretty average at school, certainly not the smartest! I always enjoyed science at school but that doesn’t mean I was good at it. I found Biology really interesting but Chemistry was really difficult and I had to work quite hard to be any good at it. I enjoyed sport and music also. I cant really remember what I thought i was going to be when ” i grew up” but I went to University to study something I enjoyed and found interesting.

    • Photo: Kate Timms

      Kate Timms answered on 17 Jun 2019:


      I was good and I enjoyed lessons for the most part, but I was always itching to get out as soon as the bell rang. I loved the outdoors!

    • Photo: Thiloka Ratnaike

      Thiloka Ratnaike answered on 17 Jun 2019:


      I was a bit of an in-betweener, I liked all the different groups within my year – the ‘cool girls’, the ‘sporty girls’, the ‘artsy ones’… I basically tried my hand at everything and enjoyed most things. I was also very hardworking, didn’t like the idea of homework overhanging me so would try to complete this as quickly as possible so that I could go off and do sports/music!

    • Photo: Ettie Unwin

      Ettie Unwin answered on 19 Jun 2019:


      I was well behaved at school – I liked learning and saw the benefit of getting a good education. I really enjoyed maths and physics at school but didn’t think much further than that until I was studying for my alevels. I found work experience really helped me work out what I wanted to do.

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