As I mentioned in my first post, I actually had a whole post about my experiences over the first few weeks. Here’s part 1 of 2 (respecting chronological order of course) !
A barrage of languages greeted my ears as I walked into the college bar. After completing my backbreaking ten mile journey from the suburbs of north-west London to Imperial, I suddenly felt as if I had entered a different world. Three weeks into the term, the wide diversity of people on campus is still astonishing.
But let’s backtrack .
Fresher’s Week has been elevated to an almost mythical status by students across the UK, but it’s no exaggeration to say that it’s an experience unlike anything else. At the Mingle and Fresher’s Ball it felt as if I was meeting someone from a different corner of the world every ten minutes. I’ve definitely learned a lot more about some cultures in the past few weeks than I have in the last few years. Within all this variety we share the common backdrop of South Kensington, a neighbourhood with world renowned museums, a perpetual flock of visitors, and an eclectic mix of street performers. Whether it’s a flaming trombonist or a break-dancing monkey, you never quite know what you’ll see!
Then came the Fresher’s Fair which was an assortment of practically every activity known to man. Like everyone else, I was hit by a wave of euphoria and keenly signed up to anything and everything that caught my attention. A 1000 emails later, I realise this was probably a miscalculation on my part. Nevertheless, I did manage to find quite a few clubs which genuinely interested me and just last weekend I went on a photo walk with PhotoSoc around Borough Market. The results were hunger inducing to say the least, but it was a nice way to meet other photographers and learn a surprising deal about exposure and composition. The “work hard, play hard” mentality is definitely a motto most Imperial students take to heart, with a great deal of people knowing as much about their interests as they do their fields of study.
The “word hard, play hard” way of life is a two-sided philosophy and would be nothing if we forgot about the work! The first week was fairly gentle and consisted primarily of introductions to my various courses, but from the second week we hit the ground running. It’s a big change from secondary school where it was expected for teachers to stop and clarify content during lessons and provide individual help. It definitely takes time to get used. At the same time it’s been fun to approach the so-called “simpler” areas of mathematics such as logic and probability with a lot more rigour and formal, mathematical language.
And now, just like that, three weeks have gone by. In between lectures, problem sheets, societies, hall events, and catching up on sleep (or, at least, attempting to) there’s hardly any time to catch your breath. I’m starting to understand why people liken university life to a whirlwind. It feels like 2015 is right around the corner.