While I was watching the University Challenge today, I had this extraordinary feeling: the Imperial affection. It was not the first time… There are these little moments during the day when I suddenly realise I am at the best university in the world: when I put on my Imperial hoodie, when I look up at Queen’s Tower, when I see Imperial in the news, or when I see the Imperial guys beating Oxford in the University Challenge.
It’s hard to define this feeling: I would say it’s some kind of “belonging somewhere” feeling. Because I am terribly, terribly proud that I am an Imperial student and I belong here. But it’s also a way of “commitment”: I am wholeheartedly committed to Imperial. I take every chance to show that I am an “Imperial girl”: I put on my ID card in the morning and don’t take it off until I come home in the afternoon. I want everyone to see that I am from Imperial (which only interesting on the tube, since I spend most of my day at Imperial, where… hmmm… everyone is from Imperial… 🙂 ).
The first “Imperial affection” moment was in the summer, when I got an email from the ICT. It was a long email about all the ICT things we can access with our Imperial account. But the main point was: I finally had an Imperial account! One could say it’s not a big deal, it’s just an automatically generated @ic.ac.uk email address really. But this was the first sign, the first real proof, that I’m officially an Imperial student! Then they started to send us all these starter essentials like the invoice for the accommodation, which was less nice… But still, whenever I write down my email address, I have this “affection”, I have this strange feeling, that I really am an Imperial student.
When I got my ID card, I was staring at it for half a day. I couldn’t believe it: I never had an ID card before (my high school didn’t do such thing) and it was always some “grown-up” thing… ID card with a real organisation and barcode and photo and everything! Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes I just randomly look at it, and all I can think of is “I did it. I really did it. I am here. I am at the best uni. That’s really me. I should start believe it…” But it’s still hard to believe: during the Christmas holiday I was seriously worried that I was just dreaming the Autumn term and when I came back, they will just look at me asking who I am. Fortunately I had my ID card with me, so in these doubtful moments I just looked at it and tried to reassure myself that I should focus on the revision instead…
It’s very strange, really. The campus is huge, and there are thousands of students and teachers there. Hundreds of different faces I meet every day. And yet it feels like a home, it feels like a huge family. I love to walk around on campus, and see all these buildings, which were once (not very long time ago) so strange, and now so familiar. And it’s obvious that I have started to collect all the different types of Imperial hoodies and sweatshirts: it’s the only reasonable thing to do.
My flatmates pointed out today, that maybe I’m a bit too “in love” with Imperial: my facebook cover photo is the main entrance, I have 3 different Imperial-related things listed on my profile, every second item on my timeline has something to do with Imperial…. But I am indeed in love with Imperial, I love going there in the morning, I love studying there, I love coming home to the biggest Imperial hall of residence, I love wearing Imperial hoodie, I love wearing my ID card, I love wearing the “genius at work” Imperial silicone wristband, I love writing down my @ic.ac.uk email address. I love every bit of being an Imperial student.
Yes, my name is Dora and I have an Imperial affection. 🙂