My first Imperial Open Day

I have never been to an Imperial Open Day before. When I was applying, I lived in Hungary, so I couldn’t just turn up on a random Wednesday at London… But yesterday, I finally attended one of these, and it was a-ma-zing. So let’s start from the beginning…

I got an email a couple of weeks ago. Perks of being a student blogger: when there is a marketing work, you’re the first to be asked 🙂 So they asked me if I liked speaking in front of a lot of people, because there will be a talk on the Open Day where they need students (i.e. student bloggers) to present. Well, I obviously signed up within 2 seconds 😀 Then we needed to choose a topic. Course? Societies? Halls? Other? I did what I usually do in these kind of situations: I asked my sister… Incidentally, she was also attending the Open Day, so I basically did a non-representative audience poll… 😀

[Side-note: in case you’re wondering about the contradictions in my family history. My father moved to London 3 years ago, my sister and brother also moved here half a year later. I stayed in Hungary with my mother because I had some unbelievably awesome teachers in high school whom I didn’t want to leave, so I finished the school there and applied to uni in the UK. My sister finishes sixth form next year, so she is currently in the application stage, going to open days and checking uni websites all the time…]

Anyway. So I choose to talk about Woodward Hall because my sister said she is not interested in my course, and I don’t do any societies (yeah, I know, I am kind of boring…). I submitted the powerpoint and then prepared for the day (meaning I put aside my favourite Imperial sweatshirt so it would be wearable on the talk…).

On the tube to South Ken, we saw three boys, who looked like “uni applying” age. Me and my sister started to make bids on whether they’re also going there or not. Then they started to pass around a paper with the Imperial logo and a big barcode… Ahh well, if the great and wonderful Imperial College London has an Open Day, suddenly everyone is going to South Ken…

To those who have never been to an Open Day (like me before yesterday…) here is how you can imagine the whole thing. There is a main registration tent on Queen’s Lawn, and also that’s where the Accommodation Tours start from. Yes, they do tours to Beit, Southside, Eastside, even Wilson. No, they don’t do tours to Woodward 😀 Then there is the Queen’s Tower Rooms (that big thing under the Sherfield Building) where all the departments and other things like Horizons and the Union have separate stalls with flyers and free pens and nice people from the departments who are happy to tell you all the nice things about the courses… Then there are the departmental talks: the Admission Tutors talking about what it requires to get an offer from Imperial. And then there are other talks like the “This is Imperial” talk, in which I took part 😀

When we arrived there was an awfully long queue to the registration where we got our goodie bags (I got one, too! #happiness) and some leaflets about the day. They were handing out last year’s Accommodation Guide, which reminded me…

… I did an email interview a few weeks ago about my hall. (Yes, marketing stuff: student bloggers first.) They said they’re doing the new Accommodation Guide and they needed some quotes about the halls. Well, I wrote a page 😀 But I never heard back, so I didn’t know if any of what I said got printed. I wanted to check though, so I walked around and found the accommodation stall. I asked if I could get the latest and newest Guide (they looked at me like “what are you talking about” but then they pointed me to the one person who knew what I was talking about and he gave me the shiny “fresh out of printing” flyer). And I quickly scrolled through until I found this:

#lifegoals
#lifegoals

Woooooooooooooowww I am in the official Imperial Accommodation Guide! This day couldn’t have started any better… After I sent the picture to my mother and posted it to Facebook, I showed my sister where her first open day talk was, and I went to my “second home”, ACEX building. Because it’s one thing to choose the topic for the talk and do the powerpoint presentation, but writing a speech is also useful… So I sat down on my favourite sofa outside LT1 and started to write the speech. Or at least I was trying to write the speech. But there were two departmental talks in ACEX  (ChemEng and MechEng) and I just couldn’t sit there and watch all those lost souls walking around in despair trying to find LT1 (even though there were arrows and signs all over the place…). So I started to play the usual “Can I help you?” which I already mastered at the Imperial Festival…

(Question to those who were 40 minutes late to a 1-hour presentation: just why bother?…)

So after the presentation started and everyone found their lecture theatre, I started to work on my speech again. I wrote down a couple of jokes and tried to memorise them, but if there is one thing I am terrible at, it’s rehearsing for a presentation. I am more of a “standing up there and improvising” kind of person…

Once my sister finished her departmental talk, we had lunch then went to my talk at the Pippard Lecture Theatre. When I got there, the other bloggers said we have 3 minutes each. Well, if there is one another thing I am terrible at, it’s keeping the time limit for a presentation…

The first speaker was the Head of Student Recruitment and Outreach who talked about how awesome place Imperial is, and showed some numbers and some general information about the College. Then the next one was the Deputy President of the Union, who talked about how awesome the Union is, and showed some numbers and some general information about the Union. Then Franz was the next, who talked about how big London is compared to St Martin. Then I was the next… And Harry after me, who talked about how he built a hovercraft and joined the gaming society.

So my presentation was about Woodward Hall. My favourite hall <3 I was talking about how far it is, how great the community is, how quiet the cemetery is, how many pizzas they ordered and how good the view is from the kitchen. I think the audience liked it (they laughed a lot, that’s a good sign, right?).

After that, we looked around in the Library then went back to ACEX where the last of the three departmental talks was just about to start. I asked Dr Kogelbauer if I could just sit in without registration, because I have never been to an open day talk before and… I was curious, you know 😀

So me (who already finished the first year of ChemEng) and my sister (who wants to apply to AeroEng) went to a lecture for students who are thinking about applying to ChemEng. Logical, right? But even though it doesn’t make a lot of sense, I loved every bit of it… Dr Kogelbauer talked about what chemical engineering means, what the course involves, what the different options in the later years are, and most importantly, what the entry requirements are.

It was the kind of talk after which I was like “OMG I want to apply to ChemEng immediately” and then I realised I am already here… Ohh I love our Department so much 😀

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