So some of my friends have been wondering: How on EARTH did an engineer get a space on Imperial’s blogging team? Well, I figured I’d post my competition entry and let you guys judge it for yourselves. Also, this saves me writing a whole new blog for this week… But next week’s will be killer, promise.
Overwhelming. Terrifying. Exhilarating. And the big question - did I make the right decision?
If you’re reading this I would guess that you’re going/contemplating of going to Imperial College London. I won’t tell you if you should come here or not, but I can tell you a little bit about how I came to be here and what’s been going on for me so far.
My name is Aislinn (pronounced Ashlynn), and I’m a fresher here at Imperial studying Biomedical Engineering *insert nerdy cheer here*. I’m from Ireland (the Free State bit wa-hey), hence the Irish name and obnoxious writing style! It was far from easy deciding to leave my comfortable town of Limerick and move to London, a feeling maybe the internationals amongst you will understand, but it’s already Week 3 and, I have to say, I’m feeling good!
For me, leaving home was pretty awful – my friends and boyfriend seemed to reach a new peak of amazing on the night of my departure, the feckers. I cried on the plane, something that made the random middle-aged man next to me on the tiny Ryanair cabin rather uncomfortable… He pretended to sleep for the majority of the flight – a true testament to the effect of an emotional teenager on the Irish male! Once we touched ground I felt a little better and the excitement started to kick in. Needless to say, cue a sigh of relief from terrified middle-aged man.
From the moment I pulled up to my new residence (the fantastic Garden & Weeks Halls), I felt welcomed. Literally, I was met with a Hall senior within ten seconds of stepping out of the car. And fair play to them, the sturdy lads even managed to carry the equivalent of my body weight in luggage up to my third floor room. The rest of the day was a whirlwind of new faces and a faint smell of paint lingering about the halls, and we took an epic boat trip down the Thames that night. I’ll spare you the merry drunken details but I can safely say that within twelve hours of moving in I felt right at home… And let’s ignore the drunken Irish stereotype, please – I get enough of that from my hard-core British roommate Toni and her eerily accented elevator voice.
One of the most important things that I’ve learned in my first month here is this: Nicknames are a fresher’s best friend. On my first night I met two lads who would soon become my new bezzie mates/the banes of my existence, R-Patz and Shaggy, aka Craig and Alex. They were christened by myself on that fateful night because I decided their real names weren’t exciting enough, and because they both so highly resemble their namesakes that it’s almost criminal that they’re not actually called R-Patz and Shaggy (the Scooby-Doo variety, not the hip-hop star). Other alter-egos to be found around Garden & Weeks include one Michael Cera lookalike, R-Patz Number 2, Buckles (named because of his ability to open beers with his belt buckle), and Jedi (named so because I can’t pronounce his name, Jewaad, without sounding like I have a speech impediment)… I’m telling you, nicknames are invaluable in the morning when you’re bleary-eyed and slow to remember someone’s real name.
Fresher’s week was pretty insane. Our hall team was unbelievably organised and had bonding activities planned for every night of our first week – I ended up being so busy and having so much fun that I slightly neglected my poor family and friends back home, only managing a few quick Skype conversations now and then before heading back downstairs to socialise. Now that I’ve settled in a bit I’ve found a bit more balance – I still have yet to get a hang of the cooking thing though, my housemates have learned to duck and run when I approach the hob!
If you do decide to chance your arm and come to one of the UK’s best universities (sorry I had to put that in somewhere, it’s a matter of my new-found college pride), keep in mind that not every day is going to be fantastic and exciting. College is hard work wherever you go, academically speaking, and it’s easy to feel homesick when I’m looking at a stack of problem sheets and my friends’ Facebook updates are informing me about the sick night out I missed the night before. But life at Imperial so far has been serving me well – my new friends understand what I’m saying despite my accent ninety per cent of the time rather than twenty, and I’ve navigated my way on the Tube enough times now to feel justified sneering at tourists like a proper Londoner.
And so my answer to the big question? Right decision and a half!