Luck is like a short electric pulse – like a signal with a miniscule duty cycle. It’s on for a while… and then switches off for months. If only I were a character from an RPG, who could eat cookies to increase their luck.
Fortunately yesterday (i.e. Monday the 16th) I was going through one of my lucky intervals. I got news that I might be going on an exchange to the University of California! I’ve always wanted to study in the States seeing as their teaching is vastly different from an UK university. Unfortunately Imperial only sends four students, and my name has only been put forward from the Mech Eng department. Ah well, we’ll see what happens…! According to Mech Eng, I have a 70% chance of getting chosen. I have no idea how this figure was calculated, but it sounds good.
The application process involved writing an essay, followed by an interview with a panel of people. Apparently I had ‘impressed them all’ but unless mumbling in the interviewers’ faces is impressive I don’t see how I could have done. Perhaps telling them that I was a blogger was a positive move! I was not sure if it would be appropriate to mention seeing as I was emphasizing the ‘teaching’ and ‘top-class education’ and ‘diversity of cultures’ and such. But when they asked me ‘What makes you the ideal Imperial representative?’ I felt I had to mention this blog.
There are numerous reasons I want to go to California, none of which I outlined in the interview:
1. I’m going to learn how to surf. Provided I’m near the coast.
2. I want to ride on the Liberty ships (that famously fractured because the engineer had not taken into account Ductile-to-Brittle transition of steel). Apparently if you tell the guys you study Fracture Mechanics at Imperial with Dr Crofton, senior tutor of Mech Eng, they give you a free ride! I don’t do fracture mechanics, but it’s worth a try : )
3. I want to enjoy look at the sun.
4. I want to be closer to my family. Well, closer than I am now – America does span across four time zones. Belgium does not even cover half of one.
6. Making contacts so it’s easier to get a PhD and benefiting from a global education…
With all this excitement I keep forgetting two key things. I might not go. And if by luck I do get chosen, I have to leave Imperial behind. I don’t think I’d recognize myself if the me from two years ago saw the me of today, and this must be because of how the university has influenced me. I’m no longer the inferior push-over I was back in high-school, at least I hope I’m not. I’ve met some of the smartest people in my life; people who will definitely go on to become world famous. I’ve made some good friends whom I’ll miss sorely.
When I think about how much has changed these past few years I can feel my eyes getting itchy…and when I realize that I still have a long way to go to becoming my ideal person the tears flow freely. I can only imagine that an exchange to California, be it to Berkeley, LA or San Diego, will aid and strengthen my personal and academic development.
(…did you actually read through all that? That was cheesier than my motivation essay!!)