Being in one of the most prestigious universities in the world comes with its pros and cons. Coming to Imperial has helped pushed me in ways I have never thought imaginable. Looking back, I find it hard to believe the progress I have made and the development I have gone through with the encouragement and support of the university and my fellow friends. However, being in a competitive environment like this can also lead to one oversaturating their focus in order to achieve the most out of everything. In the last few years, I have always aimed to submerge myself into every opportunity I am given, and loved to challenge myself whenever I can by trying out new experiences. It finally hit me that three years of my University life have just come and pass, and even though the past few years have been a journey that will stick with me for life, I aim to use my final year to cherish the relationships that I have made, and to prioritize on things that I truly love too.
Coming to the UK was the first time that I have experienced staying away from home and needing to support myself entirely. Throughout the journey, it also made me realize that I never had to go through this journey on my own. This experience allowed me to form intimate relationships with so many people that I deem as my closest friends. It also allowed me to understand how easy it is to be a little more selfless and how celebrating another love one’s success can so often be a greater feeling than celebrating your own.
The pandemic has also drastically affected the way we view relationships and the ease of communication. With the campus being closed in the past year and with everyone studying in their home countries, we lost the ease of bumping into someone in the hallways and randomly striking up a 20 minutes conversation. It made me realize that in order to appreciate and cherish a relationship, it must be a joint effort from both parties. When I graduate in less than a year’s time, I’m not going to be casually bumping into these friends in hallways anymore. Therefore, isn’t it time to start making a change?
For this year, I aim to prioritize the people that I love by small efforts in the form of casual dinners, weekend trips or even just short calls to catch-up with one another. In Imperial, people often get so blinded by the amount of workload that they pile onto themselves that without a coursework to work towards, we find ourselves forgetting to socialize with one another out of the context of work. Make it a point to text a friend you have not talked to in a while, ask them how are they doing. You’ll never know how much this might brighten up someone’s day. 🙂
Doing What I Love
I have always been really conflicted about what clubs and societies to join in the past few years. My love for both the arts and STEM have made it hard for me to prioritize what I truly want. I decided to join the A Cappella society in my second year and it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made, with both the amazing music we have produced together and the fantastic friends I have made along the way. However, whenever I hear about people talking about joining clubs and societies such as Imperial Racing Green, Imperial Robotics Society, etc. to further develop themselves, I never fail to feel out of place and question my decisions as being in a STEM focused University, I am conflicted about where my love for the arts can be applied to.
Coming to my final year, I started to realize that after graduating, it might be so much harder for me to discover opportunities to showcase my love for the arts and to be given a platform to perform with people who have the same passion and interest as I. Especially with the pandemic, it saddened me to see how little support the arts industries have been given as compared to other industries to help get through these tough times. Conversely, it warmed my heart to see how much different individuals go out of their way to raise money to help out these industries. The pandemic also made a lot of people (me included) apprehend how much the world revolves around the arts, and helped me find my footing on being proud of however much I can contribute in this setting.
That is why for my final year, I hope to be able to just do what I love, and be happy with my own accomplishments regardless of how it compares to others. Everyone has their own strengths and passions, so why not do the best you can and be the best version of yourself? 🙂 In conclusion, I hope that regardless of what stage of life you are in right now, we can all learn to prioritize ourselves and the people around us, and live our lives with no regrets!