Life across the Channel: Year One

It seems to me almost unbelievable that the first year at UCL is already behind me. The last term went by very quickly, but it is certainly worth mentioning.

Academic year at UCL is specific as most of the final exams are concentrated in this period. At the end of March, students are already familiar with all the required knowledge, lectures are finished and it is only up to them to effectively prepare for this utter most critical and important final stage.

One month or in another word thirty days, that was the time I had to organise and implement my whole revision process. To an uninvolved observer it might seem like a huge amount of time – at the beginning of April, I used to think, a bit naively, the same. However, if you are supposed to prepare perfectly for eight, two or three hours long and demanding written exams, you quite quickly begin to doubt your initial judgement. Taking into account university policy that ‘Failure is not an option.’, therefore the student has basically only one single attempt to sit an exam, the whole situation suddenly becomes even more stressful.

Honestly, I do not remember much about the exam period – it was indeed very hectic considering endless struggles to find the building in which the exam was sat (most conveniently all outside the university campus), or almost fatal personal mistake when I, unaware, switched the dates of two exams. The more I was relieved when I finally, after a month of restless waiting, found out the results. From all the exams, even the dreaded Statistics, I have been awarded FIRST in every single one.

By completing this marathon, my time at UCL and in London in general was not quite over yet. Immediately after finishing the exams, I and my friends started so called Flat Hunt, i.e. tiring search for a suitable accommodation for the next school year. I can obediently report that after seeing nearly two dozen flats, we found the right one, and I do not have to worry about not having a roof above my head in September.

I was also very delighted to hear that in a quite competitive process I have qualified for the Transition Mentor role for new NatSci students. The purpose of this is to help them to adapt to the unknown university environment and reach their academic potential.

Another tick on my imaginary checklist of this year’s goals was a participation in Global Citizenship Programme: Global Environmental Justice (Justice & Equality) – fourteen days long project filled with lectures, tutorials and workshops bringing together students from across UCL to explore the biggest global challenges we face today, to seek the solutions, and at the same time to develop professional and academic skills and diversify own social network. For me personally, the greatest experience was the COP 2017 simulation (Conference of the Parties in the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), in which we represented the Republic of Kiribati, one of the most threatened in the world in the event of a sea level rise.

This year, my life has changed almost fundamentally, bringing many new opportunities and experiences that I could only dream of without the support of The Kellner Family Foundation. Thank you. Nowadays, I am already looking forward to what is waiting for me in London after the summer vacation, which I am spending as a Process Development Intern at Sotio a.s., i.e. a biotechnological company for the treatments of cancer and autoimmune diseases.


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