One cm of snow and specialized workplaces of chaos

The temperature has dropped down below the critical zero degrees of Celsius, most meteorological stations report upon the lowest temperatures measured in ages, and the media informs about the disastrous impact on public transport. If you didn’t publish a photograph or a video of one-centimetre high snowdrifts on Instagram, it is like you wouldn’t have even existed. Hashtag: impatiently waiting for the tube for more than two minutes!

A specific form of solid state water seems to inhibit all the processes taking place in a multicellular organism called London. However, this obviously does not concern us, students. Even though the four weeks long strike of most of the UK academic staff, including UCL, may have had some of an impact, and shady entering university buildings has become almost a routine action worthy of secret service agents. Current situation has grown up to be a tough choice between supporting the strike and at the same time not wanting to miss one of the few lectures which were not affected.

Simultaneously, the calendar slowly but surely counts down last couple of weeks until the very end of the second term, i.e. the end of the lecture period, after which ‘only’ the second-year final exams at UCL remain to pass. Easy.

This, of course, means only one thing: the deadlines for all projects submissions are approaching. At this stage of term, it actually seems like the dreaded protocols from inorganic labs just magically appear on my desk. Moreover, during my allocated sessions in these specialized workplaces of chaos, the only thing I try to do is winning a bet (not making the fire alarm go off) and at the same time successfully finishing the experiment while remaining my sanity. And, obviously, I aspire to do the most important thing – to get as many different spectra and graphs, so I could find out during my so-symbolic midnight tea-tasting sessions in the library what compound I prepared.

One would almost have forgot that millions of years ago and in a galaxy far, far away – well, more precisely at the end of November and in London – based on the recommendations of the university and study results, an application for the third year abroad was submitted. And it did work out! Goodbye, my faithful and ubiquitous companion... Goodbye, chewing gum! If everything goes according to plan, I won’t be reporting from behind the channel next year, but from the equator – from the National University of Singapore.




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