The University of (not only) time management

The biometric passport gates at Stansted Airport needed about 12 individual attempts to identify me, thus giving me some time to decide which leg would I use to first cross the border of my new home and new life. Looking back to this moment, I could have used this time much more efficiently. So far it was my only free time in the three weeks from my arrival. And as it has prooved, the only possible way to enter Cambridge is by jumping headfirst.

The Trinity Hall college (founded in 1350) is a historical and architectural masterpiece. It is also one of the most prestigious colleges in Cambridge (according to it´s results in past years and acceptance/applications ratio). And, as I discovered early on, it is very open and friendly. One of the uppermost privileges given to us by the colleges is that both the academics and other staff are fully available for the students to discuss any studying, mental, physical or material problems. The organization of activities and responsibilities, however, is logically up to us.

Because of cautious policies of banks and authorities I had to spend long hours on administrative work that couldn´t had been done before my arrival.  During the first few days it was also necessary to buy all the things that did not fit in my luggage. In the meantime, though, I didn´t want to miss the opportunity to meet all the people that would become my new colleagues and neighbours. Although I had my „adaptation“ process carefully thought through, I had to cut down the time period that I was counting with at least in half. The other half was filled by frightening fire alarm lectures and subsequent fire drills.

I must admit that the organizational necessities took me longer than I expected, but by now I can fortunately concentrate just on the study matters. Lectures in the mornings, laboratory work in the afrernoons and loads of examples papers in the evenings. In the first weekend we started an introductory project based on construction and measurements on a complicated self-designed mechanism from the Lego NXT. Although Lego does not sound too dignified for future engineers (at least we hope), the opposite is true – the complexity of the task as well as the variety of options that this set gives are in my opinion an appropriate entrance gate into the world that awaits us in the next 4 years.

During the first week I also managed to fly a glider (during a tryout session with the University of Cambridge Gliding Society). As well, I had my first practices of rowing, which I decided to take up and is now a part of the routine for me. Also, I plan to participate on a construction of student racing cars, where I will probably be a member of the team responsible for designing gearboxes and differentials.

From my internal gearbox, however, I only need the top gear (not to be confused with what is now the Grand Tour), which I engaged immediately after crossing the airport gate. But I must truly admit that whenever I go to sleep at 3 AM, I do it with the feeling that I have picked the best university possible. And also with realisation that in today´s world, it is not enough to be good only in my own subjects. Soft skills are also crucial. And time management is one of them.


More blog articles

All news