Time flies, there is no doubt about that

It has been more than a year now since I have posted my first blog entry.

I shared the first impressions from my new life in London, the biggest European metropolis. I lamented how even a casual walk can easily turn into a dance in between thousands of passersby, tens of trolley bags (and the rain, which tends to be rather abundant in England). But this is all long gone. Now I am beginning my second year at UCL, I have grown accustomed to the number of people around, do not pay attention to the rain anymore and my accent has slowly started to change to a British one. It is true that in London, a city of so many different ethnic minorities, it is difficult to encounter “pure” English. But it is also true that retaining the Midwestern accent I had acquired while studying at Open Gate is problematic. And I still cannot decide whether that is a good thing or a bad thing.

The second year is much more important for a UCL student than the first one. Whereas in the first ten months of one’s academic path, only the best one-credit unit (i.e. the average of the best two subjects) counts toward the final grade, in the second year everything plays a role. Plus, every year is weighted with a different coefficient. Effectively, this means that over time, your results have more and more bearing on the final class of your diploma. It leads students to a more careful subject selection because it is no longer possible to just “forget” about the ones they don’t like. And they are also indirectly forced to manage their time better – if they care about their results, of course.

Logically, I have more work than last year, but it is also more interesting. My subjects are already more focused: we are past all the theoretical introductions. For example, Introduction to Politics has been replaced by Comparative Political Analysis, and Introduction to Economics has given way to Economic History and Ideas. Unlike last year, we can even choose subjects at different UCL faculties. Hence, it was natural for me to choose Politics of European Integration at the Faculty of European Social and Political Studies. The subject fits into my degree perfectly and expands my horizons, going beyond my region of primary focus, Eastern Europe.

Outside of school, I have become a lecturer of debating for high school students, and a UCL Student Ambassador. It will be my task to provide information to prospective UCL students. I will even be visiting high schools throughout the UK. I have to say that I am genuinely looking forward to both of the jobs. Besides my long-term passion for debating, I will also be helping others make significant life decisions regarding education. On top of that, I will combine everything with travelling, which I love too!


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