Thursday, October 11

An Imperialist Ten Years

It's ten years this week since I started at Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine. That's a long time, although since I was there for four of those years it's not that depressing. It also happens to be the university's centenary this year, but unfortunately I missed the events celebrating this due to Ramadan commitments. I last visited the South Kensington campus back in March.

I don't exactly remember my first day at IC, but we did go around in our tutor groups meeting our supervisors during the first week. I remember it well - it was my birthday and I was quite depressed at the lack of girls, the lack of a student atmosphere and the lack of girls there.

I had seen my brother and aunt go through university and had been expecting the same deal, but in hindsight it makes sense that a prestigious place would offer good study rather than social facilities. Students go to Imperial to work, not play.

My first lecture was a nightmare. I was close to tears in fact: coming from a totally non-Computing background I was well out of my depth and totally struggling. Still I guess it goes to show what happens if you stick something out - I made my mark by the end of the first term, started winning prizes and recognition and eventually graduated top of the whole class of 2001. Not bad considering I managed my fair share of back-row sleeping and I'm quite proud of the fact that I never once bought a text book for my studies. On the other hand, I didn't miss a single lecture during my four years there so for those of you who think you can bunk the odd one or two... don't!

In a nutshell, my time at Imperial was a unique experience. It wasn't quite the university experience I had been looking forward to during college, and a part of me regrets not having had a regular student life during my student years. The same part of me still blames Imperial for not being married yet.

But it was an experience all the same, and anything lacking in that may have been due to me rather than the university itself. It's also safe to say that I wouldn't be the person I am today without my Imperial studies; and since I turned out okay(ish) it's not really something I can regret, eh? Well, not that much anyway.