I arrived at Cambridge last week, and the beauty of the city and the surrounding colleges continues to amaze me every time I step outside my door. I feel at times that I’ve been dropped into a Harry Potter movie or time traveled into the past when admiring the cathedral spires, soaring buttresses, and inlaid school crests that surround the walkways. I have officially moved into my Jesus College accommodation, and all of my housemates are absolutely wonderful. They’ve all been so helpful, answering my questions about where things are, how the UK educational system actually works, and generally how to go about life as a Cambridge student. In the week that I’ve been living here, I’ve been punting (similar to the Venetian canal trips but on a flat-bed boat), been nudged off the road by cows when stopping for a rest while biking, and short-circuited the electronics in my room when plugging in lights. So far, it’s turning out to be an exciting year!
My courses haven’t started yet, so I have a little more time than I know what to do with at the moment. Information is in the process of being pushed out to students, and it’s exciting to preview the modules we will be covering in the class. I will be taking 3 courses throughout the duration of the year: Cell and Developmental Biology, Physiology, and Biology of Disease. Lectures are one hour and run three days a week. Like I mentioned in my previous post, all courses are paired with a practical (laboratory sessions). Lastly, each course has a supervision, which are sit-down sessions with your supervisor (a post-graduate or a professor) where the student can ask questions or clarify problems from the lectures. Normally these sessions have a very low professor to student ratio (1:2 or 1:3).
The academic, professional, and personal accomplishments I hope to achieve (which I outlaid in the previous post), all have one singular, connecting theme: I have to be willing to put myself out there, outside of my comfort zone. It’s certainly difficult moving across the Atlantic to study in the middle of your college career. At the end of your sophomore year, you’ve solidified deep friendships, grown comfortable with the campus, and developed mentorships with professors and research associates. Attending a different university will test those bonds, but with the technology that we have today, it’s not too difficult to connect. I have already partially accomplished one of my personal goals. When I was accepted to this program, I set the lock screen of my phone to a beautiful street. While punting, I told my housemates about the picture and they knew exactly where the street was, so in a few days, we will head over, and I’ll have checked off one my of goals.
and let thy feet millenniums hence be set in midst of knowledgeTennyson
I consider myself a driven and enthusiastic student; therefore, my professional and academic goals will hopefully fall into place as the year progresses. I do hope to build mentorships with some of my professors, and the way to start that is simply with an introduction.
As I’m writing this, the house is quiet while my window rattles occasionally with the wind. Grey skies, but surprisingly no forecast of rain for the day. The trees are still green, but the chill of autumn has certainly arrived. I am not certain if the leaves on the trees outside my window will fall, as it doesn’t quite look like an evergreen, but as this blog continues, I’ll keep you updated! Thank you for coming along on this experience with me!
Catch you next time!