Following the footsteps – Why I chose to study Chemistry at King’s


By Charlotte Breakwell, MSci Chemistry, Department of Chemistry

As my final days of Lower Sixth loomed, my letterbox was jam packed with shiny brochures and prospectuses from Universities across the UK, each telling me why I should study with them. I knew I wanted to be a chemist, I didn’t need persuading of this; but I was inundated and overwhelmed by the choices of where to begin this next chapter of my life. In amongst that mountain of prospectuses, something stuck out about King’s College London for me.

I was sold on the romantic vision of my future self at university. I could be reading a book on my lunch break in the picturesque grounds of Somerset House, somewhat like Virginia Woolf would have done. I’d be following in the notorious pathway that the great chemist Rosalind Franklin paved for women in science, like myself, at this very institution. You see, at King’s I wouldn’t be just another student at university, I’d be a part of the boundless history within it.

I came for the open day and was not disappointed. You can almost feel it in the halls. These are the same corridors that James Clerk Maxwell would have paced as he fathomed the composition of Saturn’s Rings, these are the very walls that inspired the Odes of John Keats.

Three years into my studies here and I’m certain I made the right decision, you truly do feel that you’re following in the footsteps of academic legends; at King’s you’re part of something bigger.

Admittedly, my romantic vision did little compare to the reality of my student experience at a London university; the daily rush hour commute crammed on the underground like a sardine and spending Friday nights consecutively at the Waterfront student bar because London is expensive. I could say ‘you have to take the good with the bad’, but I really can’t complain about any aspect of my time here; it’s all part of the experience. I spend my days working in one of the most prestigious institutions to grace the UK, all whilst living in a city that never fails to take you by surprise. The King’s experience is truly like no other and you’d be mad not to want to be a part of it.

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