By Will Alsagoff, MEng Electronic Engineering, Department of Informatics
Some of us set foot into university thinking, ‘What am I going to do with my time here?’, and that’s okay. It doesn’t really matter if you’re not the brightest of the batch, if you’re here by sheer circumstance, or even if you have got it all figured out. I need to point one thing out: uni life is not solely defined by the marks you get in your modules. You’re at King’s; your CV is already one step closer to perfection. But it is a bit worrying if you obtain a good result at the end of your time here but have yet to build and expand your identity.
Take me for an example. I’m here in uni because I love electronics. I may not be the best, but I have worked on it on my own for a while so I get on fine. However, when I can, I make time for other things. I figure skate at least once a week with KCL Wolves. I was involved in theatre with the Malaysian Society. I went to events organized by the LGBTQ+ society and KCL ABACUS. I make time for events in UCL, Imperial, Queen Mary and City. You might be thinking, ‘That’s a lot of stuff!’ and you’re not wrong, but I don’t do this to overwhelm myself.
While I attended most of these things because I was familiar with them, I think it’s beneficial to expand your circles and build your network from scratch. You don’t have to engage in small talk because you’ll probably be focused in whatever activity you’re doing at the time. From there, you’ll gradually build friendships with people who have the same wavelength as you, so to speak. Of course, all of this takes some stepping out of your comfort zone.
Growth comes when you try something new. Even if you don’t, there are ways to see things you already know from another view. For instance, a flatmate might have an opinion on a dish you can cook; or perhaps there’s a new pop-up somewhere and you’re dying to take a friend! Bonding with others over trivial things – like shopping, cooking or coding – can make your time enjoyable. If you’re socially awkward, people from King’s generally don’t bite. Just remember not to overdo or overthink it!
Moving to academics, have I mentioned that King’s has some pretty cool labs? The Department of Informatics is based in Bush House, which has just been renovated after having taken it over from the BBC. They have computers operating on Linux and they come equipped with curved screens. Curved widescreens. You can always study there or have a chat with friends post-lecture. Personally, the labs give quite the academic vibe, so I think it’s a huge plus to spend time there. I’ll discuss more about this side of uni life in my next article.
What else is there to say? Each student experience is going to be different. It will reflect who you are as a person. I hope that King’s will help you with that, just as it did with me.