By Despina Marmaropoulou, BSc Physics & Philosophy, Department of Physics
When I was asked to write about why I chose King’s, I thought it would be an easy, straightforward post to write. Then I sat down to start this and realised how wrong my initial assumption had been. First of all, are we talking about why I chose to apply to King’s, or why I chose to attend King’s? I applied because moving to London appealed to me, and because the Physics & Philosophy degree was something unique and interesting that I thought I might enjoy. I chose to study here because, objectively speaking, King’s was the ‘best’ university that accepted me out of those that I applied to – at least in terms of ranking. As you can see, my reasons for being here are not all that exciting.
Instead of making up something else and pretending I knew what I was doing when I was selecting a university, I’m going to tell you a story.
Towards the end of first year, I considered leaving King’s. I was missing home (the US) like crazy and I felt stupid because I barely knew what was going on in any of my lectures. Considering I am here writing this, I obviously didn’t leave. I essentially chose King’s again – this time with a bit more experience under my belt. Why?
One of the things I love most about King’s, which was an important factor in my decision, is the diversity. In my first year, I lived with another American, a guy from Azerbaijan, and a Moroccan girl. I became friends with people on my course from all over the world, many of whom I am still close to today. Even my lecturers have hailed from all corners of the globe. The mixing of cultures like this went a long way towards helping me feel accepted, and honestly changed my view of the world. Although I had previously considered myself an open-minded individual, attending King’s (and living in London) really pushed me to evaluate myself, my beliefs, and my actions more clearly and objectively. I couldn’t bring myself to leave King’s and return to the safety of home; I knew that staying would change me for the better.
Another factor in my decision was the teaching staff. Almost every professor I have had in my three years here has been passionate about what they are teaching. I find this to be a rarity, especially when many lecturers are first and foremost researchers, and see teaching as an afterthought. I’ve had lecturers in philosophy go out of their way to email me and set up a meeting to see how my essays are going. In the Department of Physics you can find lecturers and PhD students who are always willing to put down their work for a bit and answer your questions or give you advice (Side note: working in the Department of Physics is also awesome because the view from up there is incredible ). Leaving King’s would have meant the possibility of ending up somewhere without the kind of enthusiasm and passion that can be found in spades here – not a risk I was prepared to take.
Coming to King’s was one of the best decisions I could have made. I am a better, more rounded individual now than I was before, and much of that is due to the experiences I’ve had here. So, it looks like I made a good choice!