Finding balance on the stage


By Jonathan Chen, BSc Chemistry, Department of Chemistry

At the end of Sixth Form, having received grades that were worse than I had hoped, I told myself: ‘This is it. One more chance, don’t mess up’. In my mind I had accepted that the three years ahead would consist of nothing more than lectures, tutorials, lab work, and copious amounts of self-study. Chemistry was to be my first and only passion, and I would have to eat, breathe, and live it until the day I received my graduation certificate. That was until I arrived in London, when I realised that I had no choice but to strike a balance between my studies, and what seemed like an endless amount of fun one step outside the Franklin-Wilkins building.

I spent my first year trying to focus on my degree – for fear that I couldn’t handle the commitment of one of the many student-led societies King’s had to offer. I was elected student representative of my year and took up an evening class at the Modern Language Centre. That was it, really. However, this was nothing like the grim projection I had imagined. Every second of my time away from books was spent either making new friends or exploring London and the UK as much as I could. Even the lectures and course content was more interesting that I had made them out to be! Studying was made less of a burden by some very fun course-mates, and it seemed like everything I had hoped for had materialised.

Then second year came along, and I thought it was time to re-visit my interests in music and the performing arts by auditioning for GKT MSA Musical Theatre production of Fame!. I was offered a place in the society, and very quickly discovered a whole new world (pun intended). This was a pinnacle turning point in my university life as from here, I now had a community of friends where I truly felt at home. It was the yin to my yang of science-ing around during the day, and I haven’t stopped since. At the time of writing, I had just assisted in the production of King’s Musical Theatre’s “Anything Goes” and have been involved in over 10 productions not just at King’s, but even at other universities and amateur drama clubs in London.

All-in-all, it’s safe for me to say that whatever you choose to do, be it dive head first into the numerous societies and opportunities, or to take it slow and smell the roses, there will never be a dull moment at King’s.

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