Three weeks into my last semester at King’s, I’ve found myself looking back at the past 2.5 years and marveling at how quickly it’s all gone by. In a few short months I’ll be graduating, moving back to Singapore and officially entering the workforce. In my moments of introspection, I’ve only begun to truly grasp the significance of the last couple years and recognise how they’ve shaped me.
I applied to King’s when I was 18, on a gap year, with no concrete ideas of what I wanted to pursue as a career. BA Liberal Arts seemed the best course of action: I’d try my hand at a few disciplines, find one I’m inclined to, and work my way from there. What rang true for me then as well as now was the notion that university is a time of exploration. 2.5 years later, I’m happy to say that I’ve managed to discover exactly what I want to do, and for that I couldn’t be more grateful.
First year was a stumbling block: new city, new subjects (I juggled Politics, Geography, Philosophy, American Studies and Spanish modules with little to no prior knowledge), new emphasis on individual study, new standards for essay-writing. It felt like I was thrown into the deep end at first, but along with everyone else, I learnt to swim. As much as King’s (and higher education in general) stresses independent learning, professors and tutors were always there to guide us with essay-writing workshops, personal consultations and the like. Making friends with my coursemates along the way also made university life so much more enriching: I got to hear their stories, learn about their lives and share my experiences with them too.
In my second year I decided to major in Politics, and it was then that I slowly got a clearer idea of the career path I wanted to pursue. I remember taking an International Relations module with a tough but incredibly dedicated professor, and upon completing it, realising that I want to go into the field of International Security. 18 year old me had no idea that I’d find a calling in Politics, let alone aspire to join the Ministry of Defence.
Since then, I’ve structured my degree according to this ambition (such is the beauty of Liberal Arts!). I’ve had the opportunity to undertake classes in International Politics, Democracy, and Global Governance, as well as furnish my area of study with other modules from Urban and Cultural Geography. I honestly don’t know if I’d be as certain about my career aspirations if I’d done a different degree at a different university, or feel as prepared for ‘real life’ as I do now.
Cheers to a great university experience – I’m going to miss King’s and London so much, but for now…here’s to adulthood!