Adam, Class of 2018 Salutatorian
What am I Doing?
LL.B. Bachelor of Laws at the London School of Economics and Political Science
The Great Beyond – and by that I mean life at university, and not outer space – is a radically different environment to school, in the best possible way. I will admit, it’s far from what I expected it to be: loads of free time, parties, few contact hours, and a decent amount of literature to digest. I often find myself cooped up in the library for the majority of the day, and the rest in various seminars and lectures. At the same time, there is actually a lot of contact time with Professors, which can be incredibly insightful and entertaining. Though, it does mean you need to constantly be on your game.
The social aspect is always there, and with loads of pubs on campus you’re sure to run into a few of the lads should you wish to venture in. At the end of the day, it is what you make of it. There is a great mix of events as well, from networking dinners, to bowling nights, to black tie dinners and beyond. Oddly enough, employers host a load of social events that allow you to explore careers and understand the profession over drinks and canapes. So, as a student, you’ve got to be tactful in sussing out the freebies.
At the London School of Economics (LSE) the atmosphere is rampant with energy, and that really inspires you to do a billion things at once. People are interning, starting companies, going on schemes, writing articles and hosting conferences. It is insane, truly, with how much goes on. From my time at Stamford, I was very much able to muck right in and bring my experience to the table. Of course, I joined the United Nations Society, and quickly succeeded in my application to become Director-General of Administration of YouthMUN, a conference designed to get high school kids involved with MUN. However, at the same time, I found one of my favourite hobbies to take a vastly different form at university. Everything was now about winning. There was no longer a casual, relaxed debate, but rather an intensified analytical forum before me. Luckily enough, I managed to acquire the Commendation Award for SPECPOL at Oxford International Model United Nations and support the team in winning Best Small Delegation.
One of my favourite aspects of university life are the public lectures, which allow you to hear from world leaders, members of Parliament, and other notable figures. In school everything came straight from the textbook, or perhaps a video online, but no longer. You have the chance to hear directly from these people. Even better, if it’s a networking session you can get into a full conversation. That aside, it allows you to explore very specific and nuanced topics that you would not otherwise encounter, and is often on some of the most topical issues in our current state of affairs.
As well, while Stamford was an incredibly international environment, we had all become so accustomed to the being “third culture kids”. In particular, at LSE, the student body is one of the most diverse in the world and consists of people from all walks of life, with very different stories, of all ages. It is something really incredible. I was elected the Sponsorship and Outreach Coordinator of the LSE Irish Society, and introduced to the vast realm of national societies which offer some amazing events.
I think I find myself advantaged having done the IB at Stamford now, because as dreadful as it was in the moment, it does prepare you in terms of rigour and workload. There was a lot of independent learning to be done outside the classroom, and the best work occurred where you dared to take the road less travelled. In university, that is exactly what the Professors want to see from you. It’s all about challenging knowledge and questioning beyond the basic premise. Or, as we say at the LSE: rerum cognoscere causas.
At the same time, I do miss some of the great trips that we went on during Field Studies and MUN at Stamford. Though, being on the doorstep of Europe now, I have managed to hop over to Spain and Ireland very easily. Albeit, it is not the same. Above all I think I do really miss some of the crazy happenings in the Class of 2018 Senior Study. There never will be a room as great as that ever again.
So, if you’re reading this and are still struggling through school: just remember that there is plenty to cherish and enjoy while you can. There are great things waiting at university if you put in the time and work. But, if you’re reading this and you’re someone like me: I hope you’re having a blast and are making the most of things. That’s all from me.