The People might say the most valuable part of studying at Imperial is the all-rounded curriculum they provide, the well-established teaching method they use and the learning atmosphere they create. I agree that these are one of the appealing characteristics of Imperial. Yet, I would say the most treasurable part of studying here is the sophisticated people we meet.
I was lucky to have traveled to London at the beginning of the Autumn term and have spent some time on campus before lockdown. In one of the group projects, I met a girl from Sri Lanka. We met up in person and had a long chat, talking about random topics, from our daily life in London to our favorite lecturers. I particularly remembered discussing British colonial time as Sri Lanka and Hong Kong was once a British colony. The topic then extended to politics in our home city. She walked me through the history of Sri Lanka and how it shaped the hostility between Tamils and Sinhalese. Seldom do I have such a meaningful conversation with others, especially among peers. I was impressed by how we discussed rationally, respecting any point of view even though we might not be entirely agreeing with each other. There are several interesting people I met at Imperial whom I learned from in every conversation. I am glad to get to know every one of them within a short period in London!
At the end of the Autumn term, I went back to Hong Kong and planned to travel back to London after Christmas. Unfortunately, covid has never stopped challenging us. Due to the skyrocketing confirmed cases in the UK in January, I decided to stay in Hong Kong in the Spring term. Therefore, after being elected as the treasurer of ICPASS, I occasionally met up with three other committee members who were also studying remotely. Approaching the end of the term, we decided to join a competition for potential young founders to add colors to our summer vacation. Since we were the greenest among all finalists, our proposal was not as mature as other team’s and received criticism on feasibility in the workshop. We reflected on the comment from the judges and polished our proposal into a better one. Although we lost the competition as expected, I found myself more devoted to the project as it progresses under the influence of my proactive teammates. I even made my pitch in front of all finalists under their encouragement. It was almost an impossible task for an introvert like me before the competition. I enjoy seeing my breakthroughs, improvement, and growth together with my peers.
This academic year is challenging yet fruitful. My first year at Imperial might not be the richest among four years of university but it is definitely a memorable and precious year.