One year on…

Hello, dear readers!

Truth be told, I haven’t even thought about this blog since the last post I wrote back in January, except when I’ve had messages from prospective students and applicants seeking advice with regards to life at LPC or one of the other UWCs. As before, just a super-quick reminder here to say that yes, I do receive messages sent via this blog and that yes, I do respond (I do aim to respond within 2 or 3 days, which I think is pretty decent).

OK, so update time – what have I been doing since Christmas? And what am I doing now? Since I’m sure everyone’s dying to know what a UWC graduate does with their post-IB days…

Law
So as most will probably know, I moved to the UK to study Law at Durham University. I enjoy Law more that I thought I would (how’s that for the logic of picking a degree, eh?) and I think I’ve done reasonably well… I placed in the top third of first-year Law students this year, and am reasonably confident in my module choices for next year (Criminal Law, Land Law, Trusts & Equity, Media Law, Employment Law and… *drumroll*… CHINESE!).

Law has been pretty decent – I have some lovely friends there (also big shoutout to my Fresher Mum – buddy equivalent – and her housemate! THEY WENT TO UWCSEA AND WE HAVE MUTUALS), and have been able to get involved in lots of company open days (like LOTS, OK. I almost feel like I spent more time on the train to London and back than actually in Durham) and careers events on campus.

Important sidenote: Law has taught me that there is never a bad time to use sub-headings. Even in a blog post. THAT’S A TIP FOR THE FUTURE THERE, GUYS. NEVER. A. BAD. TIME. #EUlaw101.

 

Hobbies
Life at Durham is pretty great. There’s about 14,500 students in total, so there’s lots of things to do. All the time. This year I did Badminton (more on this later), Rugby (new to me, LOVED IT), A-Team (Durham’s slavery awareness group – which I’m co-leading next year!), joined the Tech Crew (again, more on this later) and joined some business societies (Durham University Women In Business – which I am Web Manager for next year – and Durham University Finance Society). And did some ad hoc stuff for other groups and societies, but those are the main ones!

 

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So for Badminton I played for Collingwood College (SPORTS CHAMPIONS 6 YEARS RUNNING) – Mixed A, Mixed B, Women’s A, and, for about a month, Women’s B. So all the teams I could play for, basically. Had a really great time – the badminton team is so chill, it’s great! Next year I’m captaining Women’s A, and co-captaining Mixed A with Holly (who is also one of two of our club presidents).

Tech Crew is literally the best thing ever – I get into all of our college events for free as long as I do some work on the night, and get paid (!!) to do really awesome stuff like control all the lights during silent disco, pyrotechnics (!!!!!!) during Collingwood Day and sound/lights for musicals. See pictures below for (sadly) non-action shots. Next year, Mel (Tech partner in crime, Law buddy, housemate and the general focus of my attention) and I are going to be Tech Managers together – which means we get to boss everyone around. It’s going to be amazing. We are a teensy bit apprehensive – it’s (apparently) a ritual for the new Tech Managers to do the summer plays together (and alone). Mel was in charge of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Tom Stoppard), while I was in charge of Hedda Gabler (Henrik Ibsen). By the end of the rehearsals and three days of performances, we were more than ready to ignore each other for a solid week. But oh well, ups and downs!

 

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I guess my final updates for hobbies is that I’ll be taking on quite a lot next year – in addition to what’s been mentioned, I’m also going to be Treasurer for a new society and volunteering for the Citizens’ Advice Bureau. And trying to have a social life and scrape a 2.1! Hey ho!

Careers
Oh wow, careers, wow. Hmmmmmm… At the beginning of the academic year, I was quiiiite sure that my career plans involved law in some way or other – either academia or commercial law. By a bizarre but happy accident, I ended up doing a spring internship with a very respectable investment bank, and absolutely loved it. So my plans, at least for the moment, have changed to include investment banking as a possibility. I know – I’m a sellout. For all those despairing at my lack of UWC values, do not despair! If my extracurriculars can’t persuade you that I’m staying true to my roots… do read on.

Summer plans & the future…
SO. What am I up to this summer? Well, I’ve already moved out of College accommodation and into the house that me and some friends are renting for Year 2. Earlier this year, I was accepted into the Laidlaw Undergraduate Research & Leadership Scholarship program, which is a program that provides funding for undergraduate students to conduct their own research for twelve weeks divided over two summers. See below: some images of Durham’s finest undergraduate researchers (aka all 23 members of the first class of the program).

 

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This summer, my research is looking at modern slavery legislation from around the world – specifically as it related to businesses and supply chain due diligence, comparing the various types of legislation, examining their efficiency and using the effect to-date of California’s legislation to predict the effect of the UK’s legislation.

It sounds a lot more complicated that it actually is. I promise. (I think, at least? Maybe just to someone with a significant amount of background knowledge…)

But yeah. Next summer I want to focus on the balance of anti-terrorism/anti-immigration laws and human rights. Fun, Fun, FUN!

This post hit 1000 words… NOW, but I figured I’d leave a nice little rounding off paragraph below, as I don’t know when I’ll next be blogging (well, apart from inserting some nice links to my research when it’s published…)..

Not very eloquently put, but… All I wanted to say is that uni is pretty great – no, you don’t get the community vibes you get at a UWC, and yes, people drink a lot more here, but overall it’s still nice. The worst thing is probably how people just genuinely don’t care about issues you thought EVERYONE cared about (like climate change. Or SLAVERY). But opening people’s eyes is easier than you think, and making friends is still possible, even when you don’t live two doors down from each other.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll keep in touch with a significant amount of people from UWC (and even get closer to them and go visit, like I did with Aditi in Mumbai in December 2016). Also – even if you don’t get into your top school, it will all still be fine. Uni is uni, people are people and a degree is a degree. Breathe!

//peace.

Happy New Year – a minor update!

Happy New Year, everyone!

One of the perks of going to Durham is that term-time is very short and breaks are very long. I still have a week and a half before I head back. I probably should be using my holiday more productively (read: catching up on all the reading I didn’t do during the previous term) – but oh well, we can’t be perfect.

I figured I would make an update post, just to give any readers an idea of what UWC graduates might be doing with their post-UWC time. I also just wanted to send out a reminder that I can still be contacted through the “Contact Me” section of this blog – I do reply to every message I get, and I’m more than happy to answer questions about applications, LPC or UWC in general!

Over the summer holiday, I worked as a fundraiser in Bergen for Amnesty International. It was tough! People don’t generally want to talk to people that are going to ask them for money, even if the money is going to a very good cause. Most people are very good about saying no, but there are the occasional rude individuals who are less than pleasant. Couple that with the fact that Bergen is one of the rainiest cities in Europe, and you get a picture of my average working day. Overall I’m very glad to have had the experience, though!

I also spent quite a bit of time relaxing with family and friends – I visited Elise (UK LPC ’16) in Birmingham and also helped out again with the RCN Bergen Day, where I met some more lovely students.

I also got involved with a refugee integration project started by the youth council I used to be involved with, which was nice.

Then, of course, October eventually rolled around and it was time to go to Durham. I have quite the good friendship group, if I do say so myself. Some live on my floor and some don’t, but we get together most days to play Cards Against Humanity/Spyfall/Mafia/Articulate or watch a movie. I’m really enjoying Law – it’s more interesting than I thought it would be (sidenote and very important piece of advice: generally, you should not apply for a course that you think might be a bit boring – even if you think it’s going to earn you money later), and there are plenty of fun cases out there!

In terms of hobbies and UWC values – I’m taking evening Chinese classes, playing badminton for my college (Collingwood, if anyone was wondering – interestingly enough, one of my college mothers (a “buddy”, if you will) came from UWCSEA!) and rigging lights and sound for formal dinners, plays and other special events within Collingwood College. Perks of rigging: you get paid. I’m not complaining!

I’ve been to two concerts in Newcastle while I’ve been studying in Durham (for potential Durham applicants – Newcastle is closer and cheaper to get to than you would think!) – Bastille and The 1975. Both amazing.

Also definitely worth mentioning is that I went to visit one of my firsties, Aditi, in Mumbai for her brother’s wedding. It was such a great experience, and so nice to see my firstie again. Pictures below.

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PS: Today saw me adding a category to this blog that I never thought I’d add; Post-UWC. Wow.