I can’t believe that it’s nearing the end of 2018. 2 years ago, I was at the end of my A Levels, trying to decide what to do next.
I knew I wanted to do something that stretched my brain and allowed me to develop my analytical skills. In the end, it was between a math degree and a politics one. I chose politics and I haven’t regretted it since.
I’ll admit that every year, as that dreaded exam time comes closer and I see the stack of notes that I have to get through, I do wonder why I didn’t take at least one math course. Saying that, I have yet to sit down and have a serious urge to change degrees and do something else with my life. As I enter the third year of my degree, none of this has changed (yet) and here’s why. Continue reading
Today I am here to talk about a deep belief that has been shaped by my studies and my experience as an independent student. You will not find a real piece of advice in this post, only something that I feel worth sharing with you from the bottom of my heart.
As many other students here, I first chose the BA English because I love reading/literature/books. Many of you have experienced the thrill of having a gazillion of doors and windows to other worlds, and in some measure, it is that thrill which has driven you to choose these studies. Continue reading
I am writing this article to motivate other students to try their best and never give up. I am a person who started this degree at the University of London with not the highest knowledge of math and statistics. However, with my persistence, my hard work studying and my determination, I was able to reach a decent level of knowledge of those quantitative fields. This year, I have chosen to study development economics and in the first chapter it was indicated that I should revise some regression techniques. So, I tried to search in my old statistics textbook. At first I was terrified. I thought econometrics was a very difficult topic and I would not understand. However, I am a person that never gives up at anything. So, I closed my books and I hit the gym, I cleared my mind and I came back to study some more. I watched a lot of videos on youtube about regression and I finally got it. It took me some extra time, but I did get it. Finally! Continue reading
We are slowly heading to the day results will be announced. Most of us have mixed feelings. I can personally feel a sense of relief but, also, I feel stressed. I try not to think negatively. I think it is crucial for all of us to enjoy our summer vacations, to refill our batteries and relax. Whatever has happened, it’s over now! Whenever I feel stressed and under the weather, I try to remember an old Chinese saying “Don’t worry about things that can change and things that cannot be changed!” Continue reading
On December 6, US President Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. What has unfolded since: violence, protests, airstrikes and uncertainty for the future of many people. I just returned from the region less than a week prior to the announcement. I was in Palestine (the West Bank) to direct a short film music video with local artists in collaboration with FilmLab Palestine and had meetings with local NGOs to discuss how we could collaborate on peace-driven projects for the region. Personally, I fear deeply for the lives of my colleagues and peers. Israel and Palestine can draw polarising reactions – especially now – but regardless of where your political, sociological or moral beliefs lie, it’s undeniable that it’s a wholly unsustainable situation and things need to change. Continue reading
It was July 26, 9:47 PM. This night, believe it or not, my life changed. It was in the afternoon when I was informed that the International Space Station would be visible to the naked eye, starting at 9:47 pm local time and for five minutes from then. I was, of course, very excited. My whole life, I have been fascinated by space and the unknown. I was and I continue to be passionate about space and I am constantly watching new documentaries about one of my favorite topics.
On the 18th I got my results. While I was very tempted to publish a post a few hours after having checked my results, in the end I decided to wait at least 24 hours to cool off and I am glad I did. My previous post felt a bit like I was bragging, and that was not my aim at all.
Well, here it goes: I have achieved my best grades up until now.
You cannot imagine how this feels to me: “Like victory”. Yes, sure, but it is a little bit more than that. At the beginning of the year I told you my studies had become a way to reconnect with myself. With a part of me getting blurred out by all the new feelings of maternity, my studies became the only thing that did not make me feel like a human pacifier or a teddy bear or just a plain old mattress to sleep on top of.
My, my. What a roller-coaster this year has been, phew! I see myself now in a very different place from the starting point of my journey. Throughout this year I have reconnected with myself, learned one or two new things and basically enjoyed getting lost in books. If you are anything like me, you probably spent the two weeks after your last examination cursing yourself because relevant ideas for your essays kept popping up in your head. We went to Spain to visit relatives and to enjoy the warm weather there (warmer than Luxembourg, at any rate) and I still could not shake off this feeling of having lost the opportunity of getting a better grade.
To get the much-needed closure on this year I canalized my energy and my concern for my studies in an evaluative effort, trying to ascertain how realistic I was in my initial appraisals, how I have adjusted to changes and how everything turned out in the end. I think it is wiser to do this before getting examination results, that way the evaluation is less mediated by the final outcome. You know I am a firm contender for focusing on the process instead of results.
Are you willing…. to stop asking how much your friends love you, and to ask yourself if you love them enough; to bear in mind the things that other people have to bear on their hearts; to trim your lamp so that it will give more light and less smoke, and to carry it in front so that your shadow will fall behind you? ….Are you willing to do these things for a day? Then you are ready to keep Christmas! ~ Henry van Dyke
For many around the world, Christmas 2016 is about celebration and relaxing after a year of hard work. My Christmas season, as a UoL student, has more to it; catching up on whatever that I have missed on and keeping up to the workload that is on the way. I suspect it is the same with many of my fellow students.
Two sides to one story
When I wrote my first post I told you that my main concern as a studying mum was making space in my brain for knowledge when the ups and downs with The Little One were barely leaving any space available in said brain. After more than a month of daily study I think it is about time to make an evaluation.
In the past few weeks The Little One was going through the “adaptation period” at daycare. She had to get used to new people, new food, new patterns, new rules… And it was a lot to take. Interestingly, this adaptation period is also designed to help parents in coping with the difficult feelings of leaving their progeny in the care of someone unrelated to the family circle. My mind wandered off easily and I asked myself repeatedly if she would hate me for “abandoning” her like that.