The new academic year is upon us and with it comes a brand, shiny new house! Admittedly, my humble, new abode in the lovely town of Kenilworth is not one I would exactly brand as ‘new’, having been almost knocked out by the stench of damp and antiquity when I opened my ‘new’ wardrobe and its interior was flooded with daylight for the first time in what appears to be a good few years. Still, I am incredibly excited to be moving out of the campus halls and into a private, four-bedroom house with my fellow nerd hallmates!
How difficult can it be to choose what you want to do in the future?
Year 2 of this degree will not be easy. Both in terms of the workload and with module choices, which I can’t seem to be able to make up my mind about! On the one hand, I know I should stick to the more ‘relevant’ modules in both Physics and Maths to make them all complement each other; applied maths modules are evidently more suited to my degree than the more abstract topics like Abstract Topology, for example. Yet on the other hand, I wouldn’t want to close doors for module choices further into the degree by not taking some of the earlier ones in this year. And as tempting as ‘over-CAT-ing’ is (our university uses the CATs points system), there’s only so much work you can do before you smother yourself to death with assignments. And that’s not even mentioning the sheer insanity of exams at the end, too.
But then I gaze at the inspirational Einstein quotes poster on my wall and think, “Damn; there’s a lot to do. But all will be swell if I put some downright grease in the elbow”.
Some of the optional physics modules I’m considering are Hamiltionian Mechanics, Fluids and also Climate Change, which is actually an interdisciplinary module between quite a few departments, as it involves physics and maths and politics and debating and economical issues and anything else you could possibly think of. I am also told that it involves quite a bit of essay writing, which is something that (believe it or not) I really miss in a degree so focused on numbers and equations! Whereas C Programming is a module that I feel obliged to take, despite not having very much personal interest in coding. I do recognise though that it’s a valuable skill to have in the world of 21st century employment. With maths modules, I’m currently looking at Advanced Linear Algebra 1, Metric Spaces and possibly Differentiation – bearing in mind that the latter two can be taken next year instead. Alternatively, my exam-stress-minimising-strategy (and I am definitely one to suffer exam stress!), is to attend the lectures, take all the notes and obtain the knowledge, but not take the exam until year three. That’s another option.
Yet there is something else bothering me. Having learnt Spanish up until A-Level, I would absolutely hate to lose this skill and here at Warwick, I am very lucky to have the chance to incorporate a language into my degree, for credit. This is a fantastic opportunity; I’m not sure if many other universities allow this and it would be a shame to not take advantage of it. We’ll see.
How difficult can it be to choose what you want to do in the future? For a person as ridiculously indecisive as me, it is an utter nightmare. Whereas in fact, five years down the line, none of this is likely to matter anyway. I am incredibly jealous of those who already know what they would like to focus on and even recently, during the departmental Open Day for prospective undergrad students, I spoke to somebody in year 12 who already knew they want to be involved in electrical power production; I am very, very jealous of their decisiveness at such a young age. But then there are the final year students who still don’t know what the hell they want to do in the future. I just hope I find this thing I enjoy most ASAP and not become the undecided finalist. Perhaps something like a summer research project with the URSS would help me decide on the field which I might like to find myself working for in the future – or never do that type of research ever again!
Nonetheless, it is very exciting to be starting a new year at university. No doubt, it will fly by very soon and before I know it, I’ll be graduating…