The Gap Year: Risk

Gap year ambitions vs reality

As I embark onto this gap year of mine, the start date of which I have set as Monday the 5th of October 2015 – the day I start my new full-time temporary job, I have had time to start reflecting on the past five years of my life in senior school, what I have accomplished during this time, the habits I have developed (and lost) and — with the wider world of university and real life spread out in front of me and the relentless steamroller of time pushing us unceasingly to make potentially life-altering decisions — the direction I want to take, and what is required of me to accomplish this. This post will be a incoherent collection of thoughts that I have had these past few months on my travels through Europe and the USA and after hearing the bad news from the University of Cambridge. Continue reading “The Gap Year: Risk”

Updates and Universities

Alas, we find ourselves at the end of the summer holidays, and with it, the impending onset of various schools and universities. I hope the summer was relaxing and enjoyable for my readers, and that the upcoming year awaits many adventures and challenges. The typical summer post will be up at some point when I get round to writing it, but for now, due to the way I have slightly over-dramatised my very first-world problem of choosing between universities, my friends and teachers have naturally been asking me where I ended up. The story is a more complicated one – as it always seems to be – and is probably worth a look at. Continue reading “Updates and Universities”

The Final Leg

It has been a fair while since my last post, and a huge deal has happened. These past few months have been a true roller-coaster on all levels of my life, be that personal, academic, social or familial. The faithful among you here would have read time and time and time again about my university considerations and the various factors that have plagued my thoughts with doubts about each institution I thought about and ended up applying to. In April the last batch of US university acceptances were released, and with them was the end of the waiting game for my decision. I shall not offload the reasons for and against each institution here but instead just give a quick overview of the process and my rough decision. Continue reading “The Final Leg”

And as quickly as it had begun.

A great deal has happened over the past few weeks. University applications are done, exam preparation is starting to kick into gear and I just got some sad news, if you want to call it that.

I decided that instead of wallowing at home all day, I would take a walk and be alone with my thoughts for a few hours. Around the local park, I managed to capture some really nice scenery of trees and the River Thames on my travels. What follows is a small gallery of some of these photos, unmodified and straight off my phone. Continue reading “And as quickly as it had begun.”

An Open Letter to The Admissions Officer

To the undergraduate admissions officer of a university I have applied to:

Please know that this is not a finely crafted personal statement or admissions essay, this is not me trying to excuse myself from the idiocies of thirteen year-old me and this is certainly not a coherent literary masterpiece, but I hope that through this and what you find on this blog, however embarrassing that may be, you get a bit of a context of my opinions, style and perhaps character. Maybe the students in my school are paranoid: many have changed their Facebook names, Twitter handles and taken their blogs offline, but I have decided against doing that, particularly in the case of this blog.

I am of the belief that opinions change with time and maturity. That is, in my opinion, exemplified in this blog. Through the years, my posts have wondered between Apple-fanboying to pondering perhaps some of the most irrelevant topics to recounting life-changing experiences. If you look through the archive back to 2010, the start of this blog, you will see thirteen year-old me ranting about Apple patent lawsuits and other perhaps embarrassing things. As the years moved on, I began to use the blog as more of a journal of some sorts, logging my worries, my ambitions and my university considerations.

This blog is a sort of time capsule. So is my Twitter and to a certain extent, my Facebook. I’m not trying to hide any of it – although I have restrictions in place, like any technically literate teenager! On the contrary: below I provide a brief narrative of some blog posts that have particular relevance to me, and perhaps even to you as well. Some are embarrassing, others, insightful, but in any case, they were all written by me at some point or another, and may serve to shed some light on the person behind the crafted application essays. There are some I have missed out on purpose to reduce clutter, but please feel free to browse! Of course, you don’t have all the time in the world, and I do appreciate you reading my ramblings for this long.

From the “About” page:

“Opinions change, and I, as many other bloggers do, will freely admit that I am no exception. […] This is not a technology blog, although it was initially started up to be so; instead, it had evolved into a personal diary of sorts, encompassing my thoughts, achievements and downfalls in one, easy to access place, so the world can laugh at my somewhat incoherent and silly musings.”

Whether accepted or turned down, I thank you for considering my application, and wish your 1st years all the best for 2015!
Continue reading “An Open Letter to The Admissions Officer”

A Year in Reflection – 2014

Celebrating New Year’s Day

Another year has come and gone, just as I was getting used to writing ’14 on my work instead of ’13. To all those still regularly reading these posts – despite their infrequent nature – and those who happened to stumble across this post on their internet travels, I wish you a happy new year! Just as quickly as it came, 2014 is a thing of the past, and seeing as this blog has become a lot more of a space for me to throw words onto a screen, reflecting on the past year is probably not a bad idea.

2014 was an interesting year for me on many levels. There were ups and downs, moments of celebration and moments of despair, but overall, I have my health, there have been no deaths in the family and miraculously I still have friends, so I would say 2014 was a good year for me personally. I have found that looking back on the past day, week or year firstly prevents the time flying away and secondly helps you to appreciate the good times more. One day, everything just came together, making for a really good day, and I would have almost missed it if someone hadn’t asked me how my day had gone. Continue reading “A Year in Reflection – 2014”

Year 13

The rear entrance to the main building.

And so it has begun: my final year of pre-university education. The thought is both an extremely exciting, as well as an absolutely terrifying one! I just got back from visiting ETH university again, and I do like the university a lot, and Zurich is an absolutely astounding city. Especially flying back to London, I now realise that fact even more. I don’t really want to go into too much detail, but Zurich is certainly a favourite city of mine. Many thanks to my granddad, who came down to Zurich from Vienna for the two days to take me around the city and explore the niches with me, areas that I may not have known existed.

The university itself is as I had expected. I took the time to explore the course I am intending on applying to – electrical and electronic engineering – go on a few tours and attend a few lectures. The lectures were interesting as I leaned a great deal about software systems, but they were presented in German! The reason why I attended these was to see whether the language would be a huge barrier to my learning and I can say with complete confidence that it will not be! Continue reading “Year 13”