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.”

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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”

Summer 2014 – Part 2

Well, these four weeks have gone far too fast. I just finished my four week internship at Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria and I must say, I learned a great deal there, not just about the automobile prototyping process, but also about the job world and life in general. Keep in mind that I decided not to go to Standard EPGY this year so that I could do this internship. In all honestly, I made the correct decision, not to forget the fact that I earned £1000 post tax in these four weeks, which isn’t too shabby! So without further ado, let’s begin.

I stayed with my very fun aunt over the four weeks in Graz. I’ve been to Graz before to visit her several times, but this time I really got to experience working life in a small city and see what kind of atmosphere Graz actually has. In comparison to London, it’s not bad; just different. The constant arranging of meeting places and times isn’t really necessary, as there is only one centre of town and everything is within 30mins on the public transport network away from the centre. When I think that it took me 45 mins on bus, tram, bus to get to work on the other geographical end of town, it’s really not too bad. The people were nice and the cultural opportunities, immense: there were several free open-air shows on at the time. Unfortunately, I didn’t really have time to go to one, but I passed a few on my commute. I’m sure there are such things in London, but the small city atmosphere is missing somewhat there. Going out onto the town at night is a regular and normal occurrence, even for the slightly older individuals, so the city centre certainly isn’t dead on weekend evenings. Continue reading “Summer 2014 – Part 2”

Summer 2014 – Part 1

The entrance to the Isle of Grain facility
I’m sitting here with my portfolio document open, the US common application and UK UCAS web-interface up, and a large, white, blank Word document, waiting to be filled with words of inspiration that will hopefully grant me acceptance to a university in the US or the UK. The only problem is that these ethereal words are not making their way onto the page. I’ve noticed that getting what is in my head onto paper is much harder than I initially expected. Combined with the fact that almost every sample essay I read is a thrilling journey through some life-changing experience that has left the author thoroughly changed, the task seems more and more daunting.
The UK personal statement is much easier. It’s just a well-ordered list of academic achievements with some reflection. my writing style is much better suited for that kind of essay. The US university essays are just completely different, and I don’t have a clue where or how to start. In any case, I’ll get through it somehow, but in the meantime, I have here to spew out my thoughts in an uncontrolled and un-succinct manner. I am somewhat wary that an admissions officer can come across these posts, so I’ll eventually write “An Open Letter to the Admission Officer” post, directing them to the important posts on this Blog.

Continue reading “Summer 2014 – Part 1”

Peterhouse Essay Competition

Punting on the River Cam

A few months ago I decided that I would put some time into writing an essay for the Peterhouse College, Cambridge Kelvin Science essay competition for the sake of being productive over christmas. Keep in mind that this was at a time when I thought AS-levels would be a walk in the park like GCSEs and that revision that early would be an utter waste of time. Turns out that AS-Levels were not as I had thought, hence the grand total of 194 past papers done in the run-up to the exams! A word of caution: do not underestimate the A-Level!

In any case, after several weeks of work, researching and writing the essay, I finally sent it off and began the long-overdue panic for the end of year exams. A bit of background to the competition: Peterhouse College, based in Cambridge, run annual science, english and history essay competitions, with set titles and a 4,000 word limit. The winner of each competition receives a cash prize, and, along with the second place and highly commended candidates, are invited to attend an awards luncheon at the college.
Continue reading “Peterhouse Essay Competition”