I am writing these first few lines whilst attending a wonderful choir concert (Ad Solem choir) at The John Rylands Library in Manchester. I mention this because I like sharing beautiful moments with people and I hope you can understand the inspiring and uplifting vibe that motivated me to start this post.
I begin with my decision of pursuing ‘the arts’ more because I have been focusing so much on school and job stuff recently, and it’s important to find a balance. The library show reminded me of my last choir performance last December at my old high school; it was just magical. I also recently attended a delightful Salsa event in Manchester, organized by the Manchester Universities Ballroom and Latin Society. That was one of my longest cardio workouts with around 3 hours of non-stop dancing! And I would love to learn more about Salsa techniques because they are really worthwhile on the dancefloor or just for some mental and physical revival, if you wish. I definitely recommend the Sporticipate free sessions for beginners; the instructor – Franklin, is a very cheerful and passionate man.
Another recent thought that I’ve been joking around with, which is probably common among students around the tough exam period(!) – is dropping out of university because of various reasons or insecurities, like not being good enough for the degree or not enjoying it enough. But what is enough?
Enough to be worth the stress, money and a decent amount of hard work, perhaps? Being away from family and friends? I don’t have a complete answer for these questions, but I will say that:
1. You can learn and live life at your own pace, it doesn’t matter as long as you enjoy the ride and…
2. Just because you are not finding something interesting, it doesn’t mean that you can’t find for yourself something that is. You are free to explore all kinds of various topics and interests.
and finally: “It’s okay if you still don’t know what you want to be when you grow up” (I’ve watched an inspiring TED talk on that, which you can find below: https://www.ted.com/talks/emilie_wapnick_why_some_of_us_don_t_have_one_true_calling ).
On top of this, life can also be full of surprises! And that’s what happened to me with the Mobile Systems course unit. Although people had said to me that it’s a difficult and you need to work really hard, I am really enjoying it so far. The reason for this is the fact that we started working with sounds and music files, which is a keen topic of interest for me, as you might have figured out by now! It’s cool to learn about what happens ‘behind the scenes’ of your beloved MP3 tracks and the lecturers, Dr Barry Cheetham and Prof Steve Furber, are passionate and motivating. When I think that I was actually lucky to catch a place on this course unit, as it was full until the very beginning of the second semester – I’m really pleased and on it and enjoying it!
Another thing as a 2nd year student is that you start to think about where you might get summer jobs, and you definitely need to put some effort into the application process. There are various positions and opportunities that you can take, and you should put some thought into what type of job you want (finance, security, games, mobile, web, research, etc). I say this because what happened to me was that I got kind of distracted with lots of appealing technologies and companies and partly disregarded the fact that my goal is to apply for a PhD and research Artificial Intelligence – so it would be useful to find a position related to this area. This is something that I really want to do, whereas a few months ago I was thinking “I should get a summer internship, no matter what”. If you’re interested in my experience with applications and interviews, stay tuned because I might write another blog entry, dedicated to that.
Finally, I want to leave you with this beautiful colourful sunset picture of the sky over Manchester, it goes to show that it’s not always a classic blue sky that is beautiful!
P.S. I have recently submitted an entry for the Science Poetry Competition and I would appreciate if you had a look and gave me a vote. Thanks! 😊 (http://science-poetry.com/poem.php?pid=946 )