Well, the week before finals week is finally here. And I spent that studying, but also, doing the ever-important finishing of reports, and honestly, taking a couple of much-needed naps to catch up on everything else.
Studying is a bit different here in Edinburgh. The biggest difference is that every single lecture is usually recorded. This means it’s very easy to have a lazy day of staying in bed and re-watching the lectures you missed or that you zoned out during. The most helpful part of this is that you can repeat parts of the lecture you don’t understand. So instead of getting pointlessly lost, you can repeat the same 5-second clip until the cows come home. The other major difference is that every past exam from any year this course has been taught is posted online. They change the exams significantly every year, so they’re able to put up all the past papers for you to do. This is quite helpful, as the exams have certain trends that allow you to pick out what the instructors think are important topics, and thus hone the area you’re studying around those subjects.
And, as with any good week of studying, David and I decided to take a bit of a study break and spend some time at the holiday Christmas party. The student union (basically the student government) runs this giant venue that got out a snow machine and some sick early 2000s tunes. And free santa hats. We have a lovely photo of us sipping water and looking up and to the left. I don’t know why they felt the need to post that but who knows ahahaha.
Oh! And we got free tickets to see the dress rehearsal of The Lion King in Edinburgh. This amazing experience was courtesy of the Singapore society, and we got to go out see it just a few days before anyone else. It was a wonderfully put on show, beautiful puppets (which weirded me out for most of the time) and generally great singing – although the kids did pronounce the “can’t” in “just can’t wait to be king” with an extremely heavy London accent which was a bit odd.
More theater soon! (we just got tickets to Les Mis in London – the dream of my theater life to see.)
What do you remember feeling when you found out you had been accepted to Caltech?
In short: I was completely shocked. Caltech had been my first-choice school for years (warm weather, great science, what’s not to love?). However, I didn’t ever think I’d get in: nobody had gotten in from my high school in the living memory of any teacher and my guidance counselor had told me point blank that it was a longshot.
It’s crazy to think that it has been four years now since I was applying to college. I remember it vividly. This week we’re spending some time reflecting on our personal admissions processes, and how we ended up at Caltech. There’s one question though that I wanted to spin out into a separate post: “what advice would you give to the admitted class of 2025?” And I think the best way to do this is to tell a more detailed story than I did in my other post.