I still remember the first time I step foot in Cambridge; being hit face-first with a gush of cold air exiting the train station and the adrenalin coursing through my veins.
Now, being a self proclaimed nerd, and I use the term with pride, Cambridge is the place to be. It’s the epicentre of the scientific community; from the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA to the development of IVF techniques, to Stephen Hawkings’ big bang theory to the absolutely marvellous theory that we are all made of stardust.
Coming to Cambridge, I was engulfed by this world that excited me to no ends; the possibilities: endless. During school, it’s not perceived ‘cool’ to be enthused by the prospect of scientific discovery, but being at Anglia Ruskin University changed that. You become increasingly more comfortable in your own skin. You do find like-minded people, inspiring lecturers and friends, and you realize, as one of my favourite authors, John Green, put it:
“...nerds like us are allowed to be unironically enthusiastic about stuff.. Nerds are allowed to love stuff, like jump-up-and-down-in-the-chair-can’t-control-yourself love it. When people call people nerds mostly what they’re saying is ‘you like stuff’ which is not a good insult at all. Like, you are too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness.”
I’m not going to lie, being at university is not all rainbows and butterflies, lectures can be long and tiring, but at the end of the day, when that one theory just clicks, or when you get that essay back that you put an all-nighter in for, telling you you’ve managed to get a first, it’s all worth it. You will only get as much out of university as you put in, and being at university, allows you opportunity to be silly, but it also sees you become a more thoughtful adult.
Apart from learning course specific material, if you’re lucky enough, you’ll also learn how to cook, clean the bathroom, do your own groceries, how to stay up for 36 hours at a stretch, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll learn that you are more capable of handling pressure than you thought. And maybe, just maybe, you too will start believing in the possibility that we are all made of stardust.