My last test for my last course for my first year is on Thursday. While part of me is studying the mechanisms of motor proteins and the packing of chromatin, part of me is looking back at how my life has changed in the past 10 months.
My class started off as a large group, a sea of strangers, and through time spent together and sadly, many leaving the program, they are now a group of people I not only know by name, but can call many of them friends. While I am not a social butterfly, and I’ve missed all the social events of the year, I still feel like I belong to this group of wonderfully wacky intelligent people. It’s a great feeling, finding a place you belong. When I walk through the doors at KI (the Solna campus), I feel like I am coming home. I can lounge on the sofa’s and chat with friends, and I know just where to find quiet corners when I need some privacy to study. Don’t get me wrong, I like the Huddinge campus too, the food is so much better and the technology is more functional, and it’s a great place to study. It just doesn’t give me that warm fuzzy feeling when I walk through the doors because it isn’t my academic home.
I’ve been debating what to write about my first year, and what I love about KI, because sometimes I struggle to find what is good about KI. I spend at least two days of five growling in frustrating screaming ” I HATE KI! ARGHH!!” but then I still can’t imagine myself anywhere else. This is my 6th University, and yet the first one that really feels like a place I belong. I enjoy that my class is a few less than 60 students, although at most lectures we’re probably half that. I enjoy that I know most of the librarians, and the tech support guys, and the lunch lady. I think it is the small close knit community that makes KI so wonderful. Or maybe it is that it’s full of personality, and while it has two hundred years of history can act very much as a blank canvas. You want to see a change at KI? Odds are you can make it happen. Students get to be an important part of the system adding new activities and opportunities every week. We’re not just here to go through the system, attending classes, getting a degree and leaving, while we are here we are part of the community.
I have had an interesting first year at KI. It’s had ups (getting to know my teachers and classmates, learning really interesting things, and finding a productive outlet for my passion for complaining) and downs (every time I’ve used technology at KI for the first time, the times I’ve been told I’m unreasonable in my expectations, finding out another classmate has left the program, or stressing over assignments). For better or for worse, KI will be my home for at least the next two years.
Woohoo for summer!