I chose to study maths at university without having the faintest idea of what that meant. And after four years of studying it, I have even less of an idea! We all ended up in the melting pot that is London, studying a course which had no Lecturecast or TurnItIn – we might as well have been studying in the previous century! But with just a few scribbles across a whiteboard (or chalk if you were lucky!), I learnt some of the most beautiful of abstract concepts from the most incredible of minds.
To say its been a smooth ride is a lie. I faltered on many occasions. Have I chosen the right degree? Am I cut out for this? The epsilons and deltas left my brain haywire in first year. But I stuck it out and it was the best decision ever.
Not just for the maths – although it did get much prettier as the years progressed. But the people who surrounded me. The lecturers who sat there patiently listening to the most simplest of questions, painstakingly writing out every step until I understood. I always wondered what was going through their head as they paused high-level academic research to explain an undergraduate level maths problem.
And the life-long friends I made. Those who pushed me to spend all-nighters in the libraries – in the Scandinavian section with its oaken hush or under the whistling windows on the Maths floor. The ones who were always there when you just couldn’t make heads or tails in the problem sheets. It’s impossible to have a chat with a maths friend who’s media gallery isn’t filled with photos of scribbles on scrap papers. And those who kept you sane when you couldn’t face the ordeal of heading to Excel and doing yet another exam.
Well, that’s my university journey. I dove into a subject I loved without much idea of what it’d be like or any plan of what I was going to do with it. And during this time, I made the closest of friends, had exhilarating experiences and truly discovered myself. So, Zubair of 18, firming your UCAS choices and imagining your life of maths at UCL here’s a heads-up – it’ll all going to work out!