Rabu, 29 Oktober 2014

Officially Matriculated!

Hello, everyone! I hope you are doing well, although the weather is getting colder (or if you are in Indonesia -it has not rained and the weather is super hot).

First lesson when you are away from home: eat a balanced meal, which means you should eat veggies and fruits, and always wash your hands. You never know when you are going to catch a cold. Especially at the beginning of the year, when everyone just came back from their summer holidays, and brought viruses/ bacteria/ germs from there. That is why there is always an 'epidemic' cold/ fever/ influenza going on at the beginning of school year.

So, what have I been up to?

Me in undergraduate gown.
I am officially matriculated to both St. Edmund's College and University of Cambridge! So, I am going to be a part of St. Edmund's College for my whole life although I'm only here for one year. It's awesome, isn't it? I can be a part of St. Edmund's alumni, and (maybe) University of Cambridge.

So, what is a matriculation, exactly?

It was held in the Chapel (every college in Cambridge has a Chapel). The ceremony itself is secular, although at the end, a priest was leading a prayer in Latin language. I could not really understand it, but at the end, people were answering with 'amen'.

They called people one by one to the 'stage' of the Chapel, and the Headmaster welcomed you, shook hands with you, and had a little chit-chat about your background. After that, we headed to the back of the Chapel, where a big book of signatures was on the table. Everyone who has entered St. Edmund's at some point, had to sign this book as a form of 'commitment' to the college and university.

If I were in Trinity College, I would have signed a book that was also signed by Isaac Newton!

As you can see above, I need to wear a gown (I have explained the details about this gown-thingy in previous post). The level of the occasion requires the people with high position in the College to wear their Scarlet gown, with a hood of their degree as well. However, it's still below the super formal where the attendee needs to wear an evening dress/ black-tie. You can see that I was not wearing a dress but a normal 'celana bahan dan kemeja', pants and shirts, haha.

A door to St. Edmund's College. You can see the College crest on the top of the door.
St. Edmund's College crest. Source. Motto: 'Per Revelationem et Rationem' (through revelation and reason).
After the matriculation ceremony, we had a really nice 3-course meal dinner at the dinning hall. The main course was fish, and it was really good. The wine was flowing, from red, to white. Earlier in the reception, there was also sherry. I could not drink it, though, because I don't drink alcohol; however, I still need to pay around 20 Pounds for the meal last night, like everyone else. A bit sad, but it's fine. Next time they should prepare a nice non-alcoholic drink for non-drinkers, haha.

I was sitting next to awesome people during the dinner. Again, as I have told you, this college houses more postgraduates that undergraduates, so the chance of me sitting next to a postgrad student is higher. It was nice to have a conversation other than schoolwork (things that every undergraduates complain about), and more about the world, the workplace, and so on. This is another thing I really like about this college.

So, maybe in the future, when I have become a prominent person in this world (and hopefully for after-life too), people will be so proud in joining this college. 'Oh My Goodness, I am signing the same book that Noor Titan was signing, years ago!' Haha. Have a good day!

Rabu, 15 Oktober 2014

Feeling Small: Good and Bad

It has been exactly two weeks since I arrived in Cambridge. There are so many things going on, so many new friends, and so much work to do. Well, not really, compared to weekly problem sets deadline at MIT, haha. Seriously, though, I am having trouble to 'unfreeze' my brain after four months of summer break.

Yet, Cambridge cannot stop being beautiful for a moment.

King's College, University of Cambridge. That's true, we cannot step on the grass.
Yet, the River Cam keeps flowing, and you can always find people punting, trying to finish off the season.

A cloudy day makes a big difference on the picture, doesn't it?
People move in, move out. One thing for sure: they need to adjust with their environment.

I realized that I could not afford wasting 1 hour every day just walking back and forth between my college and CUED (Cambridge University Engineering Department); so, I decided to get a bike. Special thanks to friends who help me buy one.
When unmet expectations arise, new atmosphere may sometimes make people feel homesick. Then, they will try to find comfort from 'home'.

Hi, Yee Ling! Hi, Katie! Hi, my room at MIT!
And when the workload feels unbearable...

And CUED Library feels stifling...
You will feel small.

Which is good and bad.

Because, it means, you have passed another stage of culture shock, and there will only be an increase in degree of familiarity with this new place.

Feeling disoriented, or having a hard time finding your 'place', can make you feel helpless, but remember that people who move (and dare to move) all experience the same thing.

You are not alone.

At least, you know, in the end, after all the adjustments, love-hate feelings, and roller coaster of culture shock, you will call this new place, home.

The deep meaning one, not what Amazon asks you.
We all go through that, and every single time we pass through it, will make it easier the next time we are facing it.

Just take it as an exercise to be a more powerful, amazing, brilliant, person. This, too, shall pass.