Life at university after ACS
We caught up with ACS Hillingdon Alumni, Miho, who is now studying Physics at King’s College London, to find out how her first year at university is going so far.
How has your first year at university been so far?
I’m currently in my first year at King’s College London studying Physics. It did take me a little while to settle in to university life as everyone here is very smart. King’s also has a very diverse community, with students from lots of different religions and nationalities.
My studies have been challenging, but I do feel that studying the IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) has prepared me well for university life. Time management is the ONE key thing that the IBDP really hones, because you study up to six subjects at one time. With Physics there are a lot of different modules, and being well-organised is essential for balancing a mixture of study texts and course deadlines.
As a result of my IB studies, I also felt more comfortable in a variety of lesson formats. My IB Physics course, for example, included work in a lab and as a result I was more familiar with this environment at university than many of my fellow King’s course mates – especially those that studied A Level.
There is quite a large Chinese student population at King’s and I’m pleased that I studied Chinese as one of my IB subjects, because I feel I can converse with a wide number of my peers.
What part of university do you enjoy the most?
I’ve joined a number of societies at university – which I really enjoy! I’ve joined ‘TechSoc’, taken part in their first Hackathon of the year and I’m slowly learning how to code. It’s great for meeting all sorts of different people across the university.
At ACS Hillingdon, I belonged to a number of different sports clubs, including the Volleyball and Softball teams. Here I’ve joined the boxing team! At the moment I’m finishing off the beginners training course and then in my second year, I might (just might) think about taking part in a match. There are only two or three girls at the moment but we do exactly the some workouts as the boys.
What was your favourite subject at ACS Hillingdon?
I really loved the IB’s ‘Theory of Knowledge’ (TOK) course and I was lucky to be taught by my favourite teacher – Mrs. Bernie. It has helped me appreciate that Physics and logical science has its limitations, and provided me with a holistic view on life in general.
You need the Arts, Humanities and Languages to give you a well-rounded perspective and it means I have a greater understanding of what my friends are studying. I would definitely recommend other students to take it up.
I’ve also kept up TOK, in a way, at King’s College. They run a course with one lecture a week that covers lots of different subjects and if you complete the entire three year course, you can also graduate with an ‘Associate of King’s College’ degree.
What was it like making new friends?
With IB students you find there is an instant connection and that’s not just because there are more A Level students at King’s. When you’re with another IB student, you know where you are from, how far you came and how hard you worked during the two years of the Diploma.
It is quite nice coming to King’s with a fellow ACS classmate, Beina Bowider, and it was comforting to know that we were starting university together. I loved my time at ACS Hillingdon – it has lots of people with different ideas and perspectives, but this year has been a big adventure and lots of fun!
Do you have any future plans?
I am currently studying a three year course to complete my Bachelors of Science and then I’ll start my Masters. I also have the option of studying abroad in my third year – so I’m definitely considering a semester in America, Paris or Singapore.