中英图文by Xie Xinrui
The solace of life is that each day has an end. This one will, too.
Having just experienced the life of a Cambridge student and returning to reality, I woke up this morning with the feeling that I was still there. Perhaps it’s because I had an extraordinary feeling, or I gained unexpected things, anyway, at least it made it clear to me that I had lived my life in this place.
After nearly two days' travel, we arrived at Cambridge after seven hours' time difference. The following was settling down at Clare college, and then a few days of intense academic studies. In the application, I chose international relations and sociology, which are related to my future major (Religious Studies). The former itself is more basic, as the latter one is similar to the style of university courses.
Formal Communication and University Counselling were provided as well. Fortunately, all the courses were taught by teachers in Cambridge, in other words, we have the opportunity to get the most authentic first-hand information and even one-on-one communication after class.
But that doesn't mean it's easy -- limited class time made for intense content, with notes sometimes taking up more than one A4 sheet of paper. Assignments often required a paper outline derived from some deep-thinking topic, or something that emphasized personal mind. Under the tight schedule and daily life, I was often been seen in the garden rushing to finish my homework.
Since I applied for the ACC course this time, I was not able to participate in the mock interview, but I also had to draft my personal statement for applying for the university together with OCC students. However, I used to write about Religious Studies in a haphazard way. Sure enough, I was challenged at the beginning of my personal statement.
As a perfectionist, I wanted to imitate the high level opening of Oxbridge students, though the theory that I wanted to mention was not clear even in Chinese. While other students were writing most of the pages and even preparing to turn the pages, I was still stuck in the first line, trying to find a breakthrough. No matter in terms of vocabulary, core theory or logical cohesion, this major is too difficult for me now.
Thanks to my advisor, who kept an eye on students' progress from beginning to end and gave me a constructive suggestion: take it easy, keep it simple, and something is better than nothing. He was also my teacher of Sociology, therefore to some extent, he answered my questions about my major and guided me to clarify the context. Soon, my rest exposition followed the brief, clear opening.
Hanging out in the town was a major part of our free time. Sample snacks at the market, went to the supermarket for extra meals for roommates, picked up my favorite books at the oldest local bookstore, and captured the view of the town in the evening from above...
I never thought I would be so familiar with Cambridge. As time went by, I felt like I have been studying and living there for a long time.
The style of Cambridge is by no means a single and boring study, this summer camp was full of regional activities.
For instance, punting on the River Cam to enjoy the scenery along the way; exploring Cambridge with friends and found your destination in the prompts. If I have to mention about the highlight, nothing beat the decryption game. It is said that no one has completely analyzed and given the correct answer. This seemed to arouse the interest of my partner and me.
From the first afternoon we came into contact, we searched for clues together and used our respective disciplines to collect information. In our spare time, we sat by the river in the strong winds of the maritime climate and tried to connect the clues together. Although we sometimes had disagreement, I had to admit that logic is the most powerful form of persuasion.
It was a shame that we didn't meet the deadline to write all our reasoning, but when I learned at dinner that we were the only group that came up with the right answer, I thought the nights I stayed up late were worth than anything.
Sometimes we went out to experience, such as a visit to London at the beginning, followed by a two-day camping trip, which was the best way to improve the relationship with my friends. After washing away the fatigue of the day, chatting together around the campfire, I not only met a number of friends from all over the country, but also got my horizon broader.
Seeing them off on the way back was a little poignant, but it was their presence that made me realize that I had been there before, and that I had taken another step on my way to a prestigious university.