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The end of an era 2 October 1, 2006

Posted by ayasawada in Personal.

Friday saw the end of my MSc. Really the end this time, as our end of year party is probably the last time I will see many people. The party had been in planning for about eight months, but as social committee numbers dwindled, it became apparant that Alison, Alex, Meera, Greg and I would be the one’s to push it through.

The last week has been a bit hellish in truth. What is it that makes me think it is a good idea to volunteer to organise something? I hate being responsible, it always leaves me stressed and out of pocket. The last seven days have been spent frantically running between work and Uni. Viv thankfully took over the yearbook a while ago, but with her CERN internship she caught a plane to Geneva last week, so I picked up the baton. In the meantime, dissertations and jobs had got in the way of party-planning and there were a few things sorted at the last minute.

Yet the evening was a fantastic success (you can see the pictures by clicking on Flickr in the sidebar). Despite me running around for five hours on the night, I still enjoyed it. Everyone truly appreciated our efforts. We had a lovely venue up in the 8th floor physics common room (complete with spectacular view), a jazz band, a feast of a buffet, a wonderfully edited ‘tralier’ of the SMP films and plenty of decent quality booze. The yearbook was also spectacular. I expected Viv to think out of the box, but not of a box. Our yearbook was a pizza box, containing a very original yearbook, a DVD (which I had spent three days burning for everyone), and a unique bit of ‘science quilt’ from Alice/Amber/Viv’s group project work (every piece represents a different part of science). The alumni turned up and the staff had a great time. I met many of my friend’s other halves for the first time in ages and it brought a tear to my eye to see so many familiar faces together for the last time. It also brought a tear to my eye to have to stand up four times and make various announcements and speeches.

Not everything went well of course. The building locked up at 11pm and despite my best efforts people were slow to move. 50 people got locked in and we had to call a very annoyed security guard to get us out. Security were further irritated when I interrupted their afternoon of sitting to try and clean up the place on Saturday – a necessity courtesy of our swipe cards being deactivated a day too early. I let out a huge sigh when I started cleaning the room on my own, but thankfully Alex turned up soon after and between the two of us we just about got it done.

Leaving campus that evening, I had one last look at the place. Whilst everyone was watching the SMP screening at the party, I was instead watching the faces of my incredibly talented friends. A lot of this year has been very trying and I’ve had to face up to a lot of my limitations, but also found previously untapped resources. As I sit at my new desk in my new job, I think maybe I could have done this without that year. But I don’t regret it one little bit. People told me that this degree would be one of the best experiences of my life and I’d probably agree with them. Here’s to a future, hopefully full of familiar faces.



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