Going through the last week of lectures for ITMOC leaves a bittersweet taste since I’m both excited to start my summer dissertation but also low-spirited since now I’ll naturally see the rest of my classmates less. The class’s chemistry exceeded all initial expectations I had; and after spending the last 8 months working alongside my classmates, I’m happy to know that in the following years I’ll have people to turn to when needed. Yes, I can proudly state that as far as group dynamics go, there is barely anything we can improve, but how we got to this point can’t be explained as a straightforward answer.
Fortunately, the school helped on every step of the way. So, even though this isn’t a foolproof recipe, here is how ITMOC cultivated an amazing teaching environment and gave me my best year in university so far.
Step one: introductions. You will realise that you will repeat this step several times. Introducing yourself to your classmates and your professors will happen a lot. How many is a lot? Well as a minimum, you’ll do this for each module that you take… Frustrating as it may be to keep repeating yourself, that first frustration is also a great bonding experience as you get to share it with the rest of your classmates. (Complaining about a common annoyance is extremely effective! Don’t underestimate…)
Step two: group work. Love or hate it (I hate it…) group work is an essential part of our course and even if you prefer the lone-wolf approach of tackling coursework, it’s certain that at some point you’ll have to work in a team and thus picking up some teamwork experience is certainly helpful. This will be the first incentive from our school to meet after class or during the weekends and work with each other in a casual environment. Your classmates’ thinking processes step into the limelight during these meetings and it’s a great opportunity to learn from each other. I’ve gone through group work sessions where the entire time we were cracking jokes and laughing (this isn’t advised, we almost didn’t make the deadline with that group…), positive vibes all around.
Step three: social events. ITMOC organises a fair number of social events such as trips and meals throughout the year (we even have an upcoming summer meal on the 7th of June!). Add to this the numerous events that LUMS plans during the year, there will be few “empty” weeks on your schedule. But wait, there is more! Your class is even given a budget to plan your own events, and after you elect your social rep., you’ll have the chance to make your own idea of social event a reality!
Step four: you and everyone else on the programme. You’ll get to realise quite quickly that you are part of a class of people with the same interests, that already have experience of being in a class and want to have a pleasant year. The professors are incredibly friendly and facilitate classes where jokes (to an extent) and discussion are not only allowed but encouraged.
The informality of this blog post serves as my effort to reach out to you and clearly state that as far as I’m concerned ITMOC is not only an amazing programme but also a fantastic environment to be part of. A fun year awaits you, trust me on this.