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So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish

By on Sep 22, 2009 in Personal | 14 comments

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So ‘The Day’ is finally here. In a few hours, I will be flying cattle class out of solidarity with all our holy cows towards a new town which will be a home away from for me for the next few years. Yes folks, I’m leaving India today to join University of Surrey in Guildford, UK. I’m joining the four-year BEng Electronics & Computer engineering course there. (This course is a mix of both hardware as well as software related subjects.) As I do some last-minute packing at this ungodly hour, I can’t help but feel excited and nostalgic at the same time!

University of Surrey logo

University of Surrey logo

My journey towards joining University of Surrey began many moons ago, in the beginning of 2009. UK-based universities used a centralized application system called UCAS, and that’s where I began. UCAS allows you to apply to a maximum of five universities – my choices were Surrey, Aberystwyth (Wales), Kent, Aston, and Cardiff (not necessarily in that order). To cut a long story short (I feel sleepy!), I got offer letters from all five universities by mid-May. I now needed to pick one of these. Surrey  is one of the best universities in UK for electronics engineering / computer science. Surrey’s faculty of electronic engineering is at the cutting-edge of research in the field, including working closely with Surrey Satellite Technology, a spin-off from the university’s Surrey Space Centre which has worked on major projects such as the European Space Agency’s rival to GPS. Surrey county is also where many electronics and software firms have their headquarters. Surrey, thus, was by far my first preference among the universities I applied to.

Also, they know a thing or two about 'good marketing'.

Also, they know a thing or two about 'good marketing'.

Around the end of May, University of Surrey’s Director of Student Recruitment Dr Peter Marshall (who was a professor in the faculty of electronic engineering before taking this administrative position) visited New Delhi. (This was after I had got my offer letters from all universities.) I met up with him for a chat, and by the end of that meeting I felt that Surrey was the right choice for me. I accepted by the end of the day (via UCAS). I must thank Prannoy ‘Pony’ Sablok, a DPS VK senior and Code Warrior currently studying at Aston University for all his guidance during the application process. Then began the paperwork. I received my visa letter from Surrey towards the start of July. I applied for my visa on 17th July, and just three day later – on my birthday – I got my visa. :D That was a pleasant surprise, since visa processing generally takes around two weeks!

University of Surrey location. That's Guildford.

University of Surrey location. That's Guildford.

My university is situated in the town of Guildford is approximately half an hour away from London by rail / road. I solemnly deny that the fact that Douglas Adams had a soft spot for Surrey (the county) had anything to do with my decision to join Surrey (the university). Arthur Dent stays in Leatherhead, Surrey; Woking is ‘the word for when you go to the kitchen but forget why’; Ford Prefect is (supposedly) from Guildford…and so on. More references to Surrey in popular culture can be found in Harry Potter, Lara Croft, and War of the Worlds.

A celebrity resident of Guildford

A celebrity resident of Guildford

The past few weeks have been spent meeting relatives and school friends. Had a great time participating in the AIIMS college fest Pulse 2009 with ex-DPS VK Quiz Club members Rachit and Varun! (Came second in general trivia quiz, first on movie quiz, third in science quiz.) Making goofy faces at the Code Warriors reunion (more photos from CW Reunion 2009 here)…

0910_153817

…total vellapunti

Stationary on an escalator

gyaan.in, the associated meetup, technology (un)conferences have kept me busy too. Which reminds me, i’ve been working on the draft of a novel too. Shshshsh… No more details yet. One thing that I have realized is that writing a long-length work is tough shit. You start working on something, and then you find it doesn’t quite fit in. Maybe I’ll rework those bits, spin them off as short stories and then publish them here some day. Oh, and I’ve been doing this in Google Docs – revision control is a very handy tool.

For the past few months, I have also been working with Youthpad (and to an extent, more.VoiceTAP) as a content writer. Coming up with new blog post ideas for Youthpad daily has been a fun task, although at times I’ve suffered from serious bouts of writer’s block. :) Sadly, with university starting I won’t be able to continue in this position. Anyway, it has been great fun!

University of Surrey promotional video. I *heart* the catchy tune!

I won’t be blogging daily from now onwards (I hear my RSS subscribers breathing a sigh of relief), but I think I’ll remain fairly regular in putting up new blog posts. I’m also introducing three new post categories on my personal blogSurreyal, about happenings at the University of Surrey; Stiff Upper Lip, for everything else quintessentially British; Take42, which I intend to be a vodcast. I’ll try to incorporate more podcasts, videos, pictures in the future. And just FYI, I think it’d be a swell idea if someone starts a company called Take42 Interactive, as a parody of Take2 Interactive. ;)

Still packing...

Still packing...

Wow. This has been one long blog post. Soon, I’ll be switching over to a new time zone. It’s 6am in the morning right now, and I still haven’t slept one bit. Need to get some rest now. I want to thank all my readers for the immense support and great company that you have given me. And remember, if you need to get in touch I’m just a click away.

So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish! :)

PS – The cake is a lie.



14 Comments

  1. Manmeet

    September 22, 2009

    Post a Reply

    Hey ankurb,
    all the best for your new life at Surrey.
    Your blog has always been interesting to read and I hope all the readers, like me ,will continue to get such great posts.

  2. Ankur Sethi

    September 22, 2009

    Post a Reply

    Sorry to nitpick, but I could not control my UNIX instincts :p

    > Oh, and I’ve been doing this in Google Docs – revision control is a very handy tool.

    Source control in Google Docs? Real men use Vim and git. The cloud is a lie!

    Anyway, great choice. Europe in general is a great place to be (at least IMO). Take your towel along and drink a lot of tea (or liquids almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea) :)

  3. Abhishek

    September 22, 2009

    Post a Reply

    You should go see places when you find the time. Awesome place for photography too. Might like to pick up a DSLR while you’re at it.

    • Ankur

      September 24, 2009

      Post a Reply

      Seriously. Even the campus is so beautiful! My university accomodation is close to a lake too.

  4. Sarthak

    September 25, 2009

    Post a Reply

    Congrats man! Looks you are happy there. Best of Luck for the future. Also, The Hiq results are out. We qualified and so did Prateek.

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