All LSE students are known to come from the best schools or institutions in the world. LSE becomes the playground of “la crème de la crème” in which many of us are utterly surprised to find ourselves in a race amongst the most intelligent people around the world.
At first, it took me lots of time to accept the fact that LSE is about the best of the best. As I was previously under confident, I felt intimidated by the presence of geniuses in my classes at LSE. This led me to behave like a shy lamb in my classes, unwilling to speak my opinion. Very often, I found my mouth sealed during the whole hour, burying my face in the notes that I made for the class or frantically trying to make sense of the material being delivered in class, avoiding making eye contact with students, or worse the teacher.
This traumatic time phased out upon meeting with the LSE Teaching and Learning Centre, whereby I learnt to participate in my classes. In fact, contributing to the class makes one feel more confident and better understand the content of the course. With a shy and slight anxiety in the voice, I practiced talking in classes, which was warmly welcomed by my teachers who always prompted me to elaborate my arguments. While I was engaging with the course in a critical way, I found that the classes became more enriching because the scope of the debates grew wider.
Besides, the academics at LSE are known to be challenging and difficult, so often my marks in essays and tests turned out to be an utter disappointment. I always hated feedback because I always felt I was never good enough. Though we all work hard on our essays, trying to read the maximum of sources to ace a First, it just seems to be a far way blurred dream. Yet, we strive each time, trying to get rid of our weaknesses in essay writing and attempting to formulate the famous “argument” which should be our own opinion of topics studied. A daunting task!
On the whole, though disappointment and failures are not the best part of an LSE education, they are the seeds of improvement. They teach us that we are human beings, imperfect and treading on a path to an ideal which LSE sets so high but once we reach there, we will say: “The journey was worthwhile, and the struggle made me stronger.”