Virtual notes from LSE final years

As LSE goes virtual and friends fly back home across the world, many final years at LSE have not had the chance to say goodbye. The Beaver would like to create a space where final years, be they undergraduates or postgraduates, can pen a 200-word note to reflect on their time at LSE, friends, and experiences. Submit yours here.

I promised Tom I’d say this at graduation, but as we aren’t having one: LSEya later! LSE is a uni I’ve slated, bitched about, but ultimately now feel deep sadness about leaving so suddenly. The Stockholm syndrome really has set in. What has made this university special is a cliché: the people I’ve met. Through my course, through the Beaver, and through rugby. I’m sorry I won’t be able to say goodbye, even hugging most people as a final farewell feels dangerous to do. I want to cry over the plans that will never be carried out and abrupt and sad conversations of uncertainty as times become ever more precarious. Celebrating with you all would have been a joy and I’m happy to have met you all. My message for anyone flying out: please stay in touch and when you’re back in the UK let’s go for that milkshake we planned, coffee, or movie. For those of you staying in London: let’s go to the Winchester, have a nice cold pint, and wait for this to all blow over, yeah?
Amelia Jabry – Anthropology

This isn’t something I would ever have written normally. But now graduation is canceled, and the little rituals I was planning to use to say goodbye are looking increasingly uncertain. So I’m feeling sentimental. People say university is made up of the people you meet and that is true. But LSE is also a place that over the past three years I have loved and resented in equal measure. It resists caricature: I speak of it disparagingly but bristle whenever I hear it dismissed as corporate, soulless. Maybe it is, but over the past few days, as flight plans have been formed, and anxious phone calls made to family, I have seen the best of this community. People comforting each other in the library, exchanging any information they have over group chat, still finding time to work for their varsity match, play rehearsal or justice for cleaners campaign. LSE is a frustrating place, but it is also one of the first things in my life that I chose for myself. Despite occasional fury, and often feeling like a shrimp lost in the deep ocean, this isn’t a choice I have ever regretted.
Emma Lyons – International History

I have absolutely loved the past 3 years at LSE. If you get really stuck in, join a sport or find something that you really love, then LSE can be such a special place. I’ve had the best time exploring one of the greatest cities in the world with some incredible friends that I will love forever.
Georgia Mosheim – Economics

I remember sitting in what I didn’t know was one of my last in-person classes at LSE and getting the notification. As I read through the advice given, I did a quick mental calculation of all the time spent with my friends, all the hard-work gone to waste, all the memories that I won’t be able to make…The date of the closure was what gave me the worst anxiety. 2 days before my planned acappella concert. As I broke down crying in the media and faith centres, I continuously replayed the last lines of a song I would’ve sung as I said goodbye to the group I founded and nurtured for the past three years of my life: “I may not live to see our glory, but I will gladly join the fight…” And in that moment, it all felt so real: I would never get the closure I wanted with them, the emotional send-off I had fantasised for so long, the bouquet of flowers I would’ve held as I cried and gave my last speech as the music director. To all my fellow RogueNotes, past and present, if you’re reading this, I am so goddamn proud of you all. And I know deep down that this would’ve been the best show we’d put on since our debut 2 years ago. Signing off for one last time, your director, Ash x
Ash Layo Masing – Sociology

Looking back past 3 years, despite all those regrets that I wish I did differently, my time here was the best moment of my life. I was fortunate to meet not only those renowned academics that I never imagined seeing outside of the reading list, but also the dearest friends that I can trust and count on. I learned more at the LSE than what I did in the prior 18 years, especially on how the world goes around in-depth. Somehow you do learn about the causes of things. Yes, the university has a very unhealthy level of obsession in commercial careers. It was only my third day at campus that someone asked me which firm that I would apply to for the spring week. Having stayed in an intercollegiate hall in my first year, some of the socials here never really lived up to the hype. Ironically, these all actually awakened my sense of the real world. Otherwise, I could never go beyond naivety. I knew nothing about what to do after graduation when I first came here. Overall, it was a mixed experience. However, quoting probably the most said phrase here, it really do be like that sometimes.
Ronald Kim – International Relations

LSE’s been a perfect storm of coming-of-age experiences for me. After a life of repression in a homophobic evangelical school, LSE was the background of many of my firsts as an openly bisexual woman. Not even in a sexual way, but in that it was the first time I could have an openly queer set of friends. London isn’t perfect – many of us have been hatecrimed – but it’s still a vast improvement from where we’re coming from.
LSE is also where I’ve seen the beginning of my adulthood. Coming to the UK alone, out of necessity because my parents couldn’t afford to travel with me, I’ve learnt a lot about my personal resilience. In the absence of my immediate family, the friends I’ve made at LSE became my found family. We squabble over the most inane shit sometimes but we also cry together and comfort each other. In the wake of my bipolar disorder diagnosis, I have relied on my LSE friends so much. I am forever grateful to the school that brought us together.

Christina Anamarie Lauren Ivey – Politics and International Relations

I know a lot of people that came to this university expecting a catered experience similar to what their friends have in other British or American universities, but I’m thankful that LSE wasn’t that. Because it was here that, for the first time, I truly felt like I had a degree of control over the course of my life – and that wouldn’t have happened at most other ‘normal’ universities.
I’ve often felt that my life is reduced to the set of exceptional circumstances I endured and continue to live with. Surrounded by gob-smacking privilege on campus and inexcusable inequality in London, I’m surprised that my experience wasn’t defined by reinforcement of victimisation. I think it is precisely LSE’s ‘sink-or-swim’ mentality that made me realise that I could work with, or compete against, the best and brightest of this community. Learning that I can really do this by playing to my own skills, despite whatever my background, has proved to be a crucial personal milestone. This Rocky-esque training montage has been gruelling. I don’t wish it on anyone, considering the disastrous impacts it can have on mental health.
But, personally speaking, I’d like to thank the LSE for these tough times. They made me appreciate the potential within myself so that I can relax enough to value the people and places I find myself sharing the present with.

Sharif Kazemi – BSc International Relations and History

Everything happened so quickly that it feels a bit hazy. Unable to get back home, I still remain in London and miss the LSE campus so much. I enjoyed exploring new study spaces around campus, walking around Lincoln’s Inn Fields, trying out different things from the cafes around. My three years at the LSE have been filled with bittersweet experiences. Yet as COVID-19 slows down everything around the world, the happier memories at LSE re-surface more strongly- the friendly and passionate teachers, the fascinating and eye-opening Anthropology readings (I feel so blessed for having the opportunity to study this subject), the warm and welcoming friends. To the many people I never got the chance to meet, speak to or say goodbye: I hope that things are okay on your side and wish you all the courage to deal with things at the moment. When all will be well, I really hope we get the chance to meet again!

Preetima Moteea -Anthropology and Law

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