It is official now – You may call me a master ;)

Almost six years after I finished high school, I now hold my master’s degree in my hands. I went to the post office on Wednesday in the evening to grab the letter which contained my diploma! It is official now, I graduated from ETH Zurich on the 23rd of June, 2020.

It has been an amazing time. I remember the day – almost as if it had been yesterday – when my maths teacher asked me after class what my future plans are. My answer: Don’t know yet. Maybe I just wait for another year… He looked at me in disbelieve and asked me, whether he could be completely honest with me. I said yes, I mean, what was there to lose?

He started smiling and said: If I could choose where you’d go, I’d choose ETH Zurich. Follow your passion for maths! Become a teacher or scientist and show the world what makes you so passionate and interested in this subject. I thought of it for a few hours and then I had to agree… He was kind of right. I really liked maths and physics. Why not giving it a shot?

I enrolled at ETH Zurich, just before the deadline, and as a Swiss citizen with a Swiss Matura, I didn’t have to be accepted, but I could go there anyways.

I remember quite well how I had to get up at 4:30 every morning to travel to ETH in my first semester. I’d say I suffered chronic sleep deprivation already then 😉

I got the chance to meet so many awesome people right from the start and day by day, I found myself discovering the universe of ETH and its surroundings even more. I realised about half way through my first year that maths isn’t really the thing I am going to pursue, but that I found myself very interested in the physics parts. So after one year I decided to change track and switched to physics entirely.

After passing the Basisprüfung in summer 2016, I felt somewhat invincible and challenged myself by running for president of our student association. The academic year 2016/17 was probably the best year of my life so far. I spent so many beautiful hours with the people I cared about and worked with them tirelessly to make VMP great again. The student association for maths, physics and computational science and engineering students did not only give me the chance to learn soooo much when it comes to debating with professors about right or wrong, or when it comes to organising really big events, no it also offered me one of the greatest gifts possible: A family at ETH.

Spending years fighting for students’ rights, teaching younger students, organising parties or other events, taking part in discussions with my department and getting to know every little piece of the life at ETH, the time has come to say goodbye.

I dare to say that ETH has formed me in many different aspects: I did not only grow to be a physicist, but ETH taught me how to make the best of everything. I must admit, it wasn’t always like candy land. ETH is a tough one, but it was surely worth it!

I have met a huge number of fantastic people at this university and I cannot mention them all in one post, but over the years you will be meeting some of them here, with memories of the past or stories yet to be created. Every single person I met has made an impression on me, taught me to become a better person, and has proven me right that following your dreams is the way to go, but you should never forget your principles and ideals!

This truly stunning time has come to an end now and I am happy to be facing new challenges in the upcoming days, months and years. My next step is already set in stone: I will start my PhD in High-Resolution Spectroscopy of Exoplanets at Lund University in September 2020. So yes, I am moving to Sweden!

My journey will start in a few days, or at least it would have. I will update you as we go 😉 Enjoy the weekend and see y’all soon!

There is one last thing to say: Tack så mycket och hej då!

— Bibi


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