Trojan tragedies, Ciceronian complaints, and Persian “decadence”

The first few weeks of my final year have rushed by in a whirlwind of Trojan tragedies, Ciceronian complaints, and Persian “decadence”; all this coupled with the delights of trawling through graduate training schemes and Master’s courses. That said, I’m enjoying my courses: the Persian diplomatic outlook and their tolerant multiculturalism make a change from the usual empires we’re familiar with, and I’m delighted finally to be studying the Trojan War and its influence on future generations, including our own.

If there’s one thing I’ve enjoyed about my course, it’s discovering and analysing the connections we have to our past: you come to realise just how important these civilisations are to our daily life and beliefs; they continue to influence us as their ideas, skills and ideals continue to be subconsciously passed down from generation to generation. It’s incredible how influential the Ancient World still is, and it certainly puts the mere few thousand years between us and them into perspective – we have progressively expanded upon their discoveries in most walks of life, but at our core we are not so different from them.

Needless to say, I have been taking full advantage of all the cafes around Bristol. I find them an excellent place to study, especially when the Arts and Social Sciences library is crammed full of students. There are University study spaces quite close to the library but I prefer to be near the bookshelves or settled in the comfy chairs on the top floor of Café Nero.

I have also been enjoying going to Kung Fu on weekends as a welcome break from the pressure. Studying a martial art was always a bit of a pipe-dream for me, and I’ll never regret my decision to take the plunge. There are so many martial arts and self-defence disciplines to try at Bristol, but I haven’t really been tempted to foray further into the unknown, especially since I’m on the committee this year! It was slightly daunting sticking my neck out to arrange things at first, but I’m getting the hang of it I think. I hope.

– Yasmin


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