20 May 2020
It was Welcome Week—the week before classes begin in first semester. We had a Masters' Degree Networking Event on a rainy afternoon, when I suddenly ran into a Chinese girl who was studying the same programme as me. "Oh! You do FinTech too?" I said.
After that, we went out for dinner a few times, and spent lots of time studying together in the library—until the day before our first assignment was due. It was 5.30pm. I submitted my work on Learn, our Virtual Learning Environment, and went to ask if she would like to go out to have dinner together. She also had finished writing, and was checking for grammatical and spelling errors. Suddenly, I spilled her water bottle...all over her computer. It shut down.
I was baffled for a few seconds, then started crying. Literally. After that, it was an ordeal. We ran around the streets to serach for a shop that might be able to fix her computer, but all the shops were closed. I had never wanted to turn back time more than at that moment. If only I was more careful, or at least had waited until she had submitted her work before I approached her, I would not have caused her so many problems. Even if I managed to buy her a new computer, her problems would not just disappear. She still had to re-write her whole essay, and it was due tomorrow. Furthermore, she had some important information on her computer that needed to be retrieved.
Long story short, we returned to the library. She finished the assignment in the library at 1am that night (I'm so thankful that prior to lockdown, our Main Library, which is within a 1-minute walk from the Business School, was open 24/7 and lends laptops to those who do not have one). Qiao got 80% on that assignment which is usual for her, because she's just brilliantly bright. We ended up buying a new computer because the cost of fixing her broken one would be too high. Luckily, the information could be retrieved, and everything worked out OK in the end. Weirdly, since then, our friendship grew.
To me, Qiao is a very nice and funny person to be around. We study, dine, and go partying together. She's also very emotionally supportive when I am down or worried. I am more than grateful that I met her. She definitely made my experience at the Business School even better.
Dear Qiao, let's keep in touch and arrange to meet in the future!
Immy Asavabhokhin is a student on the MSc in Finance, Technology and Policy