Congratulations on getting into Imperial! Your time with us is going to be the best thing since Swiss cheese. Where was I? Oh yeah, welcome, we are excited to have you! Now, it’s up to me to try and persuade you to
join our club enrich your life, so that you can win friends, influence people and succeed in this game of life. Get ready!
October 2017. Just a month prior, I was writing, writing, writing the personal statement I would use to win the favour of my universities of choice. I am quite good at writing, I thought, so this shouldn’t be too difficult. In all my complacency, I completely overlooked the fact that I had to speak with a professor about the things I was passionate about. I felt queasy. I rehearsed for days and days as though I was going to give an ‘I have a dream’ speech. On the day of my interview, I was so nervous that I was sweating like a pig on a Summer’s day despite it being the coldest days of that year. The only thing I remember vividly from that day was giving my interview… and failing it.
My application was rejected.
4 melancholy months later, I got an email from Imperial saying they would like to give me a second chance. What! Am I dreaming?! This time, I thought confidently and probably aloud, I am going to give this interview my all!
I practised day and night to my brother, my parents, my friends, at school, at home, in the car, until the big day.
There I was, shaking in my shiny faux leather dress shoes. I was still sweaty, but, this time, confidence sparkled in my eyes. I entered with mere words and an honest desire to be accepted into my dream institute and I exited with euphoria and… an acceptance letter!
(Of course, I still needed to meet the grades, but I don’t think I need to preach to the converted.)
Let me tell you that if I had continued to be complacent, disinterested and egotistic, I would not have been admitted. It was my openness, joy and determination that enabled me to persevere and transcend my expectations.
Without Toastmasters, I have barely come so far. With it, the whole world is my oyster, just like it is and has been for many of the most influential leaders of the human race. Many hands make light work, and the same is true with public speaking, so are you with me?