What the bachelor of Science students do during the second year? Let's find out!

Lunnet Newman BX24

Could you please introduce yourself ?

Hi, I’m Lunnet, nice to meet you. My father is American, and my mother is Japanese, and I was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. Growing up, I attended the Lycée Français International de Tokyo, where I became fluent in French. Despite this, I had never visited France before starting my Bachelor, and have been enjoying living in France. I’m a physics major, the choice was obvious to me from the start. I already knew I wanted to major in physics in high school, and the second-semester physics courses I took confirmed to me that I made the right decision. In addition to academics, I am also a member of the Lore, the student body association of the Bachelor program. As the general secretary, It’s been a lot of fun contributing to student life.

Why did you choose the Bachelor of Science of Ecole Polytechnique ?

When I was considering my options for undergraduate studies, the Bachelor program stood out to me for two major reasons. First, having attended a French high school, I was interested in studying in France and particularly interested in doing a prepa. However, I was uncertain about whether I wanted to pursue a master's degree in France or the US, as I had a strong interest in both countries. What I found appealing about the Bachelor program was that it allowed me to keep all options open and delay the decision until later. After graduation, I have the flexibility to apply to master's programs abroad or to Grandes Ecoles, which I really liked. Then, the international aspect of the program was also a crucial factor in my decision-making. Having grown up in a multicultural environment and having attended an international high school, I wished to continue this experience in my undergraduate studies. The Bachelor program offered precisely that, enabling me to make friends from all over the world.

Could you tell us how the second year is going ?

Things are going well! I am very happy with my decision to major in physics. We completed semester 3 about a month ago, and it was a pleasant experience..
There were a few challenges of course, but mostly positive ones. Semester 4 is proving to be fantastic; the courses are already interesting, and I’m excited to continue with them. What’s also enjoyable about the second year is that you've mostly figured out how you work best, have adjusted to exams, to balancing work with household chores, and social life. By year two, most people know what works for them. Although it's generally more challenging academically, I find year two to be quite comfortable in this sense.

Do you have a favourite course?

This will sound pretty cliché coming from a physics major, but I’m genuinely loving my Introduction to Quantum Physics course. Although I've only completed three weeks of the course, I'm already enjoying it and am completely fascinated. Of course, the topic is intriguing and exciting, and the professor is exceptional. He is very passionate about teaching and presents the material incredibly well. My TA for the course is very talented at teaching as well, and gives very clear and complete answers to all of our questions. Their enthusiasm for physics is contagious.

What would be a great memory of your second year in the Program that you would like to share with future students?

Bachelorgiving was a lot of fun! It's a combination of the words "bachelor" and "Thanksgiving," and it's an annual celebration that brings together students from all three promotions for a night filled with food and entertainment, organized by the Lore and administration. The beautiful performances were the highlight of the evening for me, although the three-course buffet was a close second. Every time there are student performances, it’s always a shock to me just how talented some students are. There was also an art exhibition where I was able to share some of my paintings, which made me happy. Additionally, I had a wonderful time participating in the event's organization, even though there was a lot of cleaning up afterward. With a large budget, we were able to create an epic ambiance complete with flowers, a red carpet, and a balloonarch.

What are your ambitions for the future?

After completing my Bachelor's degree, I am definitely interested in pursuing a Master's in theoretical physics, although I have yet to decide on the exact field of focus. I plan to apply to universities in the US, France, the UK, and other European countries. While I enjoy studying physics for the sheer enjoyment of it, I don't see myself pursuing a career in research or academia after my studies. Instead, I envision myself in leadership or management roles later on.

Any piece of advice to future Bachelor students that you would like to share?

My first piece of advice would be to resist the urge to compare yourself to others when you arrive. It's important to remember that everyone comes from a different background in math and science, and some may have a head start in the beginning. Don't worry too much, though, as by year 2, the material will be new for everyone. You'll be on a more even playing field and will fully be able to work together. My second piece of advice is to prioritize your well-being. It can be tempting to lock yourself up in your room to study all day, but it's important to make time for friends, sleep, and exercise. Neglecting these things can lead to burnout, and you may find that taking breaks to have fun and relax actually makes you more productive in the long run.