Pristin jets off to Imperial College

Photo provided by Michael Pristin.

Photo provided by Michael Pristin.

Amelia Neal, Staff Writer

College is something that many Westford Academy seniors look forward to. Whether it be looking forward to a fresh start, new friends, or moving away from home, seniors are excited for what their futures hold. For Michael Pristin, he is looking forward to moving across the Atlantic Ocean to Imperial College in London, England.

Pristin explains why he chose to study in the U.K. due to the fact that undergraduate degrees take only three years, as opposed to four in the U.S.

“The decision to go to the U.K. was based on a few things but the biggest factor was that undergrad degrees are three years long, which means one less year of tuition and a head start on getting a masters, as well as the prestige of some schools in the U.K.,” Pristin said.

Also, Pristin chose his major because of his interest in Physics.

“I’ve always been good with math and numbers, but I only really figured out that I had a specific interest in Physics during my junior year when I studied it for the first time,” Pristin said.

Pristin says that he found his dream school by pure luck after looking around the U.K. for other schools.

“I initially was looking around at other schools in the U.K. and happened to stumble across Imperial, which felt like a dream school,” Pristin said.

Pristin’s plan to move to London may be affected by COVID-19, a flu-like virus that has recently put America in quarantine.

“Right now, it’s very difficult to tell where I’ll be in October, and the situation has definitely opened me up to the idea of deferring my first year, although I still am leaning heavily towards going, even if courses are online. If I do go, and the virus doesn’t disappear, it’ll definitely be especially intimidating to be living alone during that,” Pristin said.

If COVID-19 does affect his freshman year at Imperial College, Pristin knows that he won’t be alone.

“Domestic students are dreading an online first semester. Education aside, the whole point of the first semester of university is to meet new people and get acclimated, which you really can’t experience from home,” Pristin said.

As going to college in London is a huge transition, Pristin articulates that he may face some challenges acclimating to the country this coming fall.

“It might seem silly but I’m so used to American accents, American slang, and [I] would definitely feel at home in an American school. England isn’t very different compared to other countries, but I imagine that moving to a country with different customs and accents may take some adjusting to,” Pristin said.

To Pristin, Imperial College is his dream college, and is excited about what his future holds.