Just over a year ago, I was revising for my paediatrics exams in the medical library which sits across the road from the main university quad. In the midst of revision, a variety of things can give distraction: frozen yogurt, water breaks and Hollywood film stars… yes.
A medic came running in and told us that Leonardo DiCaprio was filming in the main library. That was all the information we needed. A large handful of female doctors-to-be abandoned their textbooks in a frantic search for the actors. Standing the Jewish history section, looking out-of-place with our NHS ID tags jiggling around our necks, we tried to catch a glimpse of the filming. We left disappointed; there wasn’t much happening, but we had a chat with one of the film crew who explained to us what they were shooting and what the film was all about.
The plot centres around a person’s dream state, subconscious and how they can be manipulated. Last week, I was in a small cinema in rural New Zealand, taking in the sight of Michael Caine and Leo having a banter in the Gustave Tuck lecture theatre. I was last there for a revision course; it was stiflingly hot and no one had cleared away the leftover catering from another event, so the smell of stale BLT sandwiches and old coffee permeated its way through the heat. The seats were so uncomfortable and the course was so tedious that I left an hour early.
I thought it was a good movie. It resulted in a trippy experience: driving through the pitch black, I realised that UCL would be enjoying the afternoon sunshine and in the midst of romanticism, I felt a pang of longing for the place that provided me with a focal point for 6 years. But putting emotions aside, it’s a building; the people I connected with in and around it are ultimately the constant in which we evolved and nurtured one another: it’s a continual process regardless of circumstances and distance. I’m certain there are souls here I can connect and evolve with. If they can appreciate the need for frozen yogurt and chasing film stars to avoid working, I’ll apply for residency.