SSEES might not be the most established department, but it should be more respected
We’re your weird Slavonic cousins with a fancy building
When you first tell someone you study at SSEES, you get one of two responses. Either nobody seems to know what the hell you’re on about, or they assume you’ve got some kind of Eastern European fetish. But what everyone else sees as niche, we reckon makes us just about the best department at UCL.
The library’s architecture
From a purely shallow perspective, we definitely have the nicest building. Yeah the Cruciform is huge and iconic, but it’s also freezing cold and impossible to navigate. SSEES on the other hand, has a building that’s made of glass, so it’s like studying in a very fancy fishbowl. Even when you’re trapped in the library basement, you’re sitting under some prime instagram material with our huge central atrium. The whole thing was designed so the temperature wouldn’t be too hot or too cold – awesome when you consider far too many people freeze in the English Lit section of the main library.
There’s always space
The SSEES library is truly magical when it comes to space. Barring the couple of days before deadlines, you’re pretty much always guaranteed to find a seat somewhere. Plus, if you get to the desks behind the moving shelves then your library procrasti-naps will remain largely undisturbed.
We’re ridiculously good looking
SSEES students are just achingly cool. I’m not sure if it’s watching Soviet avant-garde cinema, or because everyone’s daddies can buy them a load of fancy clothes but holy shit we are swish. There definitely seems to be a few SSEES uniform rules: turtlenecks are a given (I myself own at least six) for surviving the harsh Eastern European winter in style. Everyone’s favourite wavy look (i.e. Adidas, windbreaker, slides, possible Kappa jumper) can be found on any one of my Serbian uncles circa 1991. There’s a reason our fashion editor is Hungarian, looking good is obviously just a side effect of spending so much time studying all those revolutions.
SSEES people are brilliant
UCL is full of lovely people – if not quite as keen for sportswear. However, what UCL doesn’t have is a Finnish Sociology lecturer who is also a power-metal star who lectures on vampires in pop culture. If that doesn’t sound bloody amazing to you then you need to reevaluate your priorities. The SSEES committee is also great, not only have we had two vodka tasting evenings this year but one of the SSEES officers, Thines – who we also called the “hardest working 2nd year at UCL” – also helped to found a departmental magazine on top of generally being an all around BNOC.
We’re a community
Our courses and classes are generally really small, so SSEES becomes a little community – you’re bound to know the names of everyone in your year by Christmas. So when the time comes for you to start weeping into your essay on Gavrilo Princip there’s probably going to be someone around who’s willing to drag you for a coffee instead of letting you stew in your own misery. Who cares if our degrees are incredibly niche when you’re surrounded by prijatelji? (that’s Serbian for pals).