Friday, March 20, 2015

Shameless Sporadic Scribbler

I have no shame.

One thing they don't tell you enough about your senior year is this: YOU ARE GOING TO BE BUSY AS FUCK. And in the rare occurrences when you have time, you're going to be too tired to even be arsed to write another piece of writing. But enough with the excuses. I've done this act enough times. You know the drill.

I really REALLY wanna blog more from this point forward. I'm going to be in college in just a few months and I want to document each event. In the earlier days when I was first figuring out this whole college thing, I was desperately looking for somebody who have come before me, someone I can ask for advice. And since I found none, really, I have decided that that person is going to be me. Be the change you want to see in the world and all that. This blog post is going to be a mixed bag of sorts. Let us begin.

First of all, if your school has a Guidance Counsellor, please please PLEASE avail of that service. I know in my experience, even when I didn't know what to put down for my CAO, even talking to the guidance counsellor about how I didn't know what to put down for my CAO helped so much! In my school, we are lucky enough to have such a trustworthy counsellor who really has all your best interest at heart. We had a meeting with her for forty minutes every couple of months and she helped and still helps us not just with stuff like college applications, but also in terms of scholarships, loans, accommodations, societies, and everything else. She's our go-to person, in short. so I highly recommend availing of the service yourself if it's available to you! 

I decided to go for Medicine, with the 5 colleges in Ireland that does Medicine on top of my CAO list. It is a restricted course however, and to be able to get Medicine, one has to sit the HPAT, and obtain a good enough mark. So last February, the 28th, I sat the HPAT exams. On the run-up to the exams I signed up to do a HPAT course for two days. One of those days is dedicated for the students to learn how to answer the questions in the test; tips and tricks and such. The second day was a mock exam in which we all sat a full HPAT paper to see how well we would hypothetically do on the test. I did this course with Career Services and I highly recommend it! ACER (the company who does the HPAT exams) will tell you that signing up for a revision course and getting a good mark in the exams have no correlation, but from my point of view, doing a course is invaluable. It gives you a good sense of how to approach the paper timing-wise, it gives you tricks in figuring out what the answers are (especially for Section 3- Non Verbal and Logical Reasoning), and it gives you a piece of mind. To come in on the day of the HPAT and to see and to sit a full HPAT paper for the first time would've given me a fright! But with the course done and the layout of the questions familiar already, it was much easier for me to be calm.

Repetition is key for the HPAT, so practice, practice, PRACTICE!

Having said that, there is no way of knowing how well I did in the Exams until June, so I'll keep you all posted!

In other news, I have been quite busy these past couple of months not just with academia but with extra-curricular activities as well. I entered the Poetry Ireland competition last November, and was lucky enough to be chosen as a finalist! I was also lucky enough to be asked by a Swedish film crew to film a little documentary with them, on the subject of my being a finalist in the competition, to be aired in Sweden. It was a lot of fun! If the documentary goes online soon, I'll let  you all know!

Stemming from the Poetry Ireland competition was the opportunity to record poems in a recording studio for a text book! It was an amazing experience for me! It was my first time at a recording studio and the whole day was just so magical!

As well as that, my school choir, of which I am a part of obviously, has been joining and winning competitions left right and centre! We took part in the Kilkenny Music Festival and won the Smithwicks trophy. And just this week took part and won the  Alice Yokely cup for the Feis Ceoil in Dublin, and won the Best Secondary School Choir Award, and won the Top Overall Choir of the Competition Award! Most of the 6th years in the choir have been in it since first year, and we are quite happy to end our turn with a bang! Next week, we are going to be singing in the National Concert Hall for the closing of the Feis. We're all very excited! I'll document it here, don't you worry!

I also took part in the St, Patrick's Day parade in Kilkenny with the Filipino Community! It was exciting, but it also took a lot of my time!

I think that's pretty much it! Other than that, I've been quite busy with the Mocks. I'm not as yet comfortable disclosing the results I got, but maybe when I get my Leaving Cert results I'll share it with you all! But on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being INCREDIBLE, it was a 3. I was happy, but not quite.

So anyway, I think this has been long enough! I hope to talk to you guys again soon! GOODBYE!