I’m currently on mid-semester break (not really a break when you have 3 tests right after though…). I hope y’all are enjoying your term holidays more than me!
For the past few blog posts, I’ve been raving about uni life & my course…and I’ve almost forgotten what it’s like to be in your shoes – as a high-school student. From someone who’s been through it all, here’s the inside word to make the most of your last year.
Grades don’t matter (much). In the final year I remember there was really an emphasis on grades as these would determine your uni entrance which stresses everyone out when you don’t need to be! In saying that, still give everything your best 🙂 but don’t let it affect you more than it should. Once you have been accepted in the course you want to do, the grades you got in high-school don’t matter AT ALL. Just to keep you on track, you can check the rank score requirements for all the courses here. The rank score for biomed is 280 and for healthsci is 250. Just to get an idea for what these numbers reaaaally mean – 40 merit credits and 40 excellence credits would get you a rank score of 280.
Do stuff. In Uni, there is a club for almost anything you can imagine. I’ve only really appreciated everything we could get involved in high school now that I’ve left! In my final year I took up a new sport, learnt to play a new instrument, and started up my own club – all things I don’t regret at all! Take up leadership roles – it can be anything from being a head student or prefect to leading a school club or council. Although co-curricular activities aren’t necessarily considered when applying for uni, the skills you learn from these opportunities are invaluable and although there are still so so so many opportunities when you come to uni because of the sheer scale of it all, it’s easy to believe that you’re just one face in the crowd of thousands.
Today, I was involved in the Management Consulting Club’s First Year Case Competition with some of my friends from the Commerce faculty, where we analysed a NZ business and presented to a panel of judges. It was a good break from all the science-y stuff I’ve been cramming into my head lately.
Big decisions. Choosing subjects for your final year can be a hard decision, but although it may be tempting to choose an ‘easier’ subject for an easier year, in the end it’s best to take subjects you actually enjoy and will be useful next year. Also keep in mind that some courses have subject requirements E.g. Health Science requires you to take a table A subject (english or english-based). For biomed and healthsci, I highly recommend biology, chemistry & statistics.
The future. Whether it be going to uni or not, start thinking about it. Attend the talks when all the Uni’s come to your school. Go to the Auckland Uni courses and careers day (Saturday 2nd September this year – save the date!). Look through the prospectuses for the courses you like. Start researching online and exploring what you’re interested in.
NB: If you’re interested in a career in biomedical science, next week (3rd – 6th May) the Cancer Society of New Zealand are hosting these super cool tours of the world famous Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre at the University of Auckland for *FREE*. You have to register here first though to save a spot (hurry curry they’re going quick!). This is a unique opp to see an insider’s perspective of a real-life lab where cancer research takes place. You might even see me there 😉
Apply. Apply. Apply. Apply to all the courses at all the Uni’s you’re interested in well before the deadlines (lots of fun paperwork to do). Apply for accommodation (to stay at one of the Uni’s many first year halls of residences!). Apply for scholarships (more on this on a later post).
+ DON’T FORGET TO RELAX & HAVE A GOOD YEAR
If you have any questions about anything at all (even about the most random-est things!), drop it in the comments below!