Head Boy – Robert
As soon as Easter is over, the season of school leavers settles in. All the talk is about leaving and what will happen on the last few weeks of school. It is very exciting. There are always traditions that must be maintained from year to year and our year is going to be no exception (sometimes at the expense of the teachers). Pranks are always a big one from year to year with the same few ideas happening every year. Obviously from my perspective I can’t be involved with them, but it is still hilarious to observe the witty ideas that the year come up with.
School leavers’ hoodies were a priority recently. The ordering has to be sent away now in order to be able to wear them the last few weeks of school. The hardest part was to get all the information in before a deadline. It seems like with people our age they always wait until the very last minute to do anything. I’m not sure if it’s to make a statement or just laziness or whatever, but I can now see teachers and parents’ point of view and why they always complain about this. Unfortunately I am exactly the same.
Over the Easter break we had our hockey tour to Europe. Here we played teams from all over the world while seeing the culture and scenery of a beautiful country. The experience cried out to me that I love travelling and how I feel it’s very important. It reminded me when I had aspiration to go to University in a different country. Researching I found that there are many English speaking University all around the world. I decided not to because there was a lot of work in order to apply and study somewhere outside of the UK but I know that it is still a very good option.
6 March 2016
An advisor from student finance came into talk to us about our potential loans for university (if I make it that far). It was an hour of mind numbing information that I can guarantee no one will remember 3 days later. I think this is why they gave us a leaflet with the info already in it, leaving that hour of my life wasted. The advisor did talk about the types of loans and bursaries that are available but I could not help think about all the loop holes that are built from these and how unfair it could actually be. I’ll let future me take care of that argument, I’m focusing on getting there first.
If it is a rejection to attend Uni this year then I have set up plan B. There is a gap year scheme that the army reserves run that will guide you into the training and general lifestyle of the army. After my application is processed and I have been accepted, I will have to attend fitness and aptitude testing. This will take up some of my summer travelling to these. The first 9 weeks of the actual course will be training, ie fitness training, map work, etc. after that will be training exercises and this could be anywhere in the world. It’s a dream, and I get paid £15000 for the year.
14 February 2016
The hockey season continues. It was an all or nothing match that decided who went through. A match that was debatably the two biggest teams in the competition. After a 3-3 draw away, we had a replay on our own turf. It was a Wednesday night so it was played under floodlights. The atmosphere was electric! After scoring a goal within the first minute, it looked like we were always going to take the game and we eventually won 4-1. The highlight was definitely the crowd, posing the question that maybe all matches should be played under these conditions. It surely made for a grand spectacle.
Myself and my teachers seem to have different opinions on what half term is all about. I would say that it’s your time off and you should just chill before you prepare to be bombarded by revision and past paper questions. Unfortunately, teachers will bring the revision back to half term and give me an endless amount of work to do. No doubt taking a minimum 4 hours a day. Time I just don’t think I can fit into my busy schedule of sleep.
With hours of endless preparation, nothing could have prepared me for the sheer nervousness that you feel when walking into an interview. My first interview I must admit, I was nervous. I arrived on time and everything was going swimmingly. I chatted to the other interviewees who were all on the same boat as myself, which was reassuring to know. Both interviews went well I thought but it is extremely hard to tell. One university’s interviewers were very hostile and assertive while another Uni’s were encouraging and friendly when giving your answers. I know this is all part of the process to see how you cope but now, if I can manage to get offers from both Unis, I will obviously go to the one with the nicer interview panel. But that’s a big ‘if’.
Alongside my interviews, I had to also focus on my mock exams. This left me with very little time for much but I managed to get a balance between them both. Telling my teachers before also gave me some leverage on my marks just in case I didn’t do so well. With the revision I did my marks were good so my teachers and I aren’t too worried and will hopefully get offers soon along with the grades. I haven’t stopped working for 7-8 weeks, therefore a week of doing minimal won’t hurt.
Finally! Two universities have sent back confirmation that I have received an interview. As excited as I am about this, I still have to put a lot of work into the interviews. The preparation before is just as important as your ‘performance’ on the day. I use performance as you’re trying to sell your qualities (or what qualities you should have) to those people. Having to research every single last detail about anything related to medicine is something I can expect for the rest of my life, so here is to another 50 years. I’m still yet to hear back from the other two universities that I applied for but I’m not that hopeful.
Christmas was a blast, nothing could ever beat 3 nights of Christmas dinner, but it has completely made me lose motivation for work. Most of the time I want to be out of the house with my friends, and now that I have a car it’s very easy to do this. When I do get studying, there’s always that voice telling me to stop and go rest as I’m always tired due to not being in the house.
The formal is now over and my time has officially freed up (kind of). It took so much organisation to pull it off and on the night it went even better than I expected. The senior prefects and I are still getting compliments about it. The food was tasty, the venue was phenomenal and the entertainment was professional. One of the best nights I’ve ever had.
29 November 2015
Part of my duties of head boy require me to be co-chairperson of the school council. This is a group of selected people (2 from each year group) that meets every so often in order to discuss topics about school, and provide solutions into how to make the school better. Obviously, there are topics that aren’t the most interesting in the world, but seeing these changes being put into place and knowing it will make school life better, gives me a sense of giving back to the school. Being co-chairperson basically entails the smooth running of the session and making sure everyone is contributing.
Another duty that is placed upon me is to speak at major school events. I have already spoke at assembly at the start of the year, just speaking about myself and helping people recognise the face. I also had to do a reading at the remembrance service. I am not one to be afraid of public speaking so doing these, I feel, gives me good practice for later life.
Having my UCAS application away is obviously a weight off my shoulders, but every day I can’t help but worry about getting offers. Over the last few weeks I have now convinced myself that I will not receive any offers or even interviews. I’m sure this is normal though. Everyone must have this panic phase.
8 November 2015
Halloween break is usually a chance to take some well-deserved rest and be able to catch up on work that is overdue. Being away in Denmark saw that none of this was done. I loved my time away but coming back at 3am on the Monday morning, and having to go to school the same day really brought my energy levels down.
Even before going away I was tired. Winning the All Ireland’s shield for hockey the week before we got off was one of my biggest achievements. Being underdogs throughout the tournament and coming out eventual winners was a great cause for celebration. It is of course a big achievement for the school as well and they are milking the success to its limits.
Formal planning is coming to its end and it’s looking to be a great night. Confirming acts has been a struggle but we got there in the end. It’s funny keeping all the secrets about the night but the constant questioning always makes you feel paranoid.
18 October 2015
All of my UCAS form has been completed and sent away to the appropriate universities. It took over my life, I spent every day leading up to the deadline on perfecting the wording, spelling and general tone of my personal statement. Twelve drafts and a fried brain later and I could finally relax knowing it was as good as I could make it. Starting the work for it just before summer relieved a vast amount of stress. Now we wait for those responses. Good or bad, I will not settle until I know.
Being in and out of hospital has disrupted my life in a big way. When I feel I’m getting better, another infection begins. Never mind all the trips to hospital, constantly having fatigue means that I have to give certain things a miss. For example, I have St John Ambulance meetings every week but because I am so tired, I can only attend a fraction of these. The increasing workload and sense of wanting to lie in bed all day has really effected my year. All I can do is rest first and then hope I can catch up when necessary.
13 September 2015
Summer over and back into school. The first couple of weeks I couldn’t get out of bed. Something I have picked up has left me having to get surgery. Still haven’t fully recovered as I’m always tired and there’s a big hole in my lower abdomen. But thankfully I’m able to get out of bed and get brought back up to speed on school life.
My UKCAT exam is coming up. I have had to postpone it a few times because of my sickness but this is my last chance to do it. This is a test that every student who wishes to do medicine most complete. It’s a test of your thought processes.
I am also putting a lot of time into my personal statement. The deadline for medicine is earlier then all the others and this is putting me under stress. I know what to write, it’s placing it on paper that is the problem. I hope I will have a lot of diverse activities to satisfy the reader.