If Not America, Then Where...?
Laura, aka rosefan42, is a British Sparkler applying to Yale. Do you think her scores will get her in? —Sparkitors
I got my SAT Subject Test results back. Finally. You ready?
German = 800
Literature = 760
Maths I = 710
*does happy dance*
Words can’t describe how relieved I am about these results, guys. I was freaking out, planning to retake them in November, which would mean I would have to study for those and the SATs in October simultaneously all summer, and colleges would see my original results and think I didn’t apply myself enough, and and and—well, you get the idea. I was panicking. But I’m actually really pleased with these results! This means I can really focus on the SATs over the summer. Also relax and take a Harry Potter marathon. This is IMPORTANT, okay?!
Over the last couple of weeks, our teachers here have started really ramping up the focus on University applications and UCAS (which is like CollegeBoard, but British. You can tell because the website is less colourful). It made me realise I really need to focus on where I’ll be applying to over on this side of the pond. I mean, statistically speaking, chances are I won’t get accepted to any of the US colleges I’m applying to. This is simply for the reason that—as I explained last time—my international status limits my options to some seriously competitive places. English universities should be my fall-back, my safety net in case exams don’t go well and/or my family’s financial situation gets really tough. So I thought I’d give you a quick rundown of my shortlist of favourites, as it stands…
1. Oxford University (Exeter College)—English Language and Literature
I know, I know, stop laughing. Way to go at picking a safety school, Laura. But I am seriously in love with Oxford. Everything is so old-fashioned and stately and gorgeous. I mean, after Harry Potter, His Dark Materials are my favourite books, and Exeter College is the college that Lyra’s Jordan College is based on!
Oxford’s teaching, of course, speaks for itself; if I got in here, I’d be getting the very best in terms of lecturers, support and resources.
Entrance Requirements: 38-40 points at IB, and although it’s not stated I’m pretty sure a 7 at Higher Level Literature would be a really good thing to have.
2. University of East Anglia–Script-Writing and Performance
Matt Smith took Drama at this place. That’s all the credentials I’ll ever need. I also really liked the campus when I visited. It’s outside the city, so it’s got a lot of student-based social life on-campus, and Norwich is close enough for shopping trips (to the bookshop) and nights out (to see Harry Potter in the cinema).
This course would also let me keep drama in my life for a little longer. I mean, I’m pretty sure that, whatever happens, I won’t end up acting professionally. It’s just something I’ve accepted. But I would love–LOVE–to be able to study it in more detail, and learn more skills for myself. Scriptwriting is also something I’m seriously passionate about, and my ideal job would be a TV producer and/or writer, so although most people go into that industry with an unrelated degree, it’d be great to have some specific training already.
Entrance Requirements: 33 Points at IB including a 5 (out of 7) in Higher Level Literature. Plus an audition, which I’m pretty worried about. They only tend to accept around 40 students across all their Drama degrees, which is INSANE. On the plus side, applicants to this course also submit some written work, which I think is one of my strong points.
3. Queen Mary (University of London)–English and Drama
The modules on offer here look really interesting, I love the way it combines analysis of texts with a more socio-cultural approach to understanding how performances work. Also, it’s my parents’ Alma Mater (well, they did their Master’s and PhD there) and I love the campus as well as the area—Mile End in East London—it’s where I grew up and it’s probably the place I feel most at home. I also just love London as a whole, and I’d have a great support network of my older brother, my godparents-well-not-really-because-we’re-not-religious-but-they’re-like-my-godparents and other friends of my parents who have known me since I was about a day old.
Entrance Requirements: 32 points at IB, including a 6 in Higher Level Literature and one other (HL) subject
4. University of York–Writing, Directing and Performance
I really like the idea of looking at theatre (or TV, or film) from all perspectives; I’m actually really interested in directing as well as writing and acting, so this course looks great. To be honest, I don’t know too much about York as a place, though. Apparently, the campus life is great and really varied, but I think I really need to visit them in September before I can be sure.
Entrance Requirements: 32 points at IB, and no audition! Hurray!
5. University of Warwick–English and Theatre Studies
Combining my love for Literature with my love for Theatre seems like a good idea. This course obviously has less of a focus on TV and film, but there are different optional modules in creative and script writing I could take. Again, I know almost nothing about Warwick as a place, so it’s definitely on my List of Places to Visit in September.
Entrance Requirements: 36 points at IB, including a 6 in Higher Level Literature
So there you have it. I should mention that all these “entrance requirements” are just based on typical offers – interviews, personal statements, references and (in some cases) standardised Literature exams will all play their part.
What do you think of this list, guys? I really like all these courses, but the only problem I can see so far is how varied they are. For UCAS, you fill out one application for ALL your courses. This includes things like teachers’ references and your personal statement—a 4000-word piece of text that is meant to show Universities why you love the subject you’re applying for. In 4000 words, I know it’ll be difficult to cover all the bases—Literature, Drama, Writing, Directing—without seeming vague and wishy-washy. This may be more of a question for my fellow Britklers (British + Sparkler…no..?) but do any of you guys have any tips on including ALL my interests in a personal statement that will be read by admissions officers for all these different courses?
MTITIGAYSLTAW! (Music That I Think Is Good And You Should Listen To As Well!)
"Everything Is Ending" by Chameleon Circuit is just such a clever song. And beautiful. And atmospheric. And gorgeous. And yes, I know I should stop listening to EXCLUSIVELY Doctor Who music. So without further ado…
"Accio Deathly Hallows" by Hank Green—although to be totally honest, right now I am basically leaning towards REPULSO DEATHLY HALLOWS. God, when did Friday 15th get to be so soon?!
Still got Legs, the new Chameleon Circuit album. Alex Day (nerimon) has put up the entire album to listen to, for free, completely legally. Guess what’s been on repeat for the last 24 hours? "Kiss the Girl" is a personal funny favourite, "Teenage Rebel" is a real stand-out dance-in-your-pyjamas kind of song, and Mr. Pond is pure BAMF!
A note about shout-outs: I’ve decided to make best use of the new commenting system which is shiny and sparkly and new, and use the comments section to reply to any tips or questions you might have. As always, though, www.rosefan42.tumblr.com would be a great place to start a more personal conversation, I’d always love to hear from you guys.
As Friday approaches, I guess the only thing we can do right now is keep on twiddling those dials. Keep each other safe. Keep faith.
Laura :) x
Now that Laura has her SAT II scores, what do you think her chances of getting into Yale are?
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