Hello fellow scientific bloggers, this is Amy, your self-confessed chemistry nerd. This is my first post of my new blog about my journey through gaining a scientific education and my path to university. To begin, I would like to tell you more about myself.
My name is Amy King; I’m a 21 year old A-level student living in London. I am currently attending a college in Orpington, studying my second year of biology, chemistry and physics (of which I recently received AS level grades AAA). I had also spent two years before, teaching myself A-level mathematics (of which I received a grade A). It’s my intention, to attend university in 2013 to study chemistry.
From a very young age, it was my dream to go to university. When my teachers asked me what I wanted to do when I was older, I told them I wanted to win a Nobel Prize and become a famous scientist, like Einstein or Hawking.
Originally it was my dream to become a well-known doctor. However after intensive research into the medical field and working within the modern NHS I become disheartened by the concept of medicine.
However, I always knew I wanted a career in science. As a child, growing up with a broken education due to long periods of ill-health and hospital stays, science and mathematics were a comfort to me. During my education, I had spent many years out of the educational system, at least one year during my primary education and two within my secondary education. This fact sadly meant that many of my previous teachers wrote me off as a failure in education, as my time in school was so disrupted due to my hospital treatment. I had spent a year and a half away during my GCSE education, and still walked away with 10 qualifications A-B. It was during my original A-level studies that my teacher’s lack of confident in me greatly affected my school work. Due to ongoing hospital treatment my teachers and I couldn’t exchange work, and this lead to me falling far behind my fellow students.
I became extremely frustrated by this situation, during my illness, education had been my life, and I didn’t want to waste it. This, therefore lead me to come to the decision, to leave conventional education and try another path. As with any determined student, this concept was both terrifying and deeply upsetting, I felt ashamed of myself, a failure that I could not follow a conventional way of learning, and I greatly feared that I would not be able to follow my dream of further education.
However, I wouldn’t give up; I held onto my dream and began looking for other ways to gain the qualifications I needed for university. I came across an A-level mathematics class at my local adult education college. I spent a year there, three hours a week, once a week. My teacher Christine McKenzie helped me hone my self-teaching skills, so when my class was over, I was able to teach myself the rest of the syllabus, before our next class. After my AS level was finished, I had hoped to continue on A2 with the college, however a week before my class was meant to start, the course had been cancelled due to low numbers. Panicked, I spoke to my teacher, asking what I could do, it was she, that suggested I should carry on alone, that I had the skills to teach myself, and I could email her, if I ever had any problems, so I continued onto my A2 year totally independent. I am pleased to say, due to a lot of careful studying and strict discipline, I managed to get my A grade in mathematics.
During my A2, I was searching for a college, where I could study my Biology and Chemistry at night. It was never my intension to go back into full-time education. However when my research came up a blank, I realised I would need to consider a route back into formal education. After more research I came across my current college.
From the moment I walked into Orpington College, I felt at home. I remember attending the open day and being as giggly as a child in a candy store when I saw the science department, and watching in absolute awe, as one of the technicians preformed a few chemistry demonstrations. The staff, I felt, were excited about their courses and cared about their students, and even to this day, my teachers still have that same enthusiasm about their subjects. I had worried, that when I told the staff about my background, my age and my problems with conventional education, that they would become as disheartened with me as my previous teachers had been, but to my surprise, they were excited, and seemed keen for me to join the college, and though my age was a slight problem, (quickly fixed by filling in a few forms) I would have no trouble gaining a place on their courses.
I began my second (and last, in my opinion) attempt at conventional education. I began my first year, working as hard as I could, I had many a teacher from my previous school that I had wanted to prove wrong and also had wanted to impress my current teachers for choosing me to come on their courses. To this day, I feel, I owe my current teachers a lot, for giving me this chance to carry on my dreams and backing me, pushing me to achieve my best. I spent every hours I had studying, sparing a few hours to work as both a science rep on our college’s student council, and a student ambassador. My first year pasted in a blur of ups and downs, and I was pleased to walk away after my first year with my three As.
So this is my full circle, I am now waiting anxiously for my second and last year to begin. I have two weeks before I start back at Orpington. I have so much planned for my second year. I hope to carry on my positions I held back in my first year, or maybe even try running for student president. I plan to continue working as hard, if not harder, than I did last year. I have already started my work for my January exams, trying to get a heads up before the huge step up to A2, and finally, I wish to continue on with this blog, posting some of my ups and downs as I continue my education (conventionally this time) into university and beyond.
Hope you enjoy reading this blog, and trying to make sense of my strange chemistry humour (science and especially chemistry can be a lot of fun when you think about it!).
So, until I update next........