Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Quick Update and New Look!

Hey guys! Its been quite a while since I wrote anything on here, but that due to change! For those reading on my blogger page you’ll be able to see that a few things have changed around here. Well after a couple of hours of tinkering and excessive amounts of coffee I managed to come up with this. Hopefully you guys actually like what I’ve done with the place!

Anyway I haven’t been posting on here mainly because these last few weeks have been very hectic. I’ve been applying for my accommodation, student loan and talking to some uni lectures and students, all whilst juggling the mountain of work at college. I’ll have posts about all of these things but for now this is just a quick update to say welcome to the new blog and keep an eye out for plenty of posts in the coming weeks :)

Leave a comment or tweet at me if you have any questions!

Follow me on Twitter! - @Jayson__Knott (double underscore)

Picking up a Course in Your Second Year

Today I’m going to talk about my experience with trying to pick up another course in my second year. Let me give you a little bit of background. When I originally applied to this college I wanted to do Business Studies and Psychology, but unfortunately because of my maths grade D I couldn’t do Psychology so I just went with business. However I didn’t let this stop me. I was planning on getting my C in maths and then picking up Psychology in my second year so I made sure that the course leader knew of my interest, so after multiple talks and various emails I managed to sit in a weeks’ worth of lessons and I have to say it was fascinating for me. But now I’m not so sure. Journalism is a MASSIVE interest for me right now and I thoroughly enjoy my law units in Business so I’m considering taking law. This has put me into a dilemma. As of this moment I’m still talking to course leaders about picking either course so I thought I would share my so called ‘tactics’ on getting into a course in your second year.

Disclaimer – In no way am I claiming that this is an exact science, this is based off of my experience so far and whether or not it works out that is yet to be known.

1)    Make them conscious that you are interested – When I say this I don’t mean just asking about the course and what it covers. I’m saying that you should actively talk about the process of getting in, what the requirements are and then what it covers. It’s also useful to suggest sitting in lessons to get a feel for the course, this is the benefit of already being in the college because it usually isn’t much inconvenience for a current student to sit in one of their lessons.

2)  Read up on the subject – This is very good way of showing that you are enthusiastic about that course because they aren’t going to let you in lightly because they will take your current course into consideration and not many students are even allowed to stay in for more than 2 years because chances are that the course will be 2 years.

3)  Be in close contact with someone of power – This could come across as manipulative but it isn’t in no way. Assert yourself with someone who you can go to for advice in college. For me it’s the head teacher of my college, however I was quite lucky to meet her because of the fact that I enrolled late and she must have been managing the late enrollers because she was the one to email me back on my application. Since then I have been able to get VERY useful advice and information from her and typically people don’t say no to their boss. She is lovely too :)

4)   Sell yourself – Think of it like you aren’t a student at the college because then you will have the mind-set that you have to show off your determination, interest ect and that would make you a more attractive candidate for the course. It is also worth explaining why you want to take the course up in your second year and why you didn’t apply for it in the first place. If you don’t have a legitimately good reason you can be honest or you could do what most do which is come up with one.

So that’s it. Pretty simple for now, however this is what has worked so far and the future seems promising.

Are you looking into picking up a course?  Or did you successfully pick up a course? Share you experience with me on Twitter! @Jayson__Knott

Friday, 30 October 2015

My First Offer!

I got my first offer from university today! It caught me completely off guard, I usually check my email every day whenever I get the chance to see if there has been any changes to my application (this typically means that you’ve got an offer) but today it didn’t even cross my mind. It’s a massive relieve never the less, I was a complete nervous wreck every time I got an email and now I can relax knowing that all I have to do is finish this year with the grades I need and I’m off to uni!

I already went over this in my last blog but I seriously didn’t think this was something I was going to do, but that’s what has made it so exciting for me. Just because I want to go to uni I have found myself getting involved in things that I would typically avoid like volunteering and taking active interests in topics that I would have otherwise overlooked. So far the journey towards university has been a very eye opening experience and some would say it’s a way of avoiding ‘the real world’ but I strongly disagree. To me it’s a more educational method of learning to manage money and plan for the future.

I may be going off on a bit of a tangent but I’m just full of inspiration and excitement now. This is just the motivation I needed to keep pushing through mountains of coursework and revision :)

This is a bit of a short post today, I think that’s what I’ll keep doing because you guys seem to like these the most, see you in the next one!

Leave a comment or tweet at me if you have any questions!

Follow me on Twitter! - @Jayson__Knott (double underscore)

Monday, 5 October 2015

Applying To University (Already!)

Well guys, here we are. After a long summer of no posts (sorry guys) it’s come to that time where I have to start picking uni courses and the unis themselves. I’m not going to lie it’s a massive change for me, when I first left school uni was the last thing on my mind! But not look at me, applying for law in some of the best universities going! Without turning this into a sob story, I used to think I wasn’t good enough to go to uni. It just goes to show that our only limit is ourselves (sorry for the borderline cringy quote)

Well after a couple of weeks researching what university would be the best for me I managed to sift through about 10 to get to 5. This is the hardest part of the application if you ask me. I’ve managed to choose Manchester, Salford, BPP, Manchester Met and The University of Law. All based in Manchester, which for me is ideal because it means I can spend most of my time at uni and still come back home to see family and friends whenever I want to. I did originally plan on going to somewhere like London or Durham, but that was a step too far for me.

Skipping the boring stuff, it came to my personal statement. Wow, just wow. I never knew that having 4,000 characters could be so stressful! It seriously does limit what you have to say about yourself, because you’ve been essentially asked to market yourself to 5 universities in 4,000 characters. To put that into perspective that’s just under a page of writing. But the upside is that you have to be concise and put some real structure in there that means that you get everything you want in whilst reaching that character limit.

Having someone look at your personal statement is key. I personally think it’s a good idea to have someone who knows a lot about applications in relation to university and job applications. I had our careers adviser look through my whole application and personal statement, just to make sure I didn’t miss anything. Once she gave me the nod I had my personal tutor look at my personal statement. This is especially helpful because your personal tutor is typically the one who writes your reference, so this means that they can get a look at your personal statement and take some pointers for your reference. This would make you have a well-rounded application.

So this was my experience so far with my application, with a few little pointers in there. Obviously I won’t know if this works until I get offers but until then fingers crossed!

Jayson :)

Twitter - @Jayson__Knott

Monday, 29 June 2015

What's Next?

So now all the exams are over and most of us BTEC students are making the final push for the deadline, it’s important to think about what is next? Some of you (like me) instantly think “Summer! I’m gonna chill and just party all summer!” Although that’s nice and I encourage that, I think we should think about the V word. Volunteering.

Volunteering is a big part of what makes you stand out at uni and soon we will all be writing our personal statements, and naturally we will be making ‘statements’. Something along the lines of “I’m a very energetic and proactive student” but you’ll have to proof that you are. Volunteering is the best way to do that. I’m not saying spend your ENTIRE summer volunteering, enjoy yourself. Just because you aren’t in college it doesn’t mean you should stop developing yourself.

So what are my plans? Some of you may have noticed I have been going on about NCS for a long time now, granted maybe a little too much, but I have applied and successfully become a NCS Volunteer. I’m due to start on the 27th of July and I can’t wait. After that I’m going to have a little look around and see if any volunteer positions catch my eye. Buuuuttt I won’t lie I am going to have a lot of fun during the summer, I’m hopefully going to Leeds Festival so that should make an interesting blog for you guys ;).

Short and sweat, have a good summer, use your time wisely. But most of all, enjoy yourself no matter what you do :)

Follow me on Twitter! - @Jayson__Knott

Vote for me as UCAS Blogger of the month! -

Monday, 15 June 2015

5 Things I Wish I Knew At The Start Of Year 12

Now that year 12 is drawing to a close I’ve found myself looking back and wishing that I knew things that I knew now that I didn’t back then.

1.    The first year of college isn’t a mess around – At first I and a lot of my friends thought that you could work moderately hard and just get through the first year on a backseat, but we were totally wrong. Luckily my main subject is a BTEC so aiming for the top grade is standard really but with my maths I did that and ended up failing my first resit. That was a wake up call and a very frustrating one too.

2.   Tutors are there to help -  For the first few months I was one of those students that if I got stuck I wouldn’t ask for help, I’d keep going at it and get it wrong all the time. It gets you more and more frustrated and it will annoy your tutors. Just ask them for help, it’s not weakness and it doesn’t make you stupid it shows that you are keen to learn.

3. Applying yourself is good – It took me quite a while to take opportunities that college put in my path. It took two presentations for me to sign up to NCS and looking back I should have done it the first time around. Now that I take whatever will benefit me, I’m on the student executive (student association, it got a ‘re-brand’ today) and student ambassadors. Both have a lot of involvement with schools and events run in the college.

4.  Free periods aren’t for relaxing – I realised that the free periods on your timetable aren’t there for you to meet friends and talk for an hour. They are there for you to catch up on work and keep productive in your day. Use them wisely.

5.   You don’t have as much time as you think – Deadlines are set for a reason, not for you to just do the work, it’s the maximum time needed for you to do the work that is set. You can’t just relax for a week and just rush to get it done the next week. Treat your deadlines like the finishing time of an exam, that extra time you have is to make sure you got everything right and to check if you missed anything.

Those are the 5 things I wish I’d known at the start of year 12.

It’s crazy to think that in 3 weeks time I would have finished my first year of college. It really has flown by and I do have a few regrets of not using my time better than I could have. But aside from all that it has been amazing and I’ve met so many amazing people and I started writing this blog. I hope I continue to write in my second year. See you in the next one :)

Follow me on twitter! - @jayson__knott

Vote for me as blogger of the month! -

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Exams and Other Things

First off I’d like to apologise for the embarrassing lack of posts, it’s been a very busy month for me.

My biggest excuse the addition to the family! My little sister Ruby was born around 3 weeks ago and let me tell you, she has a really good set of lungs! She could scream the house down if she wanted to! Here she is :) So far I’ve managed to keep away from nappy changing, buuutt I have a feeling I won’t be able to avoid that much longer.

Anyway enough about my family/social life. Why have I been busy you might ask? You don’t have any exams Jayson? Well I did have my maths resit… Smashed it… Obviously… But seriously I was revising every single day for maths so if I fail again I don’t deserve to walk this earth.

It’s not just my maths exam either, nope. The course work is piling up! I mean right now I should be doing a massive line of merits and distinctions, but no I’m here writing this blog *hangs head in shame*. It’s only because I’ve been getting a few emails off of you guys (never going to get used to that by the way) and I kinda miss writing casually like this.

I was thinking, maybe if you guys want me to talk about something, maybe an issue that you have with college that you think I and everyone else could relate to, I could write it for you? I mean I want to make this a little more down deep and personal. So just drop me some suggestions in the comments here, tweet me or just go with what most of you are doing, just email me :)

Twitter - @Jayson__Knott