Advanced acadamics

After the end of 9th grade, during the summer I went to a pre-university program in England. I wanted to go to this pre-university program as I wanted to study in depth the topic that I want to study when I go to university and improve on the parts that I am weak at.

I went to a university in Cambridge through a program called “Summer Discovery” for three weeks. During the program, I took psychology and a writing course. This was the first time going to a camp and traveling on my own. This was a nervous experience for me as this camp was a whole new experience for me. The main aim of this camp was for me to get out of my comfort zone and become independent. My second aim was to learn in depth what psychology is in order for me to see if I actually enjoy the topic or not.      

During 9th grade, I found psychology an interesting topic to study. However, what I have learned at school was just a small bit of a big topic, Therefore, I wanted to see what psychology was in depth before choosing my IB courses. The course was taught by a Cambridge professor and the class consisted of high school students from all around the world. However, most of the classmates had a good knowledge of psychology unlike me who was learning the basics for the first time. I attend the class every weekday for three hours and a half in the morning. During the course, we had to do a psychological experiment and write a report and we also had to study for a test at the end of the course. The course was taught just like a normal school class where we would be taught about a psychology topic and then debate issues about it afterward.

For the first few days of class, I was worried that I might be wrong as the topics were something that I was not familiar with so I did not talk when we were debating. However, after figuring out the best way for me to learn I started to prepare for the next class beforehand as we were given handouts that we were going to be studying next class. I figured out that I was more of a visual learner. Therefore, I started drawing and writing down each of the things I needed to know for the class such as the different parts of the brain or the different case studies just like the pictures below.

Another course I took in Cambridge is a creative writing course. This was a course where we learned how to do creative writing. I took this course because I was not confident in my creative writing as I thought I lacked in creativity. I attended this course for two hours every weekday in the afternoon. In this class, the teacher taught us how to write a good creative story as well as poems. We did activities where we had to write a poem or a story just by looking at a picture just like the poem below.  

 

A room

soaked in

crystal water,

 

Where my son

 

Lays quietly.

 

Desperately

staring

at him.

 

Screaming,

for him to turn around

Screaming,

for him to come back           

 

The summer program has challenged me academically as the topics being taught were something that I would normally not study as they were more advanced. I also think it was more challenging because I was not used to the long hours of studying just one subject in depth. Another challenge was that I was alone and had no one to really rely on fully. This was challenging for me as when I am at home I tend to rely on my parents to help me during my tough times. However, during the three week time, I had to rely on myself to get through the tough times that I had come across while studying because at first I was not used to the environment that I was studying in. Therefore, the first few days I was struggling to keep up with the amount of work that I had for each of my classes because I wasn’t feeling comfortable. However, after meeting new friends I think that I was able to adjust to the environment much quicker and get used to the intense studying routine that I had. 

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